Black History August 29th

August 29, 1957 Civil Rights Act
First Step

After the Civil War Blacks were no longer slaves but citizens and had rights and including the right to vote.  There were states particularly in the south that hindered our voting right with poll tax and other pervasive ways. Unfortunately for us, Jim Crow laws as well as violence  kept us disenfranchised .

With the above conditions we were shackled as we were slavery.   Congress didn’t consider civil rights act legislation until 1957.  From 1875 until 1957 there was decades of no civil rights legislation. The Civil Rights Act of 1957 was signed by President Eisenhower.

1957 – The Civil Rights Act of 1957 is passed by Congress. It is
the first civil rights legislation since 1875. The bill
establishes a civil rights commission and a civil rights
division in the Justice Department. It also gave the
Justice Department authority to seek injunctions against
voting rights infractions.

President Kennedy in June 1963 proposed legislation saying the United States “will not be fully free until all of its citizens are free.”

After the death of President Kennedy, President Johnson took up the cause of the Civil Rights legislation.  “Let this session of Congress be known as the session which did more for civil rights than the last hundred sessions combined,” Johnson said.  The passing of this legislation was not an easy feat. There were ‘good ol boys’ in Congress who did not want this legislation passed.

A Virginian segregationist introduced bill to ban employment discrimination against women. Eventually, the bill passed the House by vote of 290 – 130. The bill moved to the U.S. Senate.  Where there was great opposition by southern and Border States. They filibustered for 75 days.  This was one of longest filibuster in history. Robert Byrd from West Virginia former Ku Klux Klan member spoke for over 14 consecutive hours.

The Senate voted 73-27 in favor of the bill, and Johnson signed it into law on July 2, 1964. “It is an important gain, but I think we just delivered the South to the Republican Party for a long time to come,” Johnson, a Democrat, purportedly told an aide later that day in a prediction that would largely come true. –expert from History Channel.

Selma – 50 years later


The President hugs Rep. John Lewis after his introduction. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The President hugs Rep. John Lewis after his introduction.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

African Americans are honoring the sacrifice of those brave enough to participate 50 years ago in the  peacefully protest for the right to vote.  Pete Souza has a beautiful slide presentation. Click here to enjoy – Pete Souza.

History: Colfax Massacre

The Root) — Amazing Fact About the Negro No. 41: Which massacre resulted in a Supreme Court decision limiting the federal government’s ability to protect black Americans from racial targeting?colfax_la

In Colfax, La., on Easter Sunday 1873, a mob of white insurgents, including ex-Confederate and Union soldiers, led an assault on the Grant Parish Courthouse, the center of civic life in the community, which was occupied and surrounded — and defended — by black citizens determined to safeguard the results of the state’s most recent election. book title - massacre They, too, were armed, but they did not have the ammunition to outlast their foes, who, outflanking them, proceeded to mow down dozens of the courthouse’s black defenders, even when they surrendered their weapons. The legal ramifications were as horrifying as the violence — and certainly more enduring; in an altogether different kind of massacre, United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the U.S. Supreme Court tossed prosecutors’ charges against the killers in favor of severely limiting the federal government’s role in protecting the emancipated from racial targeting, especially at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan.newspaper

Black folks could NEVER depend on the U. S. Supreme Court to protect our voting rights even 140 years after Colfax.  When we don’t remember history we are doomed to repeat it.

5 things that made last week a crappy week …


5 Things that made last week a crappy week….

most crappy....
most crappy….
  1. The Supreme Court’s ruling on the voting rights act.  Yes, they killed the very essence of the voting rights act and the President and those from the civil rights movement are disappointed with the court’s decision.  “I think what the court did today is stab the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in its very heart,” Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who was with President Johnson when he signed the law and who was beaten at Selma, said on the MSNBC program “Andrea Mitchell Reports.”  Another pet peeve, Clarence “UNCLE TOM” Thomas our Black Justice who does everything in his power to lash out at Black folks like he hates us as well as himself.  Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a concurring opinion and said that he would have struck down not just the map but the requirement that any jurisdiction get federal clearance to change a voting law. OMG!!  What planet is this man ON.
  2. Trayvon Martin trial started and it was difficult to hear news from the court room.  George Zimmerman case is an example of how a white man can kill a 17 year old unarmed Black boy for just walking down the street and its NOT a typical case of racial profiling but of “standing your ground” bullsh*t.  How does a Black mother bear the lost of her son but stay strong to fight for justice for her son?  trayvon_martin_zimmerman
  3. Mandela is dying.  One of my heroes of the 21st century. And now, Mandela is dying.  I was never concerned about Black people at the International level until I learned of South Africa and Mandela. He opened my eyes to the plight of Black South Africans at the hands of apartheid.
    mandella young nelson
  4. Paula Deen has “Michael Vick” herself this week.  Yeah, I heard Jamie Foxx on a hip-hop radio station respond when ask, “What’s new, Jamie.” And he said, “I’m just trying not to Michael Vick myself, man.”  I was a fan of Paula’s until this week.  Being Black, I automatically assume that if a person is white and from the south then you could be a racist.  Well, you REALLY think all white people are racist until they show you they are NOT.
  5. I gained weight on vacation and that’s crappy too!

Supreme Court – Voting Rights!

I love this segment of SNL with Kevin Hart and Seth Meyers about the Supreme Court. excerpt from Black Voices – Huffington Post:

Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia saying that key parts of the Civil Rights Act is the result of the “perpetuation of racial entitlement,” “Saturday Night Live” Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers and stand-up comedian Kevin Hart had one question for Scalia and the right wing of the Supreme Court: Really?!


There were many Blacks that held state and federal office due to the large population/concentration of Blacks in certain areas right after slavery.  Since the Emancipation Proclamation, southern whites looked for ways to keep us in a servitude, harsh and controlling environment by creating laws that kept us from voting and citizenry with the duplicity of the Supreme Court in upholding of some of these laws.

The different attempts to keep Blacks from voting.

Poll Tax – proof of having paid taxes or poll taxes  and sometimes used with literacy test.

Education Requirement – literacy test with stipulations not to effect white voters.

Eight Box -indirect literacy test implemented by putting the right size ballot in the correct box.

Grandfather Clause – you could vote if your father or grandfather voted.


African Americans could not vote in the south and different parts of America from 1870 until the passage of the Voters Rights Act of 1965.

NOW – Voter ID

American Voters Rights and Malcolm X

The great orators of my time were the Black freedom fighters in the 50’s and 60’s.  Everyone has heard of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech but there were those from different parts of Black life inAmericawho fought for civil rights too.  For example, the Muslim Malcolm X.  One of the great orators I did not have the privilege of hearing much of was Malcolm X.  He came up in an article concerning the present national office of the NAACP President Ben Jealous.   Listen to Malcolm short interview”

Jealous is up in arms concerning the state legislation in many states who are putting laws in place to disenfranchise minority groups.  Jealous is charging these states are executing a campaign to keep the minority groups, elderly citizens and the young from voting. Jealous and other organizations are traveling to Genevato ask the Human Rights Commission to investigate these states.  “We are hoping they will come over here, look at the impact of these laws, look at the intent, and actually render their recommendations about what actions we should take with regard to these laws,” USA Today quoted Jealous as saying during a media conference call on.

In my state voter ID legislation is house bill 934 and considered the toughest voter ID legislation in the country.