Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Charles Evers: We have not been forgotten

In this video, civil rights leader Charles Evers, brother of the late Medgar Evers, watches as his brother's widow, Myrlie Evers-Williams, delivers the invocation during Monday's presidential inauguration.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Eugene Patterson, author of famous Birmingham Church Bombing editorial, dead at 89

Former Atlanta Journal-Constitution Editor Eugene Patterson, who as an editor of a southern newspaper showed no fear in condemning the murder of four African-American girls in the bombing of the 15th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., died Saturday at age 89.

Mr. Patterson's commentary is printed below:

A Negro mother wept in the street Sunday morning in front of a Baptist Church in Birmingham. In her hand she held a shoe, one shoe, from the foot of her dead child. We hold that shoe with her.
Every one of us in the white South holds that small shoe in his hand.
It is too late to blame the sick criminals who handled the dynamite. The FBI and the police can deal with that kind. The charge against them is simple. They killed four children.
Only we can trace the truth, Southerner — you and I. We broke those children’s bodies.
We watched the stage set without staying it. We listened to the prologue unbestirred. We saw the curtain opening with disinterest. We have heard the play.
We — who go on electing politicians who heat the kettles of hate.
We — who raise no hand to silence the mean and little men who have their nigger jokes.
We — who stand aside in imagined rectitude and let the mad dogs that run in every society slide their leashes from our hand, and spring.
We — the heirs of a proud South, who protest its worth and demand it recognition — we are the ones who have ducked the difficult, skirted the uncomfortable, caviled at the challenge, resented the necessary, rationalized the unacceptable, and created the day surely when these children would die.
This is no time to load our anguish onto the murderous scapegoat who set the cap in dynamite of our own manufacture.
He didn’t know any better.
Somewhere in the dim and fevered recess of an evil mind he feels right now that he has been a hero. He is only guilty of murder. He thinks he has pleased us.
We, who know better, created a climate for child-killing by those who don’t.We of the white South who know better are the ones who must take a harsher judgment.
We hold that shoe in our hand, Southerner. Let us see it straight, and look at the blood on it. Let us compare it with the unworthy speeches of Southern public men who have traduced the Negro; match it with the spectacle of shrilling children whose parents and teachers turned them free to spit epithets at small huddles of Negro school children for a week before this Sunday in Birmingham; hold up the shoe and look beyond it to the state house in Montgomery where the official attitudes of Alabama have been spoken in heat and anger.
Let us not lay the blame on some brutal fool who didn’t know any better.
We know better. We created the day. We bear the judgment. May God have mercy on the poor South that has so been led. May what has happened hasten the day when the good South, which does live and has great being, will rise to this challenge of racial understanding and common humanity, and in the full power of its unasserted courage, assert itself.
The Sunday school play at Birmingham is ended. With a weeping Negro mother, we stand in the bitter smoke and hold a shoe. If our South is ever to be what we wish it to be, we will plant a flower of nobler resolve for the South now upon these four small graves that we dug.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bible used by Martin Luther King to be used at inauguration

A Bible used by slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. will be used at the inauguration of President Barack Obama Jan. 20:

Martin Luther King Jr. carried a black leather King James Bible on his journeys as a young pastor starting out in Montgomery, Ala. He turned to this “traveling Bible” for inspiration, his family says, as he fought for freedom and equality.President Obama will put his hand over King’s well-worn Bible at his public swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 21, the holiday celebrating the birthday of the slain civil rights leader. King’s Bible will be stacked with the burgundy velvet and gilded Bible used by President Abraham Lincoln at his first inauguration.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Finding old newspaper articles for your civil rights research project

The amount of material available online for civil rights research projects has grown incredibly over the past few years as more and more information is put on the internet.

Those seeking newspaper articles from the era can now find them accessible, often at no charge, by looking through the Google News archives.

You can start by typing in a search term such as "Birmingham Church Bombing" on Google. When your results come through, click on news (links for news can be found on the top and left hand sides of the page).

After the news results arrive, click on "archives" on the left side of the page. When you get your results, if you are not wanting to pay (or cannot afford to pay) for articles, hit the "free only" link on the left hand side of the page.

Most often, you will find PDFs of the newspaper pages with the information you are wanting, in this example, the Birmingham Church Bombing, highlighted.

Medgar Evers' widow to deliver invocation at Obama inauguration

Slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers' widow, Myrlie Evers-Williams will deliver the invocation at President Barack Obama's inauguration Jan. 20:

It comes 50 years after her husband was gunned down in the driveway of his Mississippi home. The inauguration falls on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Evers-Williams is a distinguished scholar at Alcorn State University in Lorman, Miss. She was chairwoman of the NAACP from 1995 to 1998.
Inaugural organizers said the Rev. Louie Giglio of Atlanta’s Passion City Church will deliver the benediction for Obama’s swearing-in.
In a statement, Obama says Evers-Williams and Giglio represent ideals of justice, equality and opportunity that he pursues.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Deadlines set for third quarter research project

Deadlines have been set for the third quarter civil rights research project in Mr. Randy Turner's eighth grade communication arts classes at East Middle School.

Internet research- Monday, January 7-Friday, January 11

Library (Book Research) Monday, January 14, Tuesday, January 15

Thesis Statement Due- Friday, January 18

First Draft Due- Monday, February 4

Final Draft Due- Monday,  March 4

(Oral presentations and multi-media will take place between Tuesday, February 5, and Friday, Feb. 22.)