Birmingham City Council; Solomon Crenshaw Jr.
Birmingham City Council
After news that broke over the weekend that the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute rescinded an award that was to be presented to Dr. Angela Davis, the Birmingham City Council unanimously passed a resolution of support for the civil rights icon.
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Her life should have ended at 17, an African American college student and civil rights worker, gunned down under a Coca-Cola sign in the fight for freedom and justice. A white seminarian named Jonathan Myrick Daniels pushed her aside and died in her place.
To understand both the progress America has made, and the many challenges it now faces, in terms of racial justice, it is useful to remind ourselves of the battle that occurred a half century ago and the life of Fannie Lou Hamer, a sharecropper and activist from the Mississippi Delta who galvanized the country with her stirring words and her remarkable courage.
Lee Lorch, a soft-spoken mathematician whose leadership in the campaign to desegregate Stuyvesant Town, the gargantuan housing development on the east side of Manhattan, helped make housing discrimination illegal nationwide.
Today, to honor the Feb. 4 centennial of the birth of Rosa Parks, the United States Postal Service has issued a Rosa Parks stamp. Yet these tributes to Rosa Parks rest on a narrow and distorted vision of her legacy. A more thorough accounting of Parks' political life offers a different set of reasons for the nation to honor her. A lifetime of steadfastness and outrage, tenacity and bravery, is what deserves national veneration.