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They chose Plessy because, Medley writes, he was “white enough to gain access to the train and black

enough to be arrested for doing so.” Members of the Comité des Citoyens also had secretly secured

the cooperation of senior officials of the East Louisiana Railroad Company who opposed the Separate Car

Act because it “saddled their employees with the burden of becoming the state’s race policemen”

 

 

We as Freemen

Plessy v. Ferguson

By Keith Medley

Seat of Honor

By Michael A. Ross

A review of Keith Medley's 

We as Freemen: Plessy v. Ferguson

 

On June 7, 1892, Homer Adolphe Plessy [1863-1925] engaged in what would become one of the most famous acts of civil disobedience in American history. That afternoon, Plessy, who was of mixed race, boarded the East Louisiana Railroad Company’s Covington-bound train, entered the first-class, “whites only” car, and refused to leave when the conductor told him to “retire to the colored car.” Moments later the engineer brought the train to a halt and a detective arrived to take Plessy into his custody, escorting him to a police station on Elysian Fields Avenue. There Plessy was charged formally with violating Louisiana’s Separate Car Act of 1890.

In We as Freemen, New Orleans writer Keith Weldon Medley reminds readers that the events of the afternoon were not spontaneous. Plessy did not simply decide on the spur of the moment to break an unjust law. He was, instead, handpicked for the task by the Comité des Citoyens, an organization of prominent African-American civil libertarians who had already raised the funds necessary for his legal defense.

They chose Plessy because, Medley writes, he was “white enough to gain access to the train and black enough to be arrested for doing so.” Members of the Comité des Citoyens also had secretly secured the cooperation of senior officials of the East Louisiana Railroad Company who opposed the Separate Car Act because it “saddled their employees with the burden of becoming the state’s race policemen” and meant that their company had to provide costly “extra cars that might only be half-used.”

Photo right: John Ferguson (b.1838), Lower court judge of Plessy case

The railroad officials knew what Plessy intended to do, embraced the idea of creating a legal test case that might expose the moral and economic illogic of the law, and were aware that the Comité des Citoyens had even hired a detective to take Plessy into custody.

Too often, accounts of the ensuing case against the state that became Plessy v. Ferguson (the state’s judge who first ruled against Plessy), downplay or ignore the crucial role that the Comité des Citoyens played in the events of 1892 and in the African-American community of New Orleans. In “We as Freemen,” Medley gives the educators, businessmen, lawyers, writers and artisans who formed the Comité their due, and in the process vividly recreates the New Orleans society in which they lived.

Many of the Comité’s members were descendants of free person’s of color, the celebrated class of African-Americans who prospered in antebellum New Orleans despite severe social and legal constraints. Many members of this class, Medley notes, had “received European educations and achieved prominence in science, music, literature, and philosophy.”

After Appomattox, these men and women seized the opportunity to claim full political, legal and social equality. They helped lead the Reconstruction-era sit-ins that integrated the Louisiana Constitutional Convention of 1868 that granted suffrage to black men and integrated public schools and juries. They also joined the Unification Movement of 1873 that brought together ex-Confederates such as Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard and black leaders such as editor Louis Roundenez, in a brief but unsuccessful effort at racial cooperation. When the Comité des Citoyens formed in 1891 to protest the Separate Car Act, the sons of those Reconstruction-era leaders became the backbone of the organization.

As a result, Medley notes, the members of the Comité “hardly represented a random sample of the South’s black population. With many of mixed-race heritage, fluent in French and English, Roman Catholic, professional rather than laboring, they seemed more in tune with European pursuits than in rural black life.” They were sons of a privileged black class who had inherited their parents’ commitment to political activism. They rejected the accommodationist ideas of Booker T. Washington and instead launched “a last ditch, desperate effort” to retain the rights their forbears had fought so hard to gain.

