Tag: SNCC

Landmark Civil Rights Documentary “Eyes on the Prize, Parts I and II” Starts Re-airing Tonight at 9pmEST on WORLD Channel

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Public television’s WORLD Channel will present the complete Emmy-Award winning Eyes on the Prize I and II starting tonight, January 17, 2016. A 30-minute special feature, Eyes on the Prize: Then and Now, will launch the encore presentation of this historic two-part series and explore its impressive relevance today.

Eyes on the Prize, created by Executive Producer Henry Hampton, is a critically-acclaimed and in-depth documentary series on civil rights in America.  With the current national spotlight on issues of race and inequality—as well as the marking of the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, and the 60th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott—the time is right for this series about the nation’s civil rights history to be front and center as part of an essential dialogue.

America continues to struggle with the recurring crisis of race-related violence; Eyes on the Prize and II can provide perspective for a new generation and be a touchstone for citizens who lived through the decades that the films depict. Journalist and writer Al Letson hosts new introductions to each episode.

“We are elated that this landmark series will once again be broadcast across the country, reaching millions of viewers—many of whom may never have seen the original airing. The series focuses on solutions to the conflicts that we face today.  Eyes on the Prize shows leadership, grass roots organization and personal sacrifice as the recipe that can create lasting change.  It is our hope the television programs together with our comprehensive outreach campaign will spark a national dialogue about this critical topic,” says Judi Hampton, president of Blackside, and sister of the late Henry Hampton (1940-1998).

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The WORLD Channel presentation, made possible with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Ford Foundation, includes Eyes on the Prize: Then and Now, a new, original 30-minute special, which will lead into the premiere January 17 of Eyes on the Prize, setting the groundbreaking documentary series in the context of today.  Narrated by music artist Aloe BlaccEyes on the Prize: Then and Now features Eyes on the Prize filmmakers, present-day activists, human rights leaders, and scholars. The special revisits key historical moments and explores commonalities with current national events.

“The WORLD Channel is honored to be presenting this signature series,” says Chris Hastings, Executive Producer of the WORLD Channel. “It’s a history that must be understood.  With Eyes on the Prize: Then and Now, we ask questions and draw comparisons about the struggle to achieve equality today. As conflicts and challenges continue, Eyes on the Prize remains essential viewing for all Americans.”

As part of the initiative, WGBH Education is developing a digital resource collection supporting Eyes on the Prize and civil rights themes in history and social studies curricula, to help the civil rights movement come alive for students today. This collection will be available on PBS LearningMedia in January.

Based at WGBH Boston, the national public media producer, WORLD Channel delivers the best of public television’s original documentary films and news to US audiences through local public television stations, including America ReFramed, AfroPopPOV and Local, USA.  The special Eyes on the Prize presentation also will be made available to all public television stations for local broadcasts (check listings) after the WORLD premiere.

EYES ON THE PRIZE I and II

Almost three decades since its premiere, the groundbreaking series Eyes on the Prize I and II will return to PBS this January.  Eyes on the Prize I will premiere on The WORLD Channel six consecutive Sundays – January 17, 24, 31 and February 7, 14, 21 at 9:00 p.m. (EST). Eyes on the Prize II will air eight consecutive Sundays—February 28, March 6, 13, 20, 27, and April 3, 10, 17 at 9:00 p.m. (EST).

Produced by Blackside, Eyes on the Prize tells the definitive story of the Civil Rights era from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions launched a movement that changed the fabric of American life and embodied a struggle whose reverberations continue to be felt today.  This multi-part Academy Award nominated documentary is the winner of numerous Emmy Awards, a George Foster Peabody Award, an International Documentary Association Award, and a Television Critics Association Award.

Through contemporary interviews and historical footage, Eyes on the Prize I and II, traces the civil rights movement from the Montgomery bus boycott to the Voting Rights Act; from early acts of individual courage through the flowering of a mass movement and its eventual split into factions.  The late Julian Bond, political leader and civil rights activist, narrates.  Descriptions of each episode follow below:

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U.S. Navy To Name Ship After Civil Rights Leader and Congressman John Lewis

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, left, talks with Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., during a ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday to announce that the next generation of fleet replenishment oilers will be named the USNS John Lewis, after the civil rights movement leader and Georgia's 5th District representative. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, left, talks with Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., during a ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday to announce that the next generation of fleet replenishment oilers will be named the USNS John Lewis, after the civil rights movement leader and Georgia’s 5th District representative. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

The U.S. Navy will honor civil rights icon and Georgia congressman John Lewis in a big way — by naming a replenishment oiler ship after the leader.

