Friday, November 15, 2013

Civil Rights Movement history is catching attention

Some exciting news about MARCH WITH ME -
USA BOOK NEWS ANNOUNCES
WINNERS AND FINALISTS OF
THE 2013 USA BEST BOOK AWARDS
( and MARCH WITH ME is a finalist for Multicultural History!)
Mainstream & Independent Titles Score Top Honors
in the 10th Annual USA Best Book Awards

St. Martin’s Press, Random House, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, John Wiley & Sons, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Hay House, Llewellyn Worldwide, and hundreds of Independent Houses contribute to this year’s Outstanding Competition!

I've been having a great time doing book talks across the country. The latest was in Brooklyn, NY & the discussion afterwards was fascinating!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Great magazine - interesting articles

Check out Southern Writers Magazine. www.southernwritersmagazine.com
It's full of interesting info, plus a great article about my historical fiction. Thanks, Southern Writers Magazine!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Review of MARCH WITH ME about racism and the civil rights movement

Check out the latest reader review of MARCH WITH ME. This one is from Cyrus Webb, whose magazine "Conversations", blog, etc. is one of the most varied and interesting of any.

Monday, April 22, 2013

RACIAL RECONCILIATION – IS IT REALLY POSSIBLE?



August, 2013 marks the fiftieth year anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Has that dream been realized yet in the south? The north? The Midwest and beyond? If not, why not? The strides our country has made in racial issues since those turbulent days of the ‘60s cannot be denied; integrated schools, job opportunities, open housing, no “colored” or “white only” signs; access to public libraries, pools, golf courses, and entertainment venues. And yet…and yet there are still so many barriers between races, so many inequalities.
If we’re honest, we’ll see that our biases, prejudices, fears and bitterness exist on all sides, in all places, between black and white, Muslim, Hispanic, Jew, and so on. What can we do to get past this negativity? How can we keep the dream of Dr. King alive?
The answer involves reconciliation. Reconciliation – To make oneself or another no longer opposed. To make two apparently conflicting things compatible or consistent with each other. How do we do that?
As an author of historical fiction, and in doing research for my latest book MARCH WITH ME which deals with race relations in Birmingham, Alabama during the civil rights movement of the ‘60s, my work led me to some interesting discoveries. I am encouraged about the possibility for reconciliation.
Consider one of the most dramatic examples of reconciliation – The Truth and Reconciliation Commission which was convened in South Africa after apartheid was abolished. Individuals are both sides were invited to give testimony. The emphasis was on truth-telling, and this, I believe, was the key to successfully moving beyond the horrific days of apartheid.
What we, as humanity, have learned is that an important first step in connecting with each other is telling our stories. That is basic in the development of any relationship. Alexander McCall Smith used this idea in his book IN THE COMPANY OF CHEERFUL LADIES, part of his Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency. He writes, “A life without stories would be no life at all. And stories bound us, did they not, one to another, the living to the dead, people to animals, people to the land?” (Italics mine). And I would add “and one race to another.”
Consider the work of former Mississippi Governor William Winter who has established the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation. This wonderful organization is multifaceted in its work to eliminate racism and bring about reconciliation. One of the best examples of their work was when they were invited to go to Philadelphia, MS where the three civil rights workers were slain in 1964. They helped the townspeople work through truth-telling to get to a point of reconciliation between whites and blacks. Even more recently they arranged for an exchange of twenty students from Philadelphia, MS and twenty students from Tallahatchie in the Mississippi Delta where Emmett Till was brutally murdered in 1955 to learn each other’s history – to tell their stories. The work of the Institute goes far beyond the borders of Mississippi. They were involved in the “America Healing: Racial Equity Communities of Practice Conference” made up of over 140 organizations and individuals who work toward racial healing here in our country, among their many other projects and educational outreach.
There are a number of grass-roots organizations all around the United States that are working for the same goals. The Minority Round Table of Hampton Roads in Virginia is one example. Founded in 1994, they work to gather individuals from the diverse ethnic backgrounds in the area to come together in forums and work on common problems and exchange information – to tell their stories. The Community Group and Council on Human Relations in Blacksburg, Virginia held a racial summit recently. The Memphis Race Relations and Diversity Institute in Tennessee is another example to work on the same goals. The Greensboro (NC) Truth and Community Reconciliation Project follows much of what was learned from South Africa and Mississippi. Birmingham, Alabama – once considered the most racist place in America –has programs not only through the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, but also through the Birmingham Metro Diversity Coalition. The BMDC coordinates all of the organizations that are working for racial justice and harmony in that city. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program is far-reaching in thousands of schools to promote understanding.
These projects and organizations are nationwide. Consider the youth-led Racial Healing and Reconciliation Project in New England that deals with many issues of race relations. It also looks at the connection between race and public health issues as does the Racial Healing and Reconciliation Documentary Project in Jamaica, NY. In Tampa, Florida the “Race With History” and “Listening Beyond the Lines” provides CDs and videos telling the stories. Because three young black men were lynched in Duluth, Minnesota there is the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial, “a public commitment to acknowledge its (Duluth’s) painful history and move forward to a more just and inclusive community.” And for providing educational materials internationally one can go to “Facing History and Ourselves” in Brookline, Massachusetts. The website for “blackgivesback” provides insight into many of the projects going on across our country.
I only have mentioned a few of the hundreds and hundreds of things going on in our country to promote harmony between races. Do we need to do more? Of course, we do. Even so, I have come to believe that the dream of Dr. King lives on. I believe that racial reconciliation is possible. However, we cannot achieve it by ignoring our history. We must listen to each other as both sides share their stories. We must be involved in truth-telling. Reconciliation will not happen easily, but it can happen. It’s up to all of us.
It’s up to you.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Contest for Book About Racism/ African-American Discrimination, etc.

