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 Read page 99 and leave a comment.

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
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!

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.