Today marks the 54th anniversary of one of the best and worst moments of American history, “Bloody Sunday” in Selma, Alabama. Worst in the sense that it shows how incredibly mean and stupid some people could be, and best in showing the bravery and toughness to overcome that stupidity. Even though the right to vote […]Read More Bloody Sunday: The Worst and Best of America
122 years ago today, Marian Anderson, the grandchild of a slave, was born in Philadelphia. She was so beautifully talented as a singer that Arturo Toscanini once called her “the talent of a generation”. In her life she would find herself at one of the most important crossroads of art, politics, and humanity in American […]Read More Marian Anderson: The Talent of a Generation We Almost Missed Out On
25 years ago today, February 5, 1994, Byron De La Beckwith was finally convicted for the murder of civil rights activist Medgar Evers. Evers was killed on June 12, 1963. It was a seminal moment in the American civil rights movement. Evers was born in 1925 in Decatur, Mississippi. When he was fourteen, Evers witnessed […]Read More The Long and Slow Road To Justice in Mississippi
On what would have been his 90th birthday, I find myself reflecting upon my last visit to the Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington D.C. a few years ago. The monument, the man, and the Movement are too often misunderstood. The monument fittingly shows him to emerge from a mountain. The mountain represents the […]Read More Pushing Through the Mountain
On this date in 1881, one of the most impactful men in the 20th century and baseball history was born: Branch Rickey. Most Americans know him as the man who signed Jackie Robinson, thereby integrating Major League Baseball and providing an essential catalyst for the civil rights movement that was finding momentum far too slowly […]Read More Branch Rickey: A Man Who Made America and Baseball Better
Today is the birthday of one of the most important athletes of all time, Jesse Owens. His story is an incredible one, with an interesting baseball twist that not many people know. Jesse Owens was the grandson of a slave who grew up in rural Alabama picking ten pounds of cotton a day. When he […]Read More When Jesse Owens Brought Baseball to Portland
On this date in 1957, nine courageous teenagers tried to enter Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Supreme Court had issued the monumental “Brown Vs. Board of Education” ruling 3 years earlier, making segregation in schools illegal, yet schools in the south had not yet integrated. Groups like the KKK made what would […]Read More 60 Years Ago Today: The Little Rock Nine, and a Heroic White Woman.
History has an interesting, often unspoken power. It is the capacity to determine which stories to tell, and which to not. Text book writers, history teachers, monument builders, film makers, etc. all have the tremendous responsibility to decide what we see, hear, and learn. For example, there are few Americans who don’t know who Jackie […]Read More Happy Birthday to Kenny Washington, the First African American in the Modern N.F.L.
Today is the 54th anniversary of perhaps the most successful protest ever, the “March On Washington”, which included Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a Dream” speech. That day changed America. It made a number of Americans who had previously been observing the civil rights movement with folded arms and one eyebrow raised change […]Read More Before Moving Forward, Protestors Should Look Back at August 28, 1963