Monthly Archive for October, 2011

From the NECD Community VOICE: Thank You, Pauli Murray

From our friends at the Northeast Central Durham Community VOICE comes a moving article about civil rights activist Pauli Murray.

Murray, who moved to Durham, North Carolina, at age three, was the first African American woman to be ordained as an Episcopal priest. She was valedictorian of her class at Howard University Law School, and, twenty years later, became the first African American to be awarded a Doctor of Juridical Science degree from Yale University Law School. She worked tirelessly throughout her career to dismantle the Jim Crow system and advance the struggle for civil rights and equality.

Visit the VOICE’s website to read much more about Murray and the ways in which Durham residents continue to honor her many contributions.

In addition to organizing protests and sit-ins and authoring several compelling works, Murray was a founding member of the National Organization for Women (NOW). The Winter Park Institute at Rollins College will mark NOW’s 45th anniversary with a series of events this weekend (visit the events page for more information).

Check out Anne Firor Scott’s edited volume, Pauli Murray and Caroline Ware: Forty Years of Letters in Black and White  (UNC Press, 2009), for further reading.

Capital Punishment: Books for Understanding

Today the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) published the newest Books for Understanding resource, “Capital Punishment.” The bibliography compiles more than 80 scholarly works from more than 30 AAUP member presses.

The September execution of Troy Davis reawakened the debate over the use of the death penalty in the United States and reminded publishers of the variety of illuminating scholarship published by university presses, ranging in concentration from general history to legality and ethics to the depiction of capital punishment in the arts. Here is the final guide, collecting those works for the development of “knowledge, not information”:

For a thoughtful essay on the significance of the Troy Davis execution, see this post from LCRM colleague Seth Kotch:

MLK National Memorial Dedication Draws Thousands

Thousands of people from across the country converged on Washington’s National Mall on Sunday for the official dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial. While it would be impossible to convey the energy and the joy that accompanied the celebration, it is my hope that the following pictures–showing both speakers/performers and audience members–will give readers an idea of what it was like to be present at this historic event. No one could have hoped for a more beautiful day or a more friendly and enthusiastic crowd.

Note: Click to enlarge screen and then click “show info” to view the slideshow with captions.

MLK National Memorial Will Be Dedicated This Weekend

On this day 47 years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, becoming the youngest recipient in the prize’s history. King would later donate the prize money to the civil rights movement.

Today, King is arguably the most well-known civil rights leader in American history. His “I Have a Dream” speech (audio) is quoted and studied in classrooms across the country. Most American cities have a park or a street named after him. And now, finally, King’s contributions have been nationally recognized with the construction of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial.

This weekend, people from across the country (including LCRM blogger Allie Shay, with camera in tow) will travel to Washington, D.C., to take part in the official dedication of the new memorial. The dedication, originally scheduled for the anniversary of the March on Washington, was postponed because of Hurricane Irene. The new date happens to be the sixteenth anniversary of the Million Man March.

Beginning at 8 a.m. this Sunday, television personalities, singers, members of the King family, politicians, and more will take the stage in honor of King’s legacy. President Barack Obama will deliver the dedication address.

Check back early next week to see my pictures of the dedication.

A Spotlight on Jacquelyn Hall

UNC recently ran a feature on Jacquelyn Hall, former director of the Southern Oral History Program and recent inductee into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Check it out.

Oral History Seminar in Kenya

Check out this piece on the Southern Oral History Program’s work in Kenya this past summer. Carolina students traveled there with Interim Director Della Pollock to interview rural Kenyans who were forced to resettle to make way for mining projects. The article includes some great audio. Take a look.

Remembering the first African American Supreme Court Justice

On this day 44 years ago, Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as an associate justice of the Supreme Court, becoming the first African American to serve on America’s highest court.

Well-known as a leading attorney in the landmark case Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Marshall worked for the NAACP for years before becoming a Second Circuit Court of Appeals judge, Solicitor General, and, finally, an associate justice of the Supreme Court. He would spend 24 years on the Supreme Court before retiring at age 82. He became a pillar of the civil rights movement, working tirelessly throughout his career to bring an end to America’s long history of discrimination and segregation

A graduate of Lincoln University, Marshall was denied enrollment at the University of Maryland’s School of Law because of his race. He graduated first in his class from Howard University Law School, and later represented Donald Murray in a lawsuit that integrated the University of Maryland. Interestingly, the University of Maryland later named its law library after Marshall.

To learn more about Marshall’s life and work, check out this article written by the New York Times on the day he died.

Baltimore’s airport, named after Thurgood Marshall, provides another thorough biography.