Dr. Mauricelm-Lei Millere (R) of Arkansas, USA rallies other Civil Rights marchers outside of Jena Highs School in Jena, Louisiana, USA on 20 September 2007. Thousands of protesters have gathered in this small town to speak against the imprisonment of the Jena 6. Many are accusing the local government of wrongfully punishing the six teenagers due to them being African-American. EPA/DAN ANDERSON/
Evangelist Goldi Gaines' "Operation Bread Basket" In 2004-2009 several "key" individuals were added to the association. Rafael Bryan became SNCC president during the Anti-Poverty Campaign orchestrated in Jacksonville,NC. Also, Nelson McCarter, often called "the Gentle Giant" for his extra-ordinary patience with victims and foes of civil rights-joined the campaign during a single case of police profiling investigation happenning in his own hometown, Maysville,NC. Rev. Allen Hawkins, known by the surrounding areas as the "Praying Prophet" matched Millere's and McCarter's social conscience with spiritual empathy. Two years later, after moving to Arkansas to encourage voters registration drive and preparation to help plan the Arkansas Obama Group For Presidential Election (or AOG; Millere meets Goldi Gaines. Gaines is an AME Minister, hence Evangelist Goldi Gaines, who is pushing an harsh December to feed the poor. Evangelist Gaines and her concern for bread begans their "operation Bread Basket" and an all out fight against Homelessness, Hunger, and Joblessness. it proved to be just what the doctor ordered.(CRAA-Social Affairs Committee/Independent Minority Press Association). https://sites.google.com/site/goldicivilrights2010andbeyond/
Medgar Evers was born July 2, 1925 in Decatur, Mississippi, the son of James Evers (also known as "joe blow") who was the owner of a small farm and a sawmill worker, and a devout woman named Jessie. James, as well as Medgar's maternal great-grandfather Joseph Evers were two men that also fought for their freedom. Evers was the third of four children, after Charles, and Elizabeth. babe Ruth was the youngest. The family was rounded out by Eva Lee and Gene (who were Jessie’s children from a prior marriage). Determined to get the education he deserved after the lynching of a family friend, Evers walked twelve miles to and from school to earn his high school diploma. In 1943 he was inducted into the army along with his older brother Charlie. Evers fought in France, the European Theatre of WWII and was honorably discharged in 1945 as a Sergeant. In 1946, Evers, along with his brother and four friends, returned to his hometown.
In 1948, Evers enrolled at Alcorn College (now Alcorn State University), majoring in business administration. In college, he was on the debate team, played football and ran track, sang in the school choir and served as president of his junior class. It was here that he was listed in Who’s Who in American Colleges for his many accomplishments.
He married classmate Myrlie Beasley on December 24, 1951, and received his BA degree the following year. Myrlie Beasley and Medgar Evers had three children, two boys and a girl.
The couple moved to Mound Bayou, Mississippi, where T. R. M. Howard had hired him to sell insurance for his Magnolia Mutual Life Insurance Company. Howard was also the president of the Regional Council of Negro Leadership (RCNL), a civil rights and pro self-help organization. Involvement in the RCNL gave Evers crucial training in activism. He helped to organize the RCNL's boycott of service stations that denied blacks use of their restrooms. The boycotters distributed bumper stickers with the slogan "Don't Buy Gas Where You Can't Use the Restroom." Along with his brother, Charles Evers, Medgar also attended the RCNL's annual conferences in Mound Bayou between 1952 and 1954 which drew crowds of ten thousand or more.
Evers applied to the then-segregated University of Mississippi Law School in February 1954. When his application was rejected, Evers filed a lawsuit against the university, and became the focus of a NAACP campaign to desegregate the school, a case aided by the United States Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education 347 U.S. 483 that segregation was unconstitutional. That same year, due to his involvement, the NAACP's National Office suggested he become Mississippi’s first field secretary for the NAACP.
NAACP Field Secretary On November 24, 1954, Evers was appointed Mississippi’s first field secretary. President of the NAACP Mississippi State Conference and civil rights activist, E.J. Stringer, helped him gain this position.
Evers was involved in a boycott campaign against white merchants and was instrumental in eventually desegregating the University of Mississippi when that institution was finally forced to enroll James Meredith in 1962.
The admission of Meredith led to a riot on campus that left two people dead. Evers’ involvement and investigative work brought about hatred in many white supremacists. In the weeks leading up to his death, Evers found himself even more of a target. His public investigations into the murder of Emmett Till and his vocal support of Clyde Kennard made him a prominent black leader and therefore vulnerable to attack. On May 28, 1963, a molotov cocktail was thrown into the carport of his home. Five days before his death, Evers was nearly run down by a car after he emerged from the Jackson NAACP office.