The announcement — delivered by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus — was made Wednesday afternoon in Washington D.C. Lewis, who tweeted he was “grateful” for the honor, reportedly cried when he was informed of the idea months ago.

According to NBC:

“As the first of its class, the future USNS John Lewis will play a vital role in the mission of our Navy and Marine Corps while also forging a new path in fleet replenishment,” said Mabus. “Naming this ship after John Lewis is a fitting tribute to a man who has, from his youth, been at the forefront of progressive social and human rights movements in the U.S., directly shaping both the past and future of our nation.”

Lewis cried when Mabus stopped by his office a few months ago to share what was then an idea, he told NBCBLK. “He said, ‘I have been so moved and inspired by your work and others during the civil rights movement. My idea is to name a ship in your honor,’” Lewis said. When the surprised congressman asked him, “How can you do this,” Mabus responded, “I am the Secretary of the Navy; I have the power.”

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Naming the ship after the civil rights leader is a first in many ways — the USNS John Lewis is said to be the “first of the next generation” of fleet replenishment oilers (T-AO-205), measuring more than 677 feet long and 97.5 feet wide. They are responsible for providing fuel and fleet cargo to ships at sea, NBC reports. The new generation of ships will all be named after Civil Rights heroes, a first also announced by Lewis’ office.

The irony of a ship donning his name is not lost on Lewis, 75, who told NBC he never actually learned to swim.

“In Troy, we couldn’t use the swimming pool, so I never learned to swim,” he said. “All these years later, to hear the Secretary of the Navy say he wanted to name a ship after me — we cried a little together and we hugged.”

I believe in freedom. I believe so much that people should be free. I was prepared to give it everything I had,” he said. “I didn’t do anything special. I just got in trouble. It was good trouble. It was necessary trouble. My parents would tell us, ‘Don’t get in the way.’ I just tried to help out.”

It is that focus on freedom that Mabus says will live within USNS John Lewis.

“T-AO 205 will, for decades to come, serve as a visible symbol of the freedoms Representative Lewis holds dear, and his example will live on in the steel of that ship and in all those who will serve aboard her, ” said Mabus.

Lewis, who is widely known for his role in the Freedom Rides of the 1960s and for serving as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), was elected to Congress in 1986. The leader, who often demonstrated alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was also a keynote speaker at 1963’s March on Washington.

It is Lewis who, bloodied and beaten, can be seen in historic and disturbing photographs from Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama. State troopers beat Black activists attempting to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7, 1965 into Montgomery. Lewis, only 24 at the time, led the march with activist Hosea Williams.

SOURCE: NBC

article by Christina Coleman via newsone.com

Historian Peniel E. Joseph Honored by Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for his Biography of Stokely Carmichael

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Professor Peniel E. Joseph (photo via citylights.com)

Peniel E. Joseph, professor of history at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, received the National Book Award from the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis. The award honors the author of a book that best advances “the understanding of American civil rights movement and its legacy.”

P25898101._UY200_rofessor Joseph is being honored for his book Stokely: A Life (Basic Civitas, 2014), a biography of Stokely Carmichael, later known as Kwame Toure. Carmichael was chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He spent the later years of his life in Africa.

Professor Joseph has taught at Tufts University since 2009. He is a graduate of Stony Brook University of the State University of New York System, where he double majored in Africana studies and European history. He holds a Ph.D. in American history from Temple University in Philadelphia.

article via jbhe.com

R.I.P. Civil Rights Movement Activist, SNCC Leader and former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond

Julian Bond at the N.A.A.C.P.’s annual convention in 2007. CreditPaul Sancya/Associated Press 

Julian Bond, a former chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a charismatic figure of the 1960s civil rights movement, a lightning rod of the anti-Vietnam War campaign and a lifelong champion of equal rights for minorities, died on Saturday night, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. He was 75.

Mr. Bond died in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., after a brief illness, the center said in a statement Sunday morning.

He was one of the original leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) while he was a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

He moved from the militancy of the student group to the top leadership of the establishmentarian N.A.A.C.P. Along the way, he was a writer, poet, television commentator, lecturer, college teacher, and persistent opponent of the stubborn remnants of white supremacy.

He also served for 20 years in the Georgia Legislature, mostly in conspicuous isolation from white colleagues who saw him as an interloper and a rabble-rouser.

Mr. Bond’s wit, cool personality and youthful face became familiar to millions of television viewers during the 1960s and 1970s. He attracted adjectives — dashing, handsome, urbane — the way some people attract money.

On the strength of his personality and quick intellect, he moved to the center of the civil rights action in Atlanta, the unofficial capital of the movement, at the height of the struggle for racial equality in the early 1960s.

