Tag Archives: Black History

Ruby Bridges Through Her Eyes

The Moral Universe

Having grown up in the area where Norman Rockwell painted some of his most famous works, I remember not only the actual photographs of the little girl, but also the iconic painting of the girl in the white dress flanked by four federal marshals.

The white dress, white socks and shoes emphasize the darkness of her skin. On the wall behind her is a racial epithet. Smashed tomatoes lie at the foot of the wall. You don’t see the marshals’ heads, but their fists are clenched as if ready for battle.

Friday I had the privilege of hearing the woman who grew out of that little girl speak. Ruby Bridges’ name is writ large in the history of civil rights. As she came onto the stage at Smith College, the crowd jumped to its feet with thunderous applause.

ruby nowMs. Bridges is a reluctant speaker. She never meant to spend the…

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Remembering Maya Angelou & MLK

Black History: Special Delivery!!


Today we remember the incomparable Maya Angelou. She would have been 89 today (4/4/17). Many don’t know that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on her 40th birthday birthday in 1968. After his assassination, she refused to celebrate her birthday. Instead she would send flowers to King’s widow, Coretta Scott King.

Ironically before Dr. King’s death, he had asked, Maya Angelou to travel with him and visit churches to raise money for his efforts to support the poor. Angelou agreed, but stated she could not begin until after her birthday. A promise she would never get the chance to fulfill. She was notified of his death while preparing for her birthday party.

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“March” by John Lewis

chronic bibliophilia

marchtrilogy960x510Alternating between Inauguration Day 2009 and the 1960s, John Lewis, along with co-author Andrew Aydin and Illustrator Nate Powell, tell the story of the civil rights movement through three powerful graphic novels. The trilogy – “March” – follows Lewis from his childhood growing up on a farm in Alabama through his increasing inspiration and involvement in the civil rights movement. Through the stories of protests, sit-ins, the Freedom Ride, the March on Washington, and the signing of the Voting Rights Act, Lewis makes this legendary struggle palpably real and persuasively relevant.

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The “March” trilogy is easily accessible and yet undoubtedly powerful. Its illustrations are stark and evocative; its words are sparse and moving. Each panel advances this gut-wrenching story in a way that makes it clear – this is not just a history lesson. It is a plea for remembrance and a call to action. Published between 2013 and 2016, these novels are timely…

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After 71 Years, Chicago’s Johnson Publishing Sells ‘Ebony’ and ‘Jet’ to Texas Company

BCNN1 WP

Ebony, a monthly lifestyle magazine targeting African-Americans, was first published in November 1945. Take a look at some of the covers from the magazine's long history. Ebony, a monthly lifestyle magazine targeting African-Americans, was first published in November 1945. Take a look at some of the covers from the magazine’s long history.

After a 71-year run in Chicago, Johnson Publishing is getting out of publishing.

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Historical Tidbits for Memorial Day

Live to Write - Write to Live

It is Memorial Day in the U.S. today. A day where we focus on remembering the men and women who have given their lives in military service protecting our freedoms.

Some of the history includes:

On May 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC, to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp (Race Course prison camp which later became Hampton Park), former slaves dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom.

They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 black children where they marched, sang, and celebrated.

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Link to the photo and some more information

Here’s an interesting article by Brian Hicks in The Post and Courier for more information on the stories behind the first Memorial Day.

And a link to Snopes for good…

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