by

December 3, 2022

 

Harry T. Moore

Pioneer leader of the Civil Rights Movement and Educator

February is Black History month; an annual celebration of African Americans and their achievements as well as a time to recognize their role in U.S history. Amongst Martin Luther King Jr. , Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks stood Harry T. Moore. He was a teacher in a segregated public with two daughters. As a teen, he spent some time in Jacksonville, a large and vibrant African American community, with a proud tradition of independence and intellectual achievement. He was raised with lots of nurturing and he held a lot of love for learning which shows in his work.

He was said to have laid the groundwork for the modern civil rights movement as he began his work in the 1930s. He investigated lynchings and registered African Americans to vote. After being fired from his teaching job because of his activism, he took on a job in the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). He, later on, died advocating for what he believed in; voting rights and anti-lynching. The protests over Moore’s death rocked the nation, with dozens of rallies and memorial meetings around the country. To say he created an impact is an understatement.

I think it’s that passion and love that can drive people to do the most amazing things. He put his life on the line for the good of society, and although it shouldn’t be the sole duty of one, he woke up each day and did it. I think the world listens when it sees unadulterated movement. That like know of what’s right and wrong but even more, that bravery to stand for what we believe is right. Harry T. Moore’s bravery snowballed into a much-needed wake-up call for America.


What are you willing to sacrifice for the betterment of society? For what you believe in?


The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Quick book review of The Autobiography of Malcolm X

“The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” as told to Alex Haley. This book grabbed my attention after witnessing multiple civil rights activists carrying out protests. My father heavily recommended the book, he also provided me with the book. After only reading a few pages, my goal looked to be completed: gaining more insight about the societal relations between races before, after and during the civil rights movement.

Malcolm’s early life was busy. His father was a dark, passionate man. He often led ‘black society’ movements. Malcolm’s mother was a light skinned woman; having both white and black backgrounds. Malcolm was also lighter skinned, because of this, he was treated differently by both parents. Because of his lighter skin, his father seemed to favor him, while his mother seemed be disappointed in him, by just his skin. As the figure that Malcolm’s father was, he was pursued by many white, racist groups. He was later found dead in the streets from a reported suicide, but chances are, that it was murder. The death of Malcolm’s father affected the family deeply, but not as much as Malcolm’s mother. She spiraled into craziness and Malcolm, along with his siblings, were sent into the foster care system. While separated from both parents, Malcolm found peace by trying to ‘integrate’ into white society, but he later found that this was meaningless, for both him as an individual and the African American race.

The writing in this book is most comparable to a journal. The reader can experience Malcolm’s feelings as an outcast. There are first-hand experiences that Malcolm had that give us insight of society before the civil rights movement. This worries me as well. The microaggresions described can be found in society’s present. There is evidence of progression, but still remnants of a racist America. By studying the philosophy of MLK Jr. and Malcolm X, society can keep moving in the right direction.

“It has historically been the case with white people, in their regard for black people, that even though we might be with them, we weren’t considered of them.” (Malcolm X, p16)


Segregation

Not too many years ago, America was labeled with signs everywhere stating whether or not Black people were welcome in the area or not. White people segregated the African Americans into their own sections to separate themselves from them. Only was it a few years ago when it was legal to turn someone away from your business due to your skin color. This lead to the Civil Rights Movement in which people fought to be treated equally to whites. They fought for basic human decency that wasnt being given to them due to their tragic past.

The Civil Rights Movement in the United States was a decades-long campaign by African Americans and their like-minded allies to end institutionalized racial discrimination, disenfranchisement, and racial segregation in the United States. The Civil Rights Movement was an era dedicated to activism for equal rights and treatment of African Americans in the United States. During this period, people rallied for social, legal, political, and cultural changes to prohibit discrimination and end segregation.


Reflection On Quilt

This year in my race and social class at Nelson Mandela School For Social Justice My peers and I have created a quilt that represents Civil Rights protests that happened in Brooklyn. My partner and I were responsible to research the Bibulous Family who protested against school segregation. We looked on different websites such as Brooklyn public library, resources on civil rights and the Brooklyn historical society. I participated in sewing up the quilt and putting various parts together. This quilt has taken us around almost a month to put together and finish. Unfortunately, I was not able to 
 Attend the conference because of an injury that occurred. I was placed in the hospital for 2 weeks during the upcoming conference for a broken elbow. I feel upset yet joyful not only the fact that I injured myself but the fact that my classroom peers went and presented at the conference which completely lightened my day. If I could have made it to the conference it would have been an honor seeing and presenting in front of different faces.