On June 12, 1963, Evers pulled into his driveway after just returning from a meeting with NAACP lawyers. Emerging from his car and carrying NAACP T-shirts that read "Jim Crow Must Go," Evers was struck in the back with a bullet fired from an Enfield 1917 .303 rifle that ricocheted into his Jackson, Mississippi home. He staggered 30 feet before collapsing. He died at a local hospital 50 minutes later, just hours after President John F. Kennedy's speech on national television in support of civil rights.
On June 23, 1964, Byron De La Beckwith, a fertilizer salesman and member of the White Citizens' Council and Ku Klux Klan, was arrested for Evers' murder. During the course of his first trial in 1964, De La Beckwith was visited by former Mississippi governor Ross Barnett and one time Army Major General Edwin A. Walker.
All-white juries twice that year deadlocked on De La Beckwith's guilt.
The murder and subsequent trials caused an uproar. Musician Bob Dylan wrote his 1963 song "Only a Pawn in Their Game" about Evers and his assassin. The song's lyrics included: "Today, Medgar Evers was buried from the bullet he caught/They lowered him down as a king." Nina Simone took up the topic in her song "Mississippi Goddam". Phil Ochs wrote the songs "Too Many Martyrs" and "Another Country" in response to the killing. Matthew Jones and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Freedom Singers paid tribute to Evers in the haunting "Ballad of Medgar Evers." Eudora Welty's short story "Where is the Voice Coming From," in which the speaker is the imagined assassin of Medgar Evers, was published in The New Yorker. Even Rex Stout used the event as a plot device in his civil rights themed mystery A Right to Die.
Malvina Reynolds mentioned "the shot in Evers' back" in her 1964 song "It Isn't Nice", and in 1965, Jackson C. Frank included the lyrics "But there aren't words to bring back Evers" in his tribute to the civil rights movement, "Don't Look Back," on his only, self-titled, album.
In 1994, 30 years after the two previous trials had failed to reach a verdict, De La Beckwith was again brought to trial based on new evidence, and Bobby DeLaughter took on the job as the prosecutor. During the trial, the body of Evers was exhumed from his grave for autopsy, and found to be in a surprisingly good state of preservation as a result of embalming. De La Beckwith was convicted of murder on February 5, 1994, after having lived as a free man for the three decades following the killing. De La Beckwith appealed unsuccessfully, and died in prison in January 2001.
Andrew Jackson Young (born March 12, 1932) is an American politician, diplomat and pastor from Georgia who has served as Mayor of Atlanta, a Congressman from the 5th district, and United States Ambassador to the United Nations. He served as President of the National Council of Churches USA, was a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, and was a supporter and friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta was named after him. International Boulevard, near Centennial Olympic Park, has been re-named Andrew Young International Boulevard, in honor of his efforts to secure the Olympic bid for Atlanta.
Fred Shuttlesworth (born Freddie Lee Robinson on March 18, 1922) is a former civil rights activist who led the fight against segregation and other forms of racism as a minister in Birmingham, Alabama. He was a co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, was instrumental in the 1963 Birmingham Campaign, and continued to work against racism and for alleviation of the problems of the homeless in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he took up a pastorate in 1961. He returned to Birmingham after his retirement in 2007.
Born in Mount Meigs, Alabama, Shuttlesworth became pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham in 1953 and was Membership Chairman of the Alabama state chapter of the NAACP in 1956, when the State of Alabama formally outlawed it from operating within the state. In May, 1956 Shuttlesworth and Ed Gardner established the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights to take up the work formerly done by the NAACP.
The ACMHR raised almost all of its funds from local sources at mass meetings. It used both litigation and direct action to pursue its goals. When the authorities ignored the ACMHR's demand that the City hire black police officers, the organization sued. Similarly, when the United States Supreme Court ruled in December, 1956 that bus segregation in Montgomery, Alabama was unconstitutional, Shuttlesworth announced that the ACMHR would challenge segregation laws in Birmingham on December 26, 1956.
On December 25, 1956, unknown persons tried to kill Shuttlesworth by placing sixteen sticks of dynamite under his bedroom window. Shuttlesworth somehow escaped unhurt even though his house was heavily damaged. A police officer, who also belonged to the Ku Klux Klan, told Shuttlesworth as he came out of his home, "If I were you I'd get out of town as quick as I could". Shuttlesworth told him to tell the Klan that he was not leaving and "I wasn't saved to run."
Fred Shuttlesworth led a group that integrated Birmingham's buses the next day, then sued after police arrested twenty-one passengers. His congregation built a new parsonage for him and posted sentries outside his house.
In 1957 Shuttlesworth, along with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rev. Ralph Abernathy from Montgomery, Rev. Joseph Lowery from Mobile, Alabama, Rev. T.J. Jemison from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Rev. C.K. Steele from Tallahassee, Florida, Rev. A.L.Davis from New Orleans, Louisiana and Bayard Rustin founded the Southern Leadership Conference on Transportation and Nonviolent Integration, later renamed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The SCLC adopted a motto to underscore its commitment to nonviolence: "Not one hair of one head of one person should be harmed."
