civil rights

    

  Between November 1963, when he became president, and November 1966, when his party was routed in the midterm elections, Lyndon Johnson spearheaded the most transformative agenda in American political history since the New Deal.

In just three years, Johnson drove the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts; the War on Poverty program; Medicare and Medicaid; the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities; Public Broadcasting; immigration liberalization; a raft of consumer and environmental protection acts; and major federal investments in public transportation.

Collectively, this group of achievements was labeled by Johnson and his team the “Great Society.” In his new book, The Fierce Urgency of Now, Princeton Professor of History Julian Zelizer looks at the full story.

As the nation celebrates the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., WAMC takes a look at the civil rights movement and race relations today.

  Civil Rights activist and professor, Colia Clark, will be the keynote speaker of the 16th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Labor Celebration "Step Up - Take Back the Dream" on Monday, January 19th at the William S. Hackett Middle School in Albany, NY at 12:30pm.

Former College of St. Rose, SUNY Albany, and Union College adjunct professor, Colia Clark is a Mississippi native who was involved in the Civil Rights movement in her high school and college years. She was a special assistant for slain NAACP leader Medgar Evers during the time of his 1963 assassination.

    Raised in South Carolina and New York, Jacqueline Woodson always felt halfway home in each place.

In Brown Girl Dreaming she uses vivid poems to share what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.

  On two consecutive days in June 1963, in two lyrical speeches, John F. Kennedy pivots dramatically and boldly on the two greatest issues of his time: nuclear arms and civil rights. In language unheard in lily white, Cold War America, he appeals to Americans to see both the Russians and the "Negroes" as human beings.

His speech on June 10 leads to the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963; his speech on June 11 to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Based on new material -- hours of recently uncovered documentary film shot in the White House and the Justice Department, fresh interviews, and a rediscovered draft speech -- Two Days in June by Andrew Cohen captures Kennedy at the high noon of his presidency in startling, granular detail.

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A group of some 75 University at Albany students shut down part of Washington Avenue on Wednesday afternoon in a peaceful protest, joining thousands of other Americans turning out in a show of solidarity against what's  perceived as police violence targeting black men. Events already were scheduled for today tied to Ferguson, but with Wednesday's grand jury decision not to indict a white New York City police officer caught on video putting a deadly chokehold on Eric Garner, the number of protests has multiplied.

  

  The Northeastern United States—home to abolitionism and a refuge for blacks fleeing the Jim Crow South—has had a long and celebrated history of racial equality and political liberalism. After World War II, the region appeared poised to continue this legacy, electing black politicians and rallying behind black athletes and cultural leaders. However, as historian Jason Sokol reveals in All Eyes Are Upon Us, these achievements obscured the harsh reality of a region driven by segregation and deep-seated racism.

  Forty years after the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, “abortion” is still a word that is said with outright hostility by many, despite the fact that one in three American women will have terminated at least one pregnancy by menopause. Even those who support a woman’s right to an abortion often qualify their support by saying abortion is a “bad thing,” an “agonizing decision,” making the medical procedure so remote and radioactive that it takes it out of the world of the everyday, turning an act that is normal and necessary into something shameful and secretive.

In Pro, Katha Pollitt takes on the personhood argument, reaffirms the priority of a woman’s life and health, and discusses why terminating a pregnancy can be a force for good for women, families, and society.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz served as the keynote speaker at a civil rights conference in Lenox Tuesday night.

  As an organizer, writer, publisher, scholar-activist, and elected official, Barbara Smith has played key roles in multiple social justice movements, including Civil Rights, feminism, lesbian and gay liberation, anti-racism, and Black feminism.

Her four decades of grassroots activism forged collaborations that introduced the idea that oppression must be fought on a variety of fronts simultaneously, including gender, race, class, and sexuality.

By combining hard-to-find historical documents with new unpublished interviews with fellow activists, her new book, Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around, uncovers the deep roots of today’s “identity politics” and “intersectionality” and serves as a primer for practicing solidarity and resistance.

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