Check out this website that tells about MARCH WITH ME, my latest book about the Civil Rights Movement. You can try for a free copy by leaving a comment. Good luck!
http://freshfiction.com/page.php?id=4877

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mental Geysers: Birmingham Revisited

Thanks to Kae for this review of MARCH WITH ME.
Mental Geysers: Birmingham Revisited: I received a galley of Rosalie Turner's March with Me from her publicist who knew my interest in history. March With Me © 2013 Rosal...

Friday, March 29, 2013

Racial Discrimination and the Civil Rights Movement

Fifty years ago the stage was being set in Birmingham, Alabama for the important events of the Civil Rights Movement. Birmingham was considered the most racist place in the U.S. Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth had asked Dr. M.L. King,Jr. to come down and lead a non-violent protest. He and the other leaders of Southern Christian Leadership Conference were sure they would get all the black adults marching with them, and they knew Bull Connor would have them arrested. The plan was to fill the jails and get the media - and therefore, -the nation's attention.
Stay tuned and I'll let you know what happened.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Discrimination report

Check the Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch Headlines for the latest DOJ report on hate crimes. Very intersting information.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

This is fun - check it out and comment

For a chance to read a free excerpt from March With Me go to this site http://www.page99test.com/read-my-page/2109. Read page 99 and leave a comment.
Thanks!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Racism, Discrimination, Prejudice...Still Alive?

Is Racism Still an Issue in This Country?

From the popularity of the book and movie, The Help, one would assume that issues regarding race are of great interest in America today. We’ve come such a long way from the days of segregated schools and “Colored” and “White” waiting rooms and water fountains. It’s been fifty years since Martin Luther King Jr’s speech with the poignant phrase “I Have a Dream.” Has that dream been realized or not?
Let’s begin by looking at the definition of racism. It is “1) a prejudice or animosity against people who belong to other races; and 2) the belief that people of different races have different qualities and abilities, and that some races are inherently superior or inferior.” One doesn’t have to look very far to see that those elements still exist in our society.

So, what can we do to correct that, to make our country a better place to live? I would like to suggest a very simple first step. We need to share our stories. That’s right; we need to share our stories. There is this quote in Alexander McCall Smith’s In the Company of Cheerful Ladies. “A life without stories would be no life at all. And stories bound us, did they not, one to another, the living to the dead, people to animals, people to the land?” And I would add to that”… and one race to another.” Karen Fisher wrote in her novel A Sudden Country, “Our stories are all we have. The only thing that can ever save us is to learn each other’s stories. From beginning to end….For every life we know, we are expanded.”

It is to that end – to learn each other’s stories - that I wrote March With Me. Letitia, the black protagonist, and Martha Ann, the white protagonist, live their very separate, if parallel, lives during the Civil Rights Movement years in Birmingham, Alabama. Each one’s story is valid and authentic, and we need to know both in order to fully understand that era. So, I invite you, the reader to learn their stories, and as you talk about them to others, share your story as well.

