To justify the exclusion of and violence toward African Americans after the Civil War, pop culture—encompassing everything from mass media and entertainment to product advertising and tchotchkes—churned out objects, images, songs, and stories designed to reinforce widespread beliefs about white supremacy and black inferiority. Across the country, in Northern states as well as Southern ones, black people were routinely humiliated, menaced, tortured and beaten to death, and blocked from participating in business and public life. Thanks to smartphone and social-media technology, we’re seeing how such violence continues in 2015, 50 years after the height of the Civil Rights Movement.
“I sing to the realists; people who accept it like it is.”
~ R.I.P. Aretha Franklin (1942 – 2018)
R.I.P. Linda Brown Smith (1942 – 2018), whose father was the plaintiff named in 1954′s groundbreaking school-desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education.
“I wanted to fight segregation on the front lines. I wanted to dedicate my writing skills to the cause. Segregation was beating down my people. I volunteered for every assignment and suggested more. I stayed on the road, covering civil rights day and night. The names, the places and the events became history.”
~ Simeon Booker (1918 – 2017)
100 years of civil-rights demonstrations: Photographs and newspaper coverage of the East St. Louis riots of 1917 and the NAACP’s Silent Protest against lynching and other unlawful treatment, New York City, July 28, 1917.