November 18, 2023

    Genesis 25:7-10: 7 This is the length of Abraham’s life, one hundred and seventy-five years. 8Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people. 9His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, east of Mamre, 10the field that Abraham purchased from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried, with his wife Sarah.    This is... Read more

September 7, 2023

On September 4, 1957, Black students who would later be called the Little Rock Nine made their first attempt to enter Little Rock’s Central High School under a desegregation order. When the students were not allowed to enter, President Dwight David Eisenhower issued executive orders for the students to be enrolled, but the orders were ignored by Arkansas authorities. On September 24, President Eisenhower ordered the National Guard to enforce desegregation of the school and admission of the students. An... Read more

August 11, 2023

  Fear drove the Jabara family from Lebanon. Khalid, Rami and Victoria Jabara’s parents feared for their family’s safety in a place where bombs were falling and violence had become a way of life during a civil war that began in 1975 and continued for fifteen years. The Jabaras are Christian – adding to their fears about persecution in a majority Muslim country. So they decided – along with an estimated one million other Lebanese citizens – to give their... Read more

July 1, 2023

  Back in the day, choosing not to identify oneself by race in applying to colleges and universities, and even for employment, was much easier: Photo identification wasn’t required for applications. In theory (but only in theory – for certainly surnames, schools attended, and even interests can be racial/ethnic identifiers), one could apply “race blind” and be judged objectively on such things as grade point averages (GPAs), test scores (SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, MCAT, LSAT, etc.), interests and extracurricular activities.... Read more

June 30, 2023

What caused the fire? When scholar and author Matthew Desmond spoke in Memphis in May 2023 about his latest book, Poverty, by America, he borrowed a line from author Tommy Orange and compared privileged Americans’ attitude toward poverty as that of onlookers watching kids jumping from the windows of a burning building: Everyone is focused on the jumpers, and believes that if only we could stop them from jumping, everything would be okay. No one, Desmond says, is asking about... Read more

June 15, 2023

  June 18, 1964. It’s often said that a picture is worth 1,000 words. So it was that a photo of James Brock, manager of the Monson Motor Lodge in St. Augustine, Florida, pouring muriatic acid into the pool where black and white guests were swimming on June 18, 1964 – spoke loudly as Congress wrestled with the passage of a Civil Rights Act. In St. Augustine, where nonviolent protest efforts to desegregate beaches and places of public accommodation had... Read more

May 13, 2023

  Frances Perkins was having lunch in New York on March 25, 1911, when the sound of fire engines lured her and her companions onto the street to see what was taking place. Perkins – at the time the Executive Secretary of the New York City Consumers League – had been hard at work on industrial reform, advocating better fire protection for factories and a limit to the number of weekly working hours for women and children, among other worker... Read more

May 8, 2023

             Carolyn Bryant (now Donham), whose accusations against Emmett Till led to his murder in 1955, has died at age 88. Bryant Donham was working in her family’s store in Money, Mississippi – a store which did a thriving business with Black sharecroppers who lived in the area – when 14-year-old Till, a youth from Chicago visiting relatives nearby, entered the store. He apparently spoke to Bryant Donham while attempting to purchase some candy or... Read more

April 7, 2023

  Lester Tanner wasn’t trying to make a name for himself when he shared the story of the man who saved his life during World War II. But he did, nonetheless, when he revealed a story that his hero had never shared. Tanner gone on to become an attorney after serving in World War II. He was living in New York and was being interviewed by the New York Times regarding a real estate deal in which he had been... Read more

March 21, 2023

  On March 21, 1960, a group of South African men from the township of Sharpeville, south of Johannesburg, chose to stage a protest of the country’s  requirement that black South Africans carry “passbooks” to regulate their movement into and through the major cities. The law requiring “passbooks,” just one symbol of South Africa’s segregationist apartheid policies, mandated that black South Africans over the age of 16 carry identification, employment authorization, and authorization to move between the black townships to... Read more

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