Photo left: Rodolphe L. Desdunes 

Rather than stand by passively as Louisiana state senator (and later) governor) Murphy J. Foster restored white supremacy to the state, they went to work raising funds and orchestrating legal challenges they hoped would discredit the emerging Jim Crow order. Medley gives particular credit in this effort to Louis Martinet, publisher of the Crusader, a newspaper that became the voice of the Comité and was, for a time, the only African-American daily in the country. In an era when outspoken black leaders often feared for their lives, martinet could be seen each day walking fearlessly to his French Quarter office from his home on Burgundy Street, wearing “a black suit, with a black bow string tie and a black felt wide brim hat.”

Martinet refused to be cowed, and he scoffed at suggestions that legal challenges like Plessy’s were too risky because the courts might sanction Jim Crow laws rather than overturn them. Such risks, Martinet and his legal writer Rodolphe Desdunes believed, were worth taking. Without immediate legal action the new segregation laws would soon become “commonly accepted principles.”Medley argues that Martinet was the chief legal tactician in the Plessy case. Most previous accounts have focused on the efforts of Martinet’s friend and confidant Albion Tourgee, the white lawyer who argued Plessy’s case before the Supreme Court. Tourgee was the author of A Fool’s Errand, a best-selling, semi-autobiographical account of the Republican Party’s failed efforts to change the hearts and minds of white Southerners during Reconstruction.

Photo right: Albion Winegar Tourgee (b1838), Plessy lawyer before Supreme Court

Although Medley acknowledges Tourgee’s importance, he argues that martinet has been unjustly overshadowed. “Tourgee is credited as the legal architect of the Plessy case,” Medley writes, “but Martinet labored in the trenches. He worked the legal system, obtained the local lawyer to defend Plessy at the state level, planned the mechanics of the test cases, and engaged the railroads to cooperate in their efforts.”

The Supreme Court's decision in Plessy v. Ferguson was ultimately a disaster for African-Americans, and today joins Dred Scott v. Sandford as one of the court's most infamous opinions. In We as Freemen, Medley provides a concise discussion of Justice Henry Billings Brown's majority opinion in Plessy, in which the Justice concluded that the Louisiana's Separate Car Act did not violate the "equal protection" clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because it stipulated that railroads had to provide "equal" facilities for the two races.

Although Plessy's lawyers argued that the law stamped "the colored race with a badge of inferiority," Justice Brown disagreed. "If this be so," he wrote, "it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it." The defeat was total. "For Tourgee, Plessy, and the Comité des Citoyens," Medley notes, "the majority opinion sounded a deafening, gavel-thumping finality that only a United States Supreme Court decision could render."

What solace Plessy and his supporters could find in the outcome came in the lone dissenting opinion of Justice John Marshall Harlan. "There is no caste here," Harlan wrote. "Our constitution is color blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. The thin disguise of 'equal accommodations' for passengers in railroad coaches will not mislead anyone nor atone for the wrong this day done."

In the years immediately following Plessy, Gov. Foster and other segregationist politicians cited the court's decision as their authority for passing laws that segregated restrooms, water fountains and other public facilities. Legislators installed poll taxes and literacy tests that disenfranchised most of Louisiana's black voters and removed them from jury rolls. By the late 1890s, Medley writes, "the philosophy of white supremacy that once roamed the countryside found expression in the statehouse." The era of Jim Crow had arrived.

It would be more than 50 years before Charles Houston, Thurgood Marshall and other civil rights lawyers could convince the Justices of the Supreme Court that Plessy and the Comité des Citoyens had been right. Despite a handful of jarring typographical and editorial errors that are the fault of the press rather than the author, most readers will find Medley's book thoughtful and enlightening. His arguments are clear and persuasive, and he skillfully makes the Supreme Court's decision in Plessy v. Ferguson secondary to the valiant efforts of Plessy, Martinet, and the Comité des Citoyens. He also enriches the book by highlighting historic landmarks, grave sites, and houses from the Plessy era that survive in the Tremé, Faubourg Marigny and Uptown.

After reading We as Freeman: Plessy v. Freemen many readers will share Medley's lament that Homer Plessy's name is today often "wrongly associated with the existence of Jim Crow laws rather than an early legal, social, and moral movement to end them."