March With Me continues the discussion that began with The Help. Join us. Share your story. And the lives of all of us will be expanded.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Discrimination/ racism issues

Rosalie Turner explains why she took on racial discrimination in her latest historical novel.

March 18, 2013

Caleb Pirtle III


It is my pleasure to introduce Guest Blogger Rosalie Turner, a JC Penney Award recipient. Rosalie Turner has been writing for almost 30 years. Her sixth book, March With Me, released this month marks the 50th anniversary of the Children’s March. Visit Rosalie at www.rosalieturner.com.
Rosalie Turner
My mentor says that a writer is someone who can’t not write, and I’ve certainly found that to be true. While we must write, the question always arises, “What should I write about?” As a historical novelist, I love nothing more than to find some obscure person and expose them.

My first novel was about Anna Kingsley of Kingsley Plantation in Florida. No one had really told her story and she was an amazing woman, a role model of strength and inner courage for all of us. Anna was born of royal blood in 1793 in Senegal. She was captured at the age of 13 in a tribal raid, survived the horrific Middle Passage, and was brought as a slave to Spanish East Florida. I tell her story in Freedom Bound, which won an award from the Florida First Coast Writers Association.

After releasing two more historical novels – Sisters of Valor, which won a Military Writers Society of America Award, and Beyond the Dream, based loosely on my great-grandparents, I struggled with my next book subject.

For years, the story of the hundreds of black children who left school to march with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement had captured my attention. I knew that 2013 would be the 50th anniversary of their pivotal march, so I decided to write about it as a tribute to them.

As with most things, the more I delved into their stories, the more impressed I was with what they had accomplished. In the 1960s. Birmingham, Alabama was considered the most racist place in the country. African-Americans were completely segregated from the white population. The schools were segregated, the churches, the clubs, the waiting rooms and water fountains – everything. Blacks could not use the downtown public library; to get food from the few restaurants they could use, they had to go in the back door to order, then take their food outside. Overseeing and enforcing all this was the ruthless “Bull” Connor, Commissioner of Public Safety.

When Dr. King entered the scene with his non-violent protest, the adults in the black community were not interested in marching with him. They had too much to lose – their jobs, their homes, maybe even their lives. But the children weren’t afraid.

On the appointed day (known to them by secret code words from the local dj) thousands – literally thousands – of children left school and flocked to the 16th Street Baptist Church to march with Dr. King. Some came from as far as eighteen miles away.

And, yes, they were arrested, some even as young as eight years old, and yes, on the second day they were hosed and had police dogs snarling at them. The pressure from those hoses could tear bark off trees, and yet the children came back and marched again and again.

How could I not write of their courage? March With Me was released on March 15, and there is a lot more to their story. Please drop by my blog and share your own recollections of the Civil Rights Movement.



Friday, March 15, 2013

Civil Rights Movement Book Released

It's an exciting day - the official release of MARCH WITH ME, about all things racial/ African-American etc.
Check out this site for the 1st review. Thanks, Teddy!


http://teddyrose.blogspot.ca/2013/03/review-giveaway-march-with-me-by.html

Friday, March 8, 2013

Racism issues

Sometimes we simply accept the things we hear as truth without really looking into them. You know the phrase, "There's more black men in jail than in college"? Well, for some good background on that myth check out the root newsletter - the article "Retire the Myth: Black Men, Jail, and College."

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Civil Rights Event

Watch today's news for commemoration of the Selma-to-Montgomery March for voting rights.

Friday, March 1, 2013

March with Me video


African-American and Civil Rights site

Check out myblackfriendsays for good commentary, especially on Fridays. We need to have more dialogue between the races and the sharing of stories to bring us closer.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Racism. Civil Rights Movement/ the Children's March Discussions

Just got back from a week of giving talks at Texas A & M - Commerce for Black History Month telling about The Children's March and the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, Alabama. I was so impressed by the students' attentiveness and good questions - and struck again by how little that generation knows of the struggles to end segregation. That lack of knowledge was a motivating factor for my writing MARCH WITH ME.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

For Black History Month - favorite quote on racial relations

This is my favorite quote from former MS Gov. William Winter of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliationn in honor of his 90th birthday. He is the finest statesman we have ever known.

