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civil rights



  • A Major Supreme Court First Amendment Decision Could Be At Risk

    by Samantha Barbas

    The "actual malice" standard of proof in libel suits established by New York Times v. Sullivan is an imperfect fit for the social media age, but right-wing calls to overturn the ruling would allow the rich and powerful to bully the press with expensive lawsuits. 



  • This Late Civil Rights Icon's Imprint Is Everywhere Today

    by Peniel E. Joseph

    "Stokely Carmichael's legacy spans the movement for Black power, the push for voting rights in the 21st century and the recent political campaigns that have given voice to those seeking more radical change."



  • A Supreme Court Case Poses a Threat to L.G.B.T.Q. Foster Kids

    by Stephen Vider and David S. Byers

    State and local social service agencies for decades have been actively working to protect the safety and dignity of queer youth in the foster care system. A Supreme Court case threatens that progress in the name of "religious freedom." 



  • How the George Floyd Uprising Was Framed for White Eyes

    Some of the most iconic news photographs of the Civil Rights Movement told a particular story to white liberals – that Black protesters were passive victims needing their help, instead of actively fighting for freedom. Those photos today help define the mainstream limits of "acceptable" protest. 



  • What the Pandemic Has Stolen from Black America

    Longtime DC activist Howard Croft died from COVID complications in June 2020. His surviving relatives found a trove of papers and artifacts about civil rights struggles in the District and beyond, but feel the lack of his voice to explain what the pieces mean. 



  • Black Politics After George Floyd

    Protests over the killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans by police have exposed a rift in Black politics, with an establishment group seeking to control the moral authority of the Civil Rights movement by stripping it of its historical commitment to disruption. 



  • A Vision of Racial and Economic Justice: A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin

    by Norman Hill and Velma Murphy Hill

    "More than a year into a national reckoning over racism, two heroes in the struggle for racial justice have received little national attention. A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin were mentor and student, friends and colleagues—eventually, their relationship was like father and son."



  • Officials Apologize for Deadly Police Shooting at a Black College in 1970

    More than 400 students from the Jackson State class of 1970 were awarded diplomas on Saturday, as city and state officials apologized for the deadly police violence that took two lives and resulted in the shutdown of the campus and cancellation of that year's graduation ceremonies. 



  • Thirty Years after Mount Pleasant Erupted, a Push for Better Treatment Persists

    by Mike Amezcua

    Central American refugees living in Washington's Mount Pleasant neighborhood had fled US-backed repression but found harsh treatment by immigration authorities and local police. In 1991 frustration erupted. Today, the unrest still raises questions about citizenship and belonging. 



  • What History Can Teach Banks About Making Change

    by Destin Jenkins

    "Celebrating Juneteenth and recruiting more Black bankers is one thing. It is quite another for financial firms to use their unique power to actively undermine the systems that perpetuate racial inequality."



  • Ramsey Clark, Attorney General and Rebel With a Cause, Dies at 93

    Ramsey Clark's tenure as Attorney General saw the aggressive enforcement of civil rights law; his liberalism strained his relationship with Lyndon Johnson, who blamed Clark in part for energizing the "silent majority" that led Richard Nixon to victory. He continued in private life to represent unpopular defendants and oppose American militarism.