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Robert P. Moses: We tolerate a “sharecropper’s education”

10:16 pm November 3, 2009, by Maureen Downey

bobmosesSpeaking tonight at Georgia State where he gave the annual Benjamin E. Mays lecture, educator, civil rights legend and innovator Robert P. Moses called for a constitutional amendment that says “every child in this country is a child of this country and is entitled to a quality public school education.”

Founder of The Algebra Project, Moses has a dazzling resume, including a MacArthur Foundation genius grant.

Raised in Harlem, educated at Harvard, Moses began his civil rights career as field secretary for the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee. Then, he was trying to help black sharecroppers in Mississippi register to vote, and he was pistol whipped and beaten for his efforts.

Now, Moses has another injustice in his sights: unequal education.

In his work in poor and minority schools, Moses realized that the “sharecropper education in the age of cotton has been transported alive and kicking into the age of information.” Read the full article here.


Civil Rights and the Young People’s Project: One Girl’s Trip to the SNNC 50th Anniversary Conference

July 9, 2010
By Deamonte Tibbs-Petty,
The Young People’s Project

StudentNonViolentCoordinatingCommittee_LogoThe Young People’s Project is a non-profit group dedicated to raising math literacy and working for social change. Their mission is to change the quality of mathematics education for children. As part of that group, I traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina, in April for the SNNC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) 50th Anniversary Conference. More than 1,100 people attended the conference, which was both a celebration and a documentation of those who fought for social change in 1960.

I learned about so many inspiring people in the civil rights movement, and saw what they have achieved by fighting against racism and fighting for equality. One powerful woman I learned about was Ella Baker, an activist and civil rights organizer who was a strong leader and speaker for her community. To me, she is the definition of a role model because she stood up to oppression and fought for equal rights for the black community. Baker once said, “Strong people don’t need strong leaders.” This quote stuck with me because it reminds me that we all have enough willpower to lead ourselves. Read more here.


Finishing the Dream

July 20, 2010

Jackson State University hosted the “Finishing the Dream” Town Hall Meeting at the Rose E. McCoy Auditorium at noon, Tuesday, July 20. The event was sponsored by NBC, WLBT3 and the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy.

Begun in May 2010, Finishing the Dream is a series of town hall meetings being held in four cities, including Jackson, Chicago, Atlanta and Detroit, to discuss where the civil rights movement goes from here. The meetings will make up part of a “Finishing the Dream” telecast on NBC later this year. Read more about the event and see pictures here.


The Tribe of SNCC

By: Tom Hayden
April 20, 2010  

One thousand enthusiastic celebrants at the fiftieth anniversary of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee here were credited by a top White House official with making possible the Barack Obama presidency, as the group passed the torch to a new generation fighting for a constitutional right to quality education.

It may have been the last assemblage of the original SNCC tribe of organizers, now averaging 65 years in age, but the promise of SNCC's children, now between their teens and 30s, was evident in hundreds of young faces from all over the country.

US Attorney General Eric Holder spoke on Saturday at the same Raleigh site where SNCC was founded as a coordinating network for the exploding sit-in movement that began in Greensboro, North Carolina, on February 1, 1960. After internal debate, the conference steering committee invited President Obama. The decision to send Holder was freighted with memories of Justice Department officials in the early 1960s who, after initial hesitancy, often struggled alone to prevent segregationist violence against young civil rights workers helping local people to register and vote. John Doar, now 89, who faced down racist officials on many occasions, sat in the crowd as the new attorney general spoke. Read the full article here.


U.S. Civil Rights Veterans Pass Torch to Younger Generation

By Lucy Komisar

RALEIGH, North Carolina, Apr 27, 2010 (IPS) - Robert Moses, 75, a legendary leader and organiser in the 1960s U.S. civil rights movement, was huddled with a dozen people discussing plans for a campaign to make quality education a constitutional right. On one side was his son Omowale, 38. Next to Omo was John Doar, 89, head of the civil rights division of the U.S. Justice Department in 1960-67 and prosecutor of the major civil rights cases of that era.

The age differences were noticeable at the conference they attended this month in Raleigh, North Carolina, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. It was a moment for the "elders" - as high school and college students at the conference called them - to pass the torch to a new generation of activists. Read the full article here.


The Shadows of Youth: The Remarkable Journey of the Civil Rights Generation

By Andrew B. Lewis