"It [the cause of improved race relations] is a matter of developing a sense of trust based on everybody—black and white—trying to start from the same place. That is admittedly harder for blacks to do than whites…But there must come a time in the life of every community… when we must recognize that we are all in this together—when we must move past the old divisions of race and recognize our common interests and our common humanity."
William Winter, former Mississippi governor, speech, Jackson,
Mississippi, March 1, 1999

Monday, February 18, 2013

Great African-American/ Civil Rights Movement site

There are so many commemorative events going on this year for the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement. Keep up with them all at this wonderful blog site: www.strugglecontinues.org

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

African-Americans and Whites - Share Your Stories

What is one of the best ways to deal with racism? We should share our stories. When we know each other our racial feelings and discrimination start to lessen. What is a better way to honor Black History Month?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Excerpt from MARCH WITH ME

PROLOGUE
April 1963
THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA

History weaves its silent strands around us, around and around us until we are part of its fabric. Later we wonder, “When did that happen? How did it happen?” History happens while we’re living our lives: our everyday lives of going to school, going to work, going to the store, giving and taking, laughing and crying, dreaming and doing.

The strands of history wove their way into the flowering spring of that southern steel city, Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963, where two worlds existed: one for Negroes limited by invisible barriers, and one for whites, unaware that the barriers also limited them. It was a very different time, a time when whites and blacks lived completely separate lives, knowing nothing about the other’s reality, much less their beliefs, hopes, and dreams. And so into the texture of life in Alabama were woven strands of mistrust, fear, and hatred: a perfect place for the civil rights movement to rip forth.

The civil rights movement hadn’t really started with Rosa Parks, although she did get the nation’s attention when she was simply so tired she didn’t give up her seat on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama. But that had been eight years before. Eight years, and what had been accomplished since then? Sit-ins, beatings, attacks on the Freedom Riders, riots. Even Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had to admit there was not the hoped-for progress, especially after his failure to attract national attention and momentum for the Movement in Albany, Georgia, in the summer of 1962.
By April 1963, King and several other members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference had developed a plan, and Birmingham was at the center. Wyatt Tee Walker, one of the founders of SCLC, thought a large nonviolent movement with direct action against the downtown businesses and government offices would provoke officials and law enforcement to such a strong reaction that the media would be attracted to their cause. King told them, “If we fill the jails with demonstrators, the focus of the country will be on Birmingham. How could the city leaders refuse to negotiate if that works?” But that didn’t happen, and King began to despair.

Good Friday morning dawned overcast and humid. Indecision about what to do next filled the conference room. Should they march, knowing they would be arrested for parading without a permit? Possible bail money was drying up. Would it help or hinder the Movement to have the leaders and the few adult marchers in jail? Opinion shifted back and forth as tensions mounted. Finally, Dr. King and Rev. Abernathy appeared in their denim “work clothes.” They would march. Rev. Shuttlesworth joined them for the first part of the walk which, of course, led to arrest and jail.

Eight days passed before Dr. King was released, yet even now, with King among them, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth was still worried. Although he acknowledged that Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” was getting some national attention, the Movement hadn’t attracted the boost they had hoped for. What was it gonna take? he wondered as they met for a strategy session in Room 30 of the Gaston Motel not far from the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. His fingers drummed the table, as his slim frame slouched in the chair. I’m the one that encouraged Martin to come down here. I know how disappointing his push in Georgia was. He needs something big to happen. We haven’t had a big success since Rosa Parks and the bus boycott in Montgomery. If he could make a change in Birmingham, why, that would make a huge difference what with Birmingham being the most racist place in America. We’ve gotten the media down here, but we’re gonna lose them soon. We’ve got to do something!

Rev. Shuttlesworth thought back to the mass meetings they had been having for several weeks, the meetings that were to stir the adults into marching with Dr. King. Why wouldn’t they march? Of course I know the answer, and I can’t fault them. Lord, the atrocities we’ve seen and endured.

“Martin,” he began, “think about what life’s been like for us here in Birmingham. How many times has the Klan bombed Bethel Baptist, my own church for heaven’s sake, and my home when I’ve tried to desegregate things? Why do they call it ‘Bombingham’—fifty unsolved bombings of our people in the last twenty years? Remember what the mob did to me when I took the children to desegregate Phillips High School? They almost killed me, man.” He looked around the table. The men’s stubbled faces and baggy, shadowed eyes were testimony to the ordeal they all felt.
Dr. King nodded solemnly. “I know. I know,” he said. His fingers tapped against the white ceramic mug that held cold, bitter coffee.

