Recy Taylor, Who Fought for Justice After a 1944 Rape, Dies at 97 – The New York Times

Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old African-American sharecropper, was walking home from church in Abbeville, Ala., on the night of Sept. 3, 1944, when she was abducted and raped by six white men.

The crime was extensively covered in the black press and an early catalyst for the civil rights movement. The N.A.A.C.P. sent a young activist from its Montgomery, Ala., chapter named Rosa Parks to investigate. African-Americans around the country demanded that the men be prosecuted.

Recy Taylor, Who Fought for Justice After a 1944 Rape, Dies at 97 – The New York Times

micdotcom:

Bernice King, MLK Jr.’s daughter, just epically took down that problematic Pepsi ad

  • King is not the only one to criticize the Pepsi spot, which was released this week and struck many as a tone-deaf ad attempting to capitalize on the vague concept of social justice. 
  • But King’s critique is especially biting considering her father’s legacy. 
  • Martin Luther King Jr. stood his ground in countless incidents with police who used violent tactics in response to his peaceful protests, and, to his daughter’s point, offering a can of soda probably wouldn’t have help them see eye-to-eye with his mission of social justice — or stopped him from being assassinated. Read more. (4/5/2017 1:09 PM)

micdotcom:

Bernice King, MLK Jr.’s daughter, just epically took down that problematic Pepsi ad

  • King is not the only one to criticize the Pepsi spot, which was released this week and struck many as a tone-deaf ad attempting to capitalize on the vague concept of social justice. 
  • But King’s critique is especially biting considering her father’s legacy. 
  • Martin Luther King Jr. stood his ground in countless incidents with police who used violent tactics in response to his peaceful protests, and, to his daughter’s point, offering a can of soda probably wouldn’t have help them see eye-to-eye with his mission of social justice — or stopped him from being assassinated. Read more. (4/5/2017 1:09 PM)

the-movemnt:

Jeff Sessions is doing exactly what we thought he would

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review Monday of all 14 consent decrees made with police departments under the Obama administration, casting doubt on whether those agreements — which the Justice Department had ordered to accelerate police reform — would survive the Trump era.“Local control and local accountability are necessary for effective local policing,” Sessions wrote in the two-page memo. 
  • “It is not the responsibility of the federal government to manage non-federal law enforcement agencies.“None of this is surprising. 
  • Sessions has long sought to delegitimize reports that police departments have engaged in rampant civil rights abuses against black residents. At a press conference in February, he dismissed the DOJ’s findings about the Chicago police, even though he hadn’t read them. Read more. (4/4/2017 2:02 PM)

usnatarchives:

The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees all Americans—children as well as adults—the right “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” 

Andrew S. Evans wrote to President Harry S. Truman to voice his opposition to racially segregated playgrounds. The 11-year-old lived only“about three yds. from a white playground,” he wrote. But he was prohibited from using the playground and had to go to one “4 or 5 blocks away.” 

Evans requested a response from Truman, but there is no record of a response. 

In the same file is another letter from a child, J. Jagliarin, who writes:  

I am 9 years old and I think it was a disgrace that in Washington 51 children were not let in to a hotel because 4 children were colored.  The capital is supposed to be for freedom.  I am proud to be an american but this makes me feel ashamed because in my own classroom we made up a play on brother hood.

Join the #RightsAndJustice conversation on May 20 at 1:30 pm ET!

Documents:

Andrew S. Evans to President Truman, June 20, 1949. National Archives, Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum

J. Jagliarin to President Truman, May 28, 1948. National Archives, Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum

montanabohemian:

UNDAUNTED:  RARE AND CLASSIC PHOTOS OF MLK AND THE FREEDOM RIDERS, 1961

It’s mid-spring, 1961.  In the kitchen of a safe house in Montgomery, Ala., Martin Luther King Jr. is tense.  In the house with the 32-year-old civil rights leader are 17 students — fresh-faced college kids who, moved by King’s message of racial equality, are literally putting their lives at risk. These are the groundbreaking practitioners of nonviolent civil disobedience known as the Freedom Riders, and over the past two harrowing weeks, as they’ve traveled across the state on integrated buses, their numbers have diminished at every stop in the face of arrests, mob beatings — even fire-bombings.

Right there along with the riders, capturing the mood of the movement as it swung between exhilarated and exhausted, thrilled and terrified, was 26-year-old LIFE photographer Paul Schutzer, who covered the landmark Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom march and rally in Washington, D.C., four years earlier and witnessed firsthand the courage and determination Dr. King inspired in his followers. (Filed along with Schutzer’s Pilgrimage photos in LIFE’s archives are notes from the magazine’s Washington bureau chief, Henry Suydam Jr., citing the energy and excitement swirling around King even then: “At the end of the ceremonies, a couple of hundred people pressed feverishly on Reverend King — seeking pictures, autographs, handshakes, or just a close look. The jam got so heavy that he had to be escorted to safety by police.”)

Here, five decades after the Freedom Riders put their lives on the line for dignity and equal rights, LIFE.com presents photos — most of which never ran in LIFE — made by Schutzer during that heady era in American history. Here are images charting a pivotal moment in the historic journey of Dr. King himself and in the nation-changing movement he led, from the monuments of Washington to the highways, rural roads, churches and bus depots of the Deep South.