Moving beyond demonstrations, he became a founder, with Morris Dees, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a legal advocacy organization in Montgomery, Ala. Mr. Bond was its president from 1971 to 1979 and remained on its board for the rest of his life.

When he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965 — along with seven other black members — furious white members of the House refused to let him take his seat, accusing him of disloyalty. He was already well known because of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s stand against the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War.

That touched off a national drama that ended in 1966, when the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision ordered the legislature to seat him, saying it had denied him freedom of speech.

He went on to serve 20 years in the two houses of the legislature. As a lawmaker, he sponsored bills to establish a sickle cell anemia testing program and to provide low-interest home loans to low-income Georgians. He also helped create a majority-black congressional district in Atlanta.

He left the State Senate in 1986 after six terms to run for that seat in the United States House. He lost a bitter contest to his old friend John Lewis, a fellow founder of S.N.C.C. and its longtime chairman. The two men, for all their earlier closeness in the rights movement, represented opposite poles of African-American life in the South: Mr. Lewis was the son of an sharecropper; Mr. Bond was the son of a college president.

In a statement Sunday, President Obama called Mr. Bond “a hero and, I’m privileged to say, a friend.”

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Duke University Debuts Website Documenting SNCC & the Voting Rights Struggle

Vq1ywrurDuke University in Durham, North Carolina, has just debuted a new website documenting the struggle of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to secure voting rights for African Americans. The site, entitled “One Person, One Vote: The Legacy of the SNCC and the Fight for Voting Rights,” went live one week before the 50th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” voting rights march in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965.

Students and faculty at Duke University worked with veterans of SNCC and other civil rights leaders to develop the website. The site includes a timeline, profiles of the key figures in the struggle to secure voting rights, and stories relating to the struggle.

5193ppoofzL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Wesley Hogan, the director of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and the author of Many Minds, One Heart: SNCC’s Dream for a New America (University of North Carolina Press, 2007), stated that “this is an enormous achievement, to find ways to bring these experts who were so central to the voting rights struggle, into the formal historical record through their own words and on their own terms. The project comes at a moment when our nation is both commemorating key victories of the civil rights movement and seeing those victories challenged by new restrictive voting laws in many states.”

 

article via jbhe.com

From Top Model To Black Panther, Actress Yaya Alafia Is ‘Truly African-American’

In 2013, Yaya Alafia played Black Panther Carol Hammie in The Butler.
In 2013, Yaya Alafia played Black Panther Carol Hammie in The Butler.

Yaya Alafia arrived on TV screens more than a decade ago as Yaya DaCosta, the young model proud of her African and Latina roots in Season 3 of America’s Next Top Model. But, as she tells NPR’s Michel Martin, she has come a long way since competing on the series. “I have practiced such deliberate amnesia when it came to that show,” she admits. “Just hearing my voice at such a young, vulnerable age, forced into this other world that I wasn’t prepared for.”

But that experience did prepare her for a successful film career. In 2013, she starred in three films: Mother of GeorgeBig Words and The Butler, in which she played a Black Panther.

“[My father] was an organizer in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. My mother did a little bit of work with the Black Panthers,” she says. “It felt kind of natural for me going on that audition.”

A graduate in Africana studies and international relations from Brown University, Alafia celebrates the fact that she is “one of those Africans in America that’s kind of a mutt, for lack of a better word.” And although her roots stretch from Nigeria to Brazil, she believes that “when people start to get a little too specific, it serves as a divisive tactic.”

Originally from Harlem, she spent a trimester of high school abroad in the Dominican Republic. She says her experience there made her aware of complicated issues involving racial identity. “I didn’t realize how deep-rooted the brainwashing went and how much self-hate there was. … My host mother would yell at me, saying … ‘You’re going to burn out there, don’t get too dark, you could be so pretty.’ And that really had an effect on me.”

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Montgomery Police Chief Apologizes To Freedom Rider Rep. John Lewis

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The civil rights era Freedom Riders, who risked their lives and limbs by riding various forms of public transportation in the South to challenge local laws that sanctioned segregation during the turbulent ’60s, have finally received an apology — albeit decades overdue — from the Montgomery, Ala., police chief, according to NBC News.

Police chief Kevin Murphy’s (pictured right) apology was made at the historic First Baptist Church on Saturday not only to the famed Freedom Riders but also, personally, to U.S. Representative of Georgia, John Lewis (pictured left), who was a member of the historical civil rights crusaders. Lewis was in town as part for the 13th Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage to Alabama.

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GBN Quote Of The Day

“The act of registering to vote… gives one a sense of being.  The black man who goes to register is saying to the white man, ‘No.'”

–Stokely Carmichael aka Kwame Ture, former leader of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and honorary prime minister of the Black Panther Party