NAACP

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand speaks to reporters
Jesse King / WAMC

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand appeared in Albany today, speaking with members of the New York State Chapter of the NAACP. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports the Democrat campaigning for re-election focused her speech on racial and social inequalities.

Ralph Boyd Sr. (center) poses with members of Community Fathers Incorporated.
Community Fathers Incorporated

A beloved Schenectady activist died over the weekend.

wikipedia

Another anti-violence forum is scheduled for Saturday in Albany.

The struggle to desegregate America's schools was a grassroots movement, and young women were its vanguard. In the late 1940s, parents began to file desegregation lawsuits with their daughters, forcing Thurgood Marshall and other civil rights lawyers to take up the issue and bring it to the Supreme Court. After the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, girls far outnumbered boys in volunteering to desegregate formerly all-white schools.

In "A Girl Stands at the Door," historian Rachel Devlin tells the remarkable stories of these desegregation pioneers. She also explains why black girls were seen, and saw themselves, as responsible for the difficult work of reaching across the color line in public schools. 

Rachel Devlin is an associate professor of history at Rutgers University.

Michael Eric Dyson is one of America’s premier public intellectuals and the author of the New York Times bestseller "Tears We Cannot Stop." He occupies the distinguished position of University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University, is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, and is a contributing editor of The New Republic and ESPN’s The Undefeated. Ebony magazine named him one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans and one of the 150 most powerful blacks in the nation.

His new book, "What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America" highlights a pivotal moment in America’s recent past. In May, 1963 a leading politician ended up learning more than he had bargained for when he asked America’s then hottest writer, and his friends over for a chat about black America’s rage. RFK walked away from the nearly three-hour meeting livid – that the black folk assembled didn’t understand politics, and that they weren’t as easy to talk to as Martin Luther King. But Kennedy’s anger quickly gave way to empathy. Kennedy set about changing policy – the meeting having transformed his thinking in fundamental ways.

Every big argument about race that persists to this day got a hearing in that room: disdain for black dissent, the belief that black folk wallow in the politics of ingratitude and victimhood, and that they lack hustle and ingenuity. In "What Truth Sounds Like," Dr. Dyson deftly merges this past and our present to explore the tense intersection of the conflict between politics and prophecy – of whether we embrace political resolution or moral redemption to fix our fractured racial landscape.

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The NAACP is suing Connecticut over how it counts inmates when crafting legislative districts, arguing it weakens urban districts.

W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most important African-American activists during the first half of the 20th century. He co-founded the NAACP, supported Pan-Africanism, and was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Du Bois was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts 150 years ago this month and Great Barrington's Du Bois anniversary celebration began on January 15 and will continue throughout 2018.

Here to tell us more are Dennis Powell, President of the Berkshire County Branch NAACP;and member of the Steering Committee Du Bois Lecture Series; Professor Dr. Whitney Battle-Baptiste, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Du Bois Center at UMass Amherst; Ted Thomas, poet and teacher who directs the student Du Bois spoken word programs; and Barbara Dean, musician, performer, and radio DJ who has worked on Du Bois issues and promotion in Great Barrington for about three decades.

In the documentary film, The Rape of Recy Taylor, Nancy Buirski reconstructs events from 1944, when Recy Taylor, a twenty-four-year-old black woman in Abbeville, Alabama, was abducted on her way home from church by six white men who then raped her. Though Taylor identified her attackers, a local grand jury did not indict anyone for the crime. The NAACP mobilized a national campaign on Taylor’s behalf, sending Rosa Parks, its leading rape investigator to Abbeville. She and others recognized that, if justice could be served, it would be the result of reporting outside the immediate area. They nationalized the case yet the perpetrators remained uncharged, and the case slipped into oblivion.

The film will screen in Woodstock on Saturday at 10 a.m. as part of the Woodstock Film Festival and Nancy Buirski will be there for a Q&A following.

This is a photo of NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks.
NAACP

NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks will deliver the 21st annual W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture tonight at Bard College at Simon's Rock in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Brooks says he wants to encourage millennials to transform their activism into scholarship, like Du Bois did 150 years ago. 

  Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II serves as President of the North Carolina NAACP and convener of the Forward Together Moral Movement, an alliance of more than 200 progressive organizations in North Carolina.

The Forward Together Moral Movement, better known as “Moral Monday,” is a multi-racial, multi-generational movement to battle immoral, extreme policies adopted by the governor and state legislature.

The North Carolina NAACP and the Forward Together Moral Movement are now engaged in litigation to reverse the worst voter suppression laws in the country. Barber is the author of the book The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics and the Rise of a New Justice Movement.

He will be speaking as part of The Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King Lecture Series on Nonviolent Social Change at Siena College Wednesday 3/30 at 7PM. His talk is titled: “Moral Dissenters are a Necessity for the Destiny, Choosing the Path to Higher Ground.”

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Facebook: NAACP-Berkshire County Branch

The head of Vermont's first official branch of the NAACP says the organization has received several discrimination complaints since it opened this year.

 Thurgood Marshall the first African American to be nominated to the Supreme Court, brought down the separate but equal doctrine, integrated schools, worked with the NAACP's legal defense fund, and not only fought for human rights and human dignity, but also made them impossible to deny in the courts and in the streets. In a new biography, Showdown: Thurgood Marshall And The Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America, award winning author, Will Haygood, details the life and career of one of the most transformative legal minds of the past one hundred years.

Pat Bradley/WAMC

A new chapter of the NAACP held its inaugural public meeting last night in Vermont. The group is aiming for social justice in one of the nation’s whitest states.

Werth Media/Flickr

NEWBURGH – Unity was the message at a vigil and march for Trayvon Martin in Newburgh Monday night. Fifty people, residents and members of Community Voices Heard and the NAACP, gathered to protest George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the murder of the Florida teenager.

“From this day forward,” community activist Beatrice Harris said, “we have to stand together as ‘the people’.”  

Poughkeepsie Rally Over Zimmerman Acquittal

Jul 15, 2013
Werth Media/Flickr

POUGHKEEPSIE – The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Florida murder trial of Trayvon Martin brought more than 30 people to Mansion Square Park in Poughkeepsie Sunday afternoon to honor Trayvon.

People ranging in age from 10 to 56 gathered holding signs reading “whose son is next?” and “enough is enough.”

Local activist organizations including Real Majority Project, the International Socialist Organization, AME Zion, ENJAN, NAACP and others were represented.

Mae Parker-Harris spoke about the sadness of this time for the whole community.