Source: Times-Picayune (Sunday, 25 May 2003); Michael Ross is a professor of history at Loyola University

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Homer Plessy was born on St. Patrick's Day in 1863. His middle name on the birth record reflects the patron saint of his natal day but later records show his middle name as either Adolph or the French equivalent, Adolphe, after his father. Homer's grandfather, Germain Plessy, died the month after his birth. . . .

Home Plessy died in 1925. His obituary was simple: "Plessy--on Sunday, March 1, 1925, at 5:10 a.m. beloved husband of Louise Bordenave." He was buried in the Debergue-Blanco family tomb in St. Louis Cemetery #1.

Source: We as Freemen, pp. 24; 218

Homer Plessy was a "Creole" who was 7/8 white and 1/8 black.  In deciding whether Mr. Plessy could be subjected to the indignities of segregated travel, the Supreme Court of the United States found that “separate but equal” was not a violation of constitutional law.

Plessy v Ferguson (decided in 1886) remained the law in America for decades
until a 1946 case, called Morgan v Virginia, reached the Supreme Court. In that matter, the Court found that states could not require segregated transportation when the mode of travel crossed state lines:

 

As no state law can reach beyond its own border nor bar transportation of passengers across its boundaries, diverse seating requirements for the races in interstate journeys result. As there is no federal act dealing with the separation of races in interstate transportation, we must decide the validity of this Virginia statute on the challenge that it interferes with commerce, as a matter of balance between the exercise of the local police power and the need for national uniformity in the regulations for interstate travel. It seems clear to us that seating arrangements for the different races in interstate motor travel require a single, uniform rule to promote and protect national travel. Consequently, we hold the Virginia statute in controversy invalid.

Even though the court’s ruling was helpful (in a theoretical sense), it had no meaningful impact.  Since the Justices did not find all segregated transportation to be unconstitutional, various states could still allow segregated transportation within their own borders. 

Forcing people of color to sit in the back of railroad cars, buses and other forms of travel did not end until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.awesomestories

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Homer Plessy (March 17, 1862 – March 1, 1925) was the American plaintiff in the United States Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson. Arrested, tried and convicted in New Orleans of a violation of one of Louisiana's racial segregation laws, he appealed through Louisiana state courts to the U.S. Supreme Court and lost. The resulting "separate-but-equal" decision against him had wide consequences for civil rights in the United States. The decision legalized state-mandated segregation anywhere in the United States so long as the facilities provided for both blacks and whites were putatively "equal".

Plessy was born on St. Patrick's Day in 1862, when federal occupation troops under General Benjamin Franklin Butler had liberated African Americans in New Orleans. Blacks could then marry whomever they chose, sit in any streetcar seat, and attend, briefly, integrated schools.

As an adult, Plessy found that those gains from the period of federal occupation during the American Civil War (1862-1865) and the Reconstruction era had been abolished after troops were withdrawn in 1877 on orders of U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes.[2]

On any other day in 1892, Plessy with his pale skin color could have ridden in the train car restricted to white passengers without notice. He was classified "7/8 white" or an octoroon according to the language of the time. Although it is often interpreted as Plessy had only one great grandmother of African descent, both of his parents are identified as free persons of color on his birth certificate. The racial categorization is based on appearance rather than genealogy.—wikipedia

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Keith Weldon Medley was born in New Orleans and grew up in the Faubourg Marigny, not far from where Homer Plessy lived. He attended St. Augustine High School and graduated from Southern University in New Orleans with a B.A. in sociology and psychology. A two-time recipient of publication initiative grants (2001 and 2002) from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, Keith Weldon Medley has published articles in American Legacy, Louisiana Cultural Vistas, New Orleans Times-Picayune, Historic Preservation, New World Outlook, Atlanta Tribune, Facing South, Amistad Guide to Arc Light, The New Orleans Tribune, NSBE Journal, Southern Exposure, Preservation in Print and other periodicals. We as Freemen is expanded from an article Mr. Medley wrote for Smithsonian.