BlackLivesMatter

Black lives Matter is a political and social movement originating among African Americans, emphasizing basic human rights and racial equality for black people and campaigning against various forms of racism.During this period, people rallied for social, legal, political and cultural changes to prohibit discrimination and end segregation. Even my principal Tabari Bomani gave us multiple speeches about #BlacklivesMatter and that the goal of the black lives matter movement was to end segregation and secure equal rights for all Americans, no matter what their race or color.

Black Lives Matter has always been more of a human rights movement rather than a civil rights movement. Black lives Matter focus has been less about changing specific laws and more about fighting for a fundamental reordering of society wherein Black lives where blacks are being treated dehumanize. Black lives Matter because blacks black people are persons. From the founding of this country, throughout slavery, Reconstruction, the eugenics movement, and the civil rights movement, black Americans fought to establish themselves, first and foremost, as persons.

There are many of our black innocent people dying over stupidity. Losing their lives over racist cops that deserve to be locked up behind bars. Not thinking that these innocent people have their families to go home to that loves them. This is a problem to the community. Its starting riots between blacks and cops. People are protesting all over the city.

There have been many reactions to the Black Lives Matter movement. The U.S population’s perception of Black Lives Matter varies considerably by race. “All Lives Matter” has been criticized for dismissing or misunderstanding the message of “Black Lives Matter”.

Photo by Fibonacci Blue


The Rights of Human Beings: Brooklyn Public Library Convocation Speech

GOOD MORNING EVERYBODY

I would like to say thank you to all of you in attendance today.  I want to acknowledge the other scholars here today; the teachers and administrators, community members, Brooklyn Library staff and programs. I especially want to thank my principal for allowing us to participate in the Brooklyn Connection Program.

Our project is “The Civil Rights Movement in Brooklyn”, a quilt that outlines the grassroots movement in Brooklyn, New York.  In our Race & Social Justice class, we learned about and researched the Civil Rights Movement – both nationally and locally. With the assistance of the Brooklyn Connections Program, we researched and found out the significance of “Grassroots Movements”. Grassroots Movements are a type of movement or campaign that attempts to mobilize individuals to take some action to influence an outcome, often of a political nature seeking to make a change, both socially and politically.  Our research led us to investigate how effective the local Civil Rights Movement was, as well as, how effective any new campaigns should be.

We learned about a book entitled Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson.  A book about a young slave girl who used quilting to guide slaves during the Underground Railroad.  We learned that quilts were used to tell a story – family histories, marriages, birth, and deaths. After learning about quilting and being inspired by famous African-American quilters like Harriet Powers, our class decided that for our project, we should make a quilt of the Civil Rights events and protests that occurred in Brooklyn. Our class researched and collected historical information from the archives and the internet to bring this vision to fruition; Events such as the protests against Ebinger’s Bakery, Operation Cleansweep at Borough Hall, The Bibuld Family’s struggle to integrate schools.  In addition, we learned about the Brooklyn Schools boycott including the Ocean Hill-Brownsville teachers’ strike and the Employment discrimination at SUNY Downstate. We looked through newspaper archives dating back to the 1950s and 1960s, looked at ephemera, and other historical documents that gave us a general idea about what happened in these events. Ms.Julia, our Brooklyn Connections Educator, was a great help to us. She came into our class and taught us about research strategies and helped us with everything that we did; she gave us plenty of resources and materials that guided us through our quilting journey.

As I reflect on this experience, we learned new facts and dispel many myths, for example, Claudette Colvin, a teenage girl who refused to get up from her seat on the bus was arrested prior to Rosa Parks but was excluded from history because she was pregnant out of wedlock and would not be a good representation of the movement. Also, Bayard Rustin, an LGBTQ community member who was very instrumental in coordinating the March on Washington but yet we never heard of him. Its as if he was wiped out of history because he was openly gay. Before this class, we only focused on the mainstream historical narrative of African-Americans’ history and struggle in this country.  The Civil Rights Movement was watered down to Martin Luther King’s I have a Dream speech during the March on Washington, DC. Society would have us thinking that King’s dream was fulfilled but our research showed up that it hasn’t been. As far as Education, We are experiencing the same issues today in 2019 – segregation, unequal facilities, and resources, not to mention unfair disciplinary practices. The dream has not been achieved. But What happens to a dream deferred? Do we get a new dream? Do we forget about it? Or do we use our education and our voice to initiate another grassroots movement but this time maybe we should focus not on “Civil” rights for Black people but on the Rights of Human Beings?