“And what happened at the meeting with our folk last night, let me ask you that? We’re not gonna get the adults, Martin, and that’s a fact. They’re too frightened.”
They both sat silently, remembering the emotional meeting with a group of adults the previous evening.

“Dr. King,” one man stood, dressed in a worn but well-ironed blue shirt and khaki pants, “We understand what y’all wanna do here, but look at it for us. You come and get things all stirred up, then y’all go away, and we’re left with the mess; no jobs, the Klan after any a’ us that marched. What you think’s gonna happen to us then?” He sat down, a frown on his dark, lined face.

“I do understand, but y’all need to look at the big picture, what marching will accomplish,” Dr. King responded.

A woman jumped up and shook her finger at Dr. King. “The big picture? Let me tell you something. The ‘big picture’ is what we made for our ownselves here. We keep our children safe, Dr. King. We keep our neighborhoods close-knit so we watch over everybody’s children. Our churches, our schools, our neighborhoods—they be the center of our lives. We built up our own businesses on Fourth Avenue so our children don’t need never to go downtown and find out the hard way how the whites treat us. We look out for all the children as long as we can. And we, grown-ups, we walk the straight line so we don’t agitate no whites. We do our work, we never look them in the eye, we never ’spect them to call us Miz or Mister, and we stay quiet. We know what we got to do to survive.” Her voice rose even louder, her hands punctuating every word. “And y’all come here, stirring trouble, causing riots, and who’s gonna get hurt? Us. We lose our jobs, or our houses, or even our lives, Dr. King. And that’s the ‘big picture.’” She sat down to a chorus of amens and “tell it, Sister.”

Dr. King held up a conciliatory hand. “Sisters and Brothers, I know what you go through down here. We walk the same path. But we have to end it. We have to get the nation to pay attention, to get Washington to pay attention, so we can have legislation that will change things. Keeping your children close and safe is good, but they are not free. It’s freedom we need to experience life fully, to be all we can be, to have the jobs we deserve.”

Dr. King had shared all the reasons for marching: how by filling the jail the world would see how bad things were in the South, and legislation would be enacted to bring about change; how the black schools didn’t have nearly the resources of the white schools; how black teachers were paid only 60 percent of what white teachers made; how the job market could open up with integration; how limited the world was for blacks in the South. But it didn’t matter. The adults wanted no part of marching, and that evening’s meeting convinced the leaders.

The new man in the group, Rev. James Bevel, broke the lengthening silence and spoke up. “You called me here, Martin; now why won’t you listen to my plan?” His piercing, dark eyes held Dr. King’s gaze for a moment, as if the fire in them could sear through Dr. King’s reluctance.

Dr. King shook his head. “I’m listening, James, but I can’t go along with you. Certainly we can use the help of the students from Miles College to march with us, but not the younger children. It could be dangerous.”

“Dangerous?” exclaimed Rev. Abernathy. “Of course, it’s dangerous, Martin. It’s dangerous for all of us every day.”

“That’s no reason to expose children to the risk.”

Bevel leaned forward with intensity. “You want to fill the jails, don’t you? I can guarantee hundreds, thousands of kids. You want to get TV coverage, don’t you? I can’t think of a better way. This’ll work, Martin. I’m sure of it.”

Rev. Shuttlesworth thought about Bull Connor, the Commissioner of Public Safety, whose hatred against blacks was legendary. Would he take action against children? Rev. Shuttlesworth couldn’t answer that. But now is the time. I’ve been working since the ’50s, and are we any better off today? No. We’ve got Martin here. We’ve got the media coverage. Let’s move with it. Sure, I was hesitant to bring in Bevel with his reputation as a hothead, but he was doing a great job in Mississippi getting voter registration. He does get results. We’re all members of SCLC, and we’re all working for the same thing.

Rev. Shuttlesworth put his hand on Dr. King’s arm. “Let’s listen to what James has to say. You’ve been calling this ‘Project C’ for confrontation. Now is the time for that confrontation, Martin.”

Rev. Bevel acknowledged Shuttlesworth’s support with a nod. “Look at who’s the most responsive at our evening meetings. These kids are fired up.” Bevel continued, “They’re ready, and we need them.”