His essay on the Mardi Gras Indians appeared in the catalogue that accompanies The Ties That Bind: Making Faking Family New Orleans Style,  a photography exhibit underwritten by the Annie Casey Foundation. He is also a licensed tour guide for the City of New Orleans. The Forbes publication, American Legacy, featured a summer travel issue in 2000 with a cover story by Medley on sites of historical interest in New Orleans. In the year 2000, he gave a presentation and tour for members of the American Association for State and Local Historians who convened in New Orleans.

Medley has written a great deal on the New Orleans origins of the Plessy v. Ferguson. He authored the text of "When the Future Became the Past," a Tulane University and Louisiana State Museum touring exhibit that chronicles this pivotal United States Supreme Court case. During the 1996 centennial of the case, an interview of Medley by Scott Simon was broadcast on national Public Radio's "All Things considered." He was also featured on Louisiana's Public Broadcasting's popular show Louisiana: "The State We're In" and was interviewed in WDSU-TV's special report by Norman Robinson entitled "Bound for Freedom."

In addition, articles by Medley on the case appeared in Louisiana Cultural Vistas, Times-Picayune, and as a cover story in The New Orleans Tribune. His Smithsonian magazine article on the case has been reprinted in a number of textbooks and resource guides including Conflict, Confidence, and Power edited by Mary Framer-Kaiser; The Way We Lived: Essays and Documents in American Social History by Frederick M. Binder and David M. Reimers; Readings for U.S. History by Dr. Michael A. White; and the 1994 Social Issues Research Series.

As a photographer, Medley's work has appeared in Smithsonian magazine, American Legacy, The New Orleans Tribune, and the front cover of Callaloo #20, and also the front cover of In These Houses by Brenda Marie Osbey. He has also contributed photographs to American Poetry Review and Welcome! A Guide for Black Tourists in new Orleans. Medley's photographs are also part of the New Orleans Public Library's regional photographers collection. Medley is a member of the Friends of New Orleans Cemeteries, Preservation Resource Center, Friends of the Amistad Research Center, and Friends of Bishop Perry Middle School.

Photo above right: Mardi Gras Indian (source: cover of American Legacy, Summer 2000)

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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The Fiery Trial

Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery

By Eric Foner

A mixture of visionary progressivism and repugnant racism, Abraham Lincoln's attitude toward slavery is the most troubling aspect of his public life, one that gets a probing assessment in this study. Columbia historian and Bancroft Prize winner Foner (Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men) traces the complexities of Lincoln's evolving ideas about slavery and African-Americans: while he detested slavery, he also publicly rejected political and social equality for blacks, dragged his feet (critics charged) on emancipating slaves and accepting black recruits into the Union army, and floated schemes for colonizing freedmen overseas almost to war's end. Foner situates this record within a lucid, nuanced discussion of the era's turbulent racial politics; in his account Lincoln is a canny operator, cautiously navigating the racist attitudes of Northern whites, proddedand sometimes willing to be proddedby abolitionists and racial egalitarians pressing faster reforms.

But as Foner tells it, Lincoln also embodies a society-wide transformation in consciousness, as the war's upheavals and the dynamic new roles played by African-Americans made previously unthinkable claims of freedom and equality seem inevitable. Lincoln is no paragon in Foner's searching portrait, but something more essential--a politician with an open mind and a restless conscience. 16 pages of illus., 3 maps.—Publishers Weekly

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America.

This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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We as Freemen: Plessy v. Ferguson

By Keith Medley

In June 1892, a thirty-year-old shoemaker named Homer Plessy [1863-1925] bought a first-class railway ticket from his native New Orleans to Covington, north of Lake Pontchartrain. The two-hour trip had hardly begun when Plessy was arrested and removed from the train. Though Homer Plessy was born a free man of color and enjoyed relative equality while growing up in Reconstruction-era New Orleans, by 1890 he could no longer ride in the same carriage with white passengers. Plessy’s act of civil disobedience was designed to test the constitutionality of the Separate Car Act, one of the many Jim Crow laws that threatened the freedoms gained by blacks after the Civil War. This largely forgotten case mandated separate-but-equal treatment and established segregation as the law of the land. It would be fifty-eight years before this ruling was reversed by Brown v. Board of Education. Hardcover.

