Civil Rights

Community
11:43 am
Mon January 19, 2015

1961 Freedom Rider keynotes MLK holiday luncheon

Henry Thomas was a Freedom Rider in 1961. He's the keynote speaker at today's luncheon in Lansing marking the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Credit Kevin Lavery/WKAR

We remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today. Cities across America are holding various events, including in Lansing. In 2015, the day seems to resonate with even greater impact than usual, following a tumultuous year of unrest. We've seen events like the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Eric Garner in New York and Tamar Rice in Cleveland. You could feel the echoes of the 1960’s, when protests and violence were much more widespread.

Read more
Community
11:20 am
Mon January 19, 2015

A civil rights essay: Sandra Seaton

Sandra Seaton
Credit www.sandraseaton.com/

At the start of today's Current State, we heard from Henry Thomas, one of the original 13 “Freedom Riders” who rode through the Deep South in 1961 to defy Jim Crow laws. Now, on this Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, we end with an essay from one of our mid-Michigan citizens who remembers the sting of segregation. Sandra Seaton is a local playwright who spent part of her childhood in Tennessee.

Read more
History
12:01 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Civil Rights Act at 50: Michigan was a pioneer

President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law 50 years ago today. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. attended the ceremony.
Credit Flickr - U.S. Embassy New Delhi

On Friday, our nation celebrates its 238th birthday. But today, America is also observing the passage of one of the most significant laws ever crafted in its history.  On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The law that forbids discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin was born in an era of violence and intolerance in America.

Read more
Arts & Culture
1:00 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Remembering the Freedom Summer of '64 with Lynn Jondahl

Preview the documentary 'AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Freedom Summer' Wednesday June 18 at the Communication Arts and Sciences Building.
Credit George Ballis/Take Stock

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of a tragic and historic turning point in the fight for civil rights. The night of June 21, 1964, three young civil rights workers were shot and killed near the community of Philadelphia, Mississippi.  They were there organizing and working to register African-Americans to vote during 10 violent and controversial weeks remembered as the “Freedom Summer.” 

Read more
Radio Made in Michigan
12:09 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Project 60/50 kicks off year-long human rights conversation

This year marks the anniversary of two crucial moments in our country’s long history of inequality. Sixty years ago, the Supreme Court handed out its landmark decision in Brown versus the Topeka Board of Education, which effectively ended legal segregation of our nation’s public schools. And 50 years ago this year, the Civil Rights Act was signed into law.

Read more
Radio Made in Michigan
12:08 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Project to map local civil rights history

The MSU Museum's Marsha McDowell is working on a project to identify local sites associated with human rights.
Credit museum.msu.edu/

"Today, human rights are under attack in many parts of the world. But there is a pathway to building a just, humane, and peaceful future: The power of the past." That's how the organization Sites of Conscience explains its mission on its website.

Read more
Radio Made in Michigan
11:15 am
Wed December 18, 2013

New MI Civil Rights head plots department's direction

Michigan Department of Civil Rights executive director Matt Wesaw
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is calling for a review of an apparent murder dating back to 1970.  The incident, still unsolved, took the life of one of the department’s own, its first executive director.

Read more