Dr. King nodded reluctantly. His thoughts turned to the children, how na├»ve they were, how they loved the idea of keeping their possibly marching a secret from the grown-up world. At the last mass meeting when he’d called for those who were willing to march with him to stand up, it was the young people who had stood. They would march, he knew, but any resulting violence would shatter their innocence once and forever. Could he allow that?

The next few days and nights were even more intense as Dr. King anguished and prayed. Rev. James Bevel preached to and coaxed the young people. Shelley “the Playboy” Stewart and “Tall Paul” Dudley White, popular black DJs on radio station WENN, urged the kids on with coded words.

Negro kids knew that when Shelley Stewart gave his jive talk about having a party or a picnic, he was really talking about marching for the Movement. They had come to identify certain songs with what they were going to do, and all this time parents and other adults were kept in the dark about the hidden meanings. School and athletic student leaders slipped away to lunch meetings at the Gaston Motel with Rev. Bevel to learn how to secretly spread the word. Little cards that could be hidden from adults were passed out saying “Fight for freedom. Then go to school.” Their parents knew the DJs had started talking to the young people about the injustices in their world, but they had other things on their minds, and so they missed the warning flags of what was to come.

Tensions, excitement, determination, and fear grew as the warp and weft wove together forming the final tapestry.

Finally, there were the children. And history happened.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

African-American anad Civil Rights Movement History

Because of my research on racial injustice, the Children's March, Martin Luther King, Jr., and all that went on during the Civil Rights Movement and the years of racism, I have been invited to speak in a series of lectures for Black History Month at Texas A & M - Commerce. What an honor! All that research was for my next book, MARCH WITH ME.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Civil Rights Movement Memories

Do you remember those brave African-American young men who first sat at the lunch counter in Greensboro on this day so many years ago? This was early in the non-vioent fight against racial injustice. Let's not forget them.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Civil Rights Movement memories

With the recent celebration of Martin Luther King Jr Day, we've been remembering a lot of Dr. King's activities to overcome racism and racial inequality. Things were heating up for the tumultuous events in the spring of 1963 in Birmingham. Let's use this time to reflect on what happened first. A powerful way to remember is to visit the parsonage in Montgomery, Alabama where Dr. King served. You can stand around the olf formica table where he anguished and made the decision to lead the Civil Rights Movement.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Civil Rights Movement anniverseries

I'll be sending tweets to commemorate all the 50th anniversery Civil Rights Movement events from now on. See how many you remember. How far has racial reconciliation come since then? Do you see racism around you? Are African-Americans and whites fulfilling Martin Luther King Jr's dream? Where do you stand in racial equality issues?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Martin Luther King Jr's birthday

What an amzing day! Fifty years ago who would have thought that 1) MLK's birthday would be a national holiday? and 2) we would be celebrating the inauguration of a black president? Let's celebrate our progress in racial equality by pledging to move forward even more.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Civil Rights Movement Memories

2013 is the big year of 50th anniverseries for the Civil Rights Movement. What better way to kick off the year than the January birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.? A different way to celebrate - visit his old parsonage in Montgomery, AL and stand around the kitchen table where he made the soul-searching decision to be a voice against racism.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Birmingham, Alabama

We're back in Alabama, and so many people are talking about the commemoration of those important Civil Rights Movement events - the Children's March, Martin Luther King, Jr's "Letter From Birmingham Jail", the tragic loss of four little girls at the church bombing, plus the killing of two other boys that day. It's time to look at how far we've come - and how much further we have to go.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Memories of the Civil Rights Movement

Does it help or hurt to bring up the injustices that occurred in our country in race relations? Can African-Americans and whites talk together about racism?

Monday, January 7, 2013

More Civil Rights Movement books recommendations

No one writes about Martin Luther King, Jr. better than Taylor Branch. Read Parting the Waters, Pillar of Fire, or At Canaan's Edge for a wonderful read. For a quicker read tomorrow (Jan 8th) you can get The King Years on kindles.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Children's March - Civil Rights Movement

Important, yet little-known, event in the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, AL. Google it or read "We've Got A Job" by Cynthia Levinson.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

An important new year for African-American history regarding the Civil Rights Movement

We'll see a lot about the Civil Rights Movement this year as it will be the 50th anniversary of the Children's March, the March on Washington, and the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church that killed four young girls. This would be a good year to brush up on your history. I recommend "Carry Me Home" by Diane McWhorter. Follow my blog posts for more recommendations.