In 1896, Plessy v. Ferguson, Louisiana's famous Supreme Court Case, established the separate-but-equal doctrine that prevailed in America until the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954. Homer Plessy's arrest in a New Orleans railway car was not mere happenstance, but the result of a carefully choreographed campaign of civil disobedience planned . . . Publisher

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To the Mountaintop

My Journey Through the Civil Rights Movement

By Charlayne Hunter-Gault

A personal history of the civil rights movement from activist and acclaimed journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault. On January 20, 2009, 1.8 million people crowded the grounds of the Capitol to witness the inauguration of Barack Obama. Among the masses was Charlayne Hunter-Gault. She had flown from South Africa for the occasion, to witness what was for many the culmination of the long struggle for civil rights in the United States. In this compelling personal history, she uses the event to look back on her own involvement in the civil rights movement, as one of two black students who forced the University of Georgia to integrate, and to relate the pivotal events that swept the South as the movement gathered momentum through the early 1960s. With poignant black-and-white photos, original articles from the New York Times, and a unique personal viewpoint, this is a moving tribute to the men and women on whose shoulders Obama stood.

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The River of No Return

The Autobiography of a Black Militant and the Life and Death of SNCC

By Cleveland Sellers with Robert Terrell

Among histories of the civil rights movement of the 1960s there are few personal narratives better than this one. Besides being an insider's account of the rise and fall of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, it is an eyewitness report of the strategies and the conflicts in the crucial battle zones as the fight for racial justice raged across the South.  This memoir by Cleveland Sellers, a SNCC volunteer, traces his zealous commitment to activism from the time of the sit-ins, demonstrations, and freedom rides in the early '60s. In a narrative encompassing the Mississippi Freedom Summer (1964), the historic march in Selma, the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, and the murders of civil rights activists in Mississippi, he recounts the turbulent history of SNCC and tells the powerful story of his own no-return dedication to the cause of civil rights and social change.

The River of No Return is acclaimed as a book that is destined to become a standard text for those wishing to perceive the civil rights struggle from within the ranks of one of its key organizations and to note the divisive history of the movement as groups striving for common goals were embroiled in conflict and controversy.

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A Matter Of Law: A Memoir Of Struggle in the Cause Of Equal Rights

By Robert L. Carter and Foreword by John Hope Franklin

Robert Lee Carter (March 11, 1917 – January 3, 2012) insisted on using the research of the psychologist Kenneth B. Clark to attack segregated schools, a daring courtroom tactic in the eyes of some civil rights lawyers. Experiments by Mr. Clark and his wife, Mamie, showed that black children suffered in their learning and development by being segregated. Mr. Clark’s testimony proved crucial in persuading the court to act, Mr. Carter wrote in a 2004 book, “A Matter of Law: A Memoir of Struggle in the Cause of Equal Rights.” As chief deputy to the imposing Mr. Marshall, who was to become the first black Supreme Court justice, Mr. Carter labored for years in his shadow.

In the privacy of legal conferences, Mr. Carter was seen as the house radical, always urging his colleagues to push legal and constitutional positions to the limits. He recalled that Mr. Marshall had encouraged him to play the gadfly: “I was younger and more radical than many of the people Thurgood would have in, I guess. But he’d never let them shut me up.” Robert Lee Carter was born in Caryville, in the Florida Panhandle . . . . NYTimes   Oral History  Archive   / Pedagogical Uses of African Histories  /  Dedication to Human Rights and Human Kindness

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Related files: Dred Scott Case   We as Freemen Reviews  Seat of Honor -- Homer Plessy   Emancipation Proclamation  Plessy v Ferguson Court  Teaching Dred Scott Decision