Thank you


We Shall Overcome

Through the history of the United States, the country has not always been known as “The Land of the Free” due to the use of discrimination and segregation against the African American population. The Civil War officially ended the era of slavery; however, African Americans were still placed in inferior positions once again. Because of this, the racial minority of the time had to step up for their own cause that would later create the Civil Rights Movement from the rights that weren’t granted to them. As the movement progressed, African Americans expressed their true rights through boycotts, protests, and marches. Parts of the movement like Brown v. Board and the Montgomery Boycott were major points that changed history in the 1950s-1960s. Although, because of the laws known as the Jim Crow Laws, lack of equality and cultural mixing caused an exceedingly divided society. To concur the division, The Civil Rights Movement was a major turning point in our history and a piece that would turn the people’s individuality into unity for all to bask in.

One of the main turning points in the fight for equality in the Civil Rights Movement was the Supreme Court Case, Brown v. Board. Through this history-changing case, the end of segregation of schools was announced to the nation to destroy the saying of “separate but equal”. A precursor for this case was the case of Plessy v. Ferguson, a case that set the stage for the equal society we have now although at that time racial segregation was upheld. When Brown v. Board came about a few years later, it addressed the problem of segregation between white and black students in schools that violated the equal protection clause. From such a system, the segregated schools were creating an inferiority complex among the black students compared to the white students which was not legally permissible. In 1953, the final choice was made in a unanimous decision to declare segregated schools unconstitutional. Chief Justice Warren ended this memorable case during the Civil Rights Movement by stating, “We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal..” (Warren). As a result of this case, a new hope was brought into the eyes of African Americans to create a better life for themselves not only in schools but also through any public facility and person in the United States.

The Civil Rights Movement continued into 1955 with the Montgomery Bus Boycotts that began with the spark from Rosa Parks’ arrest. The boycott lasted for thirteen months with the help of the Montgomery Improvement Association headed by Martin Luther King. During this time, the African Americans of Montgomery, Alabama, refused to ride on the buses to peacefully protest the segregated seating between whites and African Americans. Because of the boycott led by the African American population, segregation in buses was stopped in 1956 through the statement, “any law requiring racially segregated seating on buses violated the 14th amendment to the US Constitution…guarantees all citizens regardless of race equal rights and equal protection under state and federal laws” (History Channel). As a part of the Civil Rights Movement, this boycott gave African Americans another piece of their freedom that was originally taken away due to discrimination from the white population.

The Civil Rights Movement started in the 1950s and ended in the 1960s which represented a time of hatred and freedom all at the same time. In the book, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, the fight for liberty is shown through the stories told by the maids of Jackson, Mississippi, that gives a different perspective of what it was like to live during those times. Many of the same types of events that occurred in the real world also happened in the book that described the harsh, segregated environment that had to be lived through daily. One of the characters, Aibileen, expresses her frustration of this segregation between races by saying, “I want to yell so loud that Baby Girl can hear me that dirty ain’t a color, disease ain’t the negro side of town” (Stockett). The quote gives a moment where Aibileen wants to protect the white child that she is taking care of from all the atrocities of life even though it is inevitable she will learn. However, that was the true meaning of the Civil Rights Movement, to gain the correct values and teach others of what they are to create future generations who are accepting of other races. By that idea, the movement was for African Americans, and the white American population both to create a better society for themselves based off of the correct values towards each other. The hatred towards the African American race was a result of the long built up tensions through history and activities started initially by the slave trade.

As of now in the United States, discrimination against races is frowned upon in every aspect of a person’s daily life. To create such a way of thinking, the Civil Rights Movement led the way for a better society, America, and the overall community. The court cases, laws, protests, and boycotts would all contribute to the next generations of Americans to leave behind the days of discrimination and segregation. The Help provides an insight of what the fight for freedom meant to African Americans and what had to be done to gain their freedom. Years later it would just be known as “history”, but the Civil Rights Movement was one of the main movements that brought the United States to equality, independence, and most of all, unity.

 

Citations:

“History – Brown v. Board of Education Re-Enactment.” United States Courts, www.uscourts.gov/educational-resources/educational-activities/history-brown-v-board-education-re-enactment.

“Montgomery Bus Boycott.” Montgomery Bus Boycott | The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute, Stanford University, 5 Dec. 1955, kinginstitute.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/montgomery-bus-boycott.

“Montgomery Bus Boycott.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, www.history.com/topics/black-history/montgomery-bus-boycott.

Stockett, Kathryn. The Help. Penguin, 2009, Accessed 27 October 2018.

Image from: https://billmoyers.com/2014/12/07/civil-rights-movement-came-moment-like-one/

 

 

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