Justice Still Absent in Bridge Death

Willie Edwards, 1932-1957

In a July 28, 1997 letter to Montgomery County District Attorney Ellen Brooks, Malinda Edwards made her plea for long delayed justice. Writing on behalf of her family, she requested that Ms. Brooks reopen the 1957 case involving the death of her father, Willie Edwards, Jr. Mr. Edwards’ decomposed body . . . → Read More: Justice Still Absent in Bridge Death

Durr Lecture Series Brightens City’s Intellectual Climate

Auburn University at Montgomery’s (AUM) Clifford J. Durr Lecture series continues to attract distinguished thinkers. Studs Terkel and Charles Morgan, Jr. spoke at the 1997 lecture. They told many wonderful stories about their experiences with Virginia and Clifford Durr. Through their anecdote laden speeches, the two long time friends of the Durrs also exposed . . . → Read More: Durr Lecture Series Brightens City’s Intellectual Climate

Heroic Act: Floyd Mann Stood Out Among Alabama Lawmen

Traditionally, during Black History month, the spotlight is on Americans with African ancestry. It is this exclusive aspect of black history month that continues to trouble this columnist. The quandary is this: how do we recognize an acknowledged hero of the civil rights movement even though he claimed no African ancestry.

On May 20, . . . → Read More: Heroic Act: Floyd Mann Stood Out Among Alabama Lawmen

Chain Gangs Newest Wedge Issue

Today, Alabama confines 19,838 prisoners. We house these inmates in 18 major inmate facilities, 2 work camps, and 11 work release centers. According to Department of Corrections Researcher, Thomas Gilkerson, the racial makeup of Alabama’s inmate population is 60/40 black to white for the male population and about the same ratio for the 1,100 female inmates. When asked if the Department of Corrections had an explanation for a 60 percent non-white incarceration rate given that population of the state is only 25 percent non-white, Mr. Gilkerson said that the department didn’t have any specific information based on research by their department. He felt that the disproportionally high rate of non-whites in Alabama prisons reflects the high rate of black on black crime in the state. . . . → Read More: Chain Gangs Newest Wedge Issue

Leaders Agree: Preserve Valuable History

Readers may recall the position this column took last year with respect to Black History Month. That column suggested we end the practice of defining and separating our history by race. On 7 November 1994, a group of Alabama’s civic and political leaders took an important step toward combining American civil rights history. U.S. . . . → Read More: Leaders Agree: Preserve Valuable History

Guinier’s Public Career Not Over Yet

Major Cox and Lani Guinier. Martha's Vineyard, August 1993.

Since Lani Guinier’s failed nomination for Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, she has become a celebrity. Ms. Guinier has become so famous that she hired an agent to manage her celebrity.

According to an article in the Washington Post, she receives 15 to . . . → Read More: Guinier’s Public Career Not Over Yet

Nation Gets Closer to King’s Dream

Thirty years ago, a quarter million Americans marched onto the mall at the Capitol in Washington D.C. They were demonstrating for equal rights for the class of Americans the constitution refers to as “other persons.” Gathered at the Lincoln Memorial, they heard a young Baptist preacher speak. In his “I Have a Dream” speech, . . . → Read More: Nation Gets Closer to King’s Dream

It’s time to end Black History Month

It’s time to stop imposing a separate black history upon Americans. Black History month divides society racially by highlighting a separate systematic account of what happened in the lives and development of Americans with African blood as opposed to the lives of Americans without African ancestry. Black History Month is the manifestation of a reconstructed Jim Crow, the intellectual equivalent to the “Negro or Colored Pages” published by white newspapers during the era of racial segregation. . . . → Read More: It’s time to end Black History Month

Atlanta Stakes Cradle Claim

A recent column in The Atlanta Constitution could instruct Montgomery political leaders on the value of our city’s history. Writing in her column, Cynthia Tucker, that paper’s editorial page editor, called upon Atlanta’s Mayor Maynard Jackson and the consultant he hired, Olympic marketeer, Joel Babbit, to use the slogan “Cradle of the Civil Rights Movement” to sell Atlanta as the city gears up for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Atlanta, as well as other cities in the south, certainly played a role in the civil rights movement, but the claim as “cradle” is not credible. . . . → Read More: Atlanta Stakes Cradle Claim