Shuttlesworth embraced that philosophy, even though his own personality was combative, headstrong and sometimes blunt-spoken to the point that he frequently antagonized his colleagues in the movement as well as his opponents. He was not shy in asking King to take a more active role in leading the fight against segregation and warning that history would not look kindly on those who gave "flowery speeches" but did not act on them. He alienated some members of his congregation by devoting as much time as he did to the civil rights movement, at the expense of weddings, funerals and other ordinary church functions.
As a result, in 1961 Shuttlesworth moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to take up the pastorage of the Revelation Baptist Church. He remained intensely involved in the Birmingham struggle after moving to Cincinnati, and frequently returned to help lead actions.
Shuttlesworth was apparently personally fearless, even though he was aware of the risks he ran. Other committed activists were scared off or mystified by his willingness to accept the risk of death. Shuttlesworth himself vowed to "kill segregation or be killed by it".
When Shuttlesworth and his wife attempted to enroll their children in a previously all-white public school in Birmingham in 1957, a mob of Klansmen attacked them, with the police nowhere to be seen. His assailants, including a man involved in the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing, also known as the Birmingham Church Bombing, named Bobby Cherry, beat him with chains and brass knuckles in the street while someone stabbed his wife. Shuttlesworth lost consciousness but was dragged to safety and driven away.
In 1958 Shuttlesworth survived another attempt on his life. A church member standing guard saw a bomb and quickly moved it to the street before it went off.
He invited SCLC and Dr. King to come to Birmingham in 1963 to lead the campaign to desegregate it through mass demonstrations–what Shuttlesworth called "Project C", the "C" standing for "confrontation". While Shuttlesworth was willing to negotiate with political and business leaders for peaceful abandonment of segregation, he believed, with good reason, that they would not take any steps that they were not forced to take. He suspected their promises could not be trusted on until they acted on them.
One of the 1963 demonstrations he led resulted in Shuttlesworth's being convicted of parading without a permit from the City Commission. On appeals the case reached the US Supreme Court. In its 1969 decision of Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham, the Supreme Court reversed Shuttlesworth's conviction. They determined circumstances indicated that the parade permit was denied not to control traffic, as the state contended, but to censor ideas.
In 1963 Shuttlesworth was set on provoking a crisis that would force the authorities and business leaders to recalculate the cost of segregation. He was helped immeasurably by Eugene "Bull" Connor, the Commissioner of Public Safety and most powerful public official in Birmingham, who used Klan groups to heighten violence against blacks in the city. Even as the business class was beginning to see the end of segregation, Connor was determined to maintain it. While Connor's direct police tactics intimidated black citizens of Birmingham, they also created a split between Connor and the business leaders. They resented both the damage Connor was doing to Birmingham's image around the world and his high-handed attitude toward them.
Similarly, while Connor may have benefited politically in the short run from Shuttlesworth's determined provocations, that also fit Shuttleworth's long-term plans. The televised images of Connor's directing handlers of police dogs to attack unarmed demonstrators and firefighters' using hoses to knock down children had a profound effect on American citizens' view of the civil rights struggle.
Shuttlesworth's activities were not limited to Birmingham. In 1964 he traveled to St. Augustine, Florida (which he often cited as the place where the civil rights struggle met with the most violent resistance), taking part in marches and widely publicized beach wade-ins that led directly to the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. Thus he was a key figure in the Birmingham campaign that led to the initiation of the law, and the St. Augustine campaign that finally brought it into being.
In 1965 he was also active in Selma, Alabama, and the march from Selma to Montgomery that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, thus playing an important role in the efforts that led to the passage of the two great legislative accomplishments of the civil rights movement. In later years he took part in commemorative activities in Selma at the time of the anniversary of the famous march. And he returned to St. Augustine in 2004 to take part in a celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the civil rights movement there.
Shuttlesworth organized the Greater New Light Baptist Church in 1966 and founded the "Shuttlesworth Housing Foundation" in 1988 to assist families who might otherwise be unable to buy their own homes.
Named President of the SCLC in August, 2004, he resigned later in the year, complaining that "deceit, mistrust and a lack of spiritual discipline and truth have eaten at the core of this once-hallowed organization".
In 1998 Shuttlesworth became an early signer and supporter of the Birmingham Pledge, a grassroots community commitment to combating racism and prejudice. It has since then been used for programs in all fifty states and in more than twenty countries.
On January 8, 2001, he was presented with the Presidential Citizens Medal by President William Clinton. Prompted by the removal of a non-cancerous brain tumour in August of the previous year, he gave his final sermon in front of 300 people at the Greater New Light Baptist Church on the 19th March 2006—the weekend of his 84th birthday.
He and his second wife, Sephira, moved to downtown Birmingham where he is receiving medical treatment.
On July 16, 2008, the Birmingham, Alabama Airport Authority approved changing the name of the "Birmingham International Airport (U.S.)" in honor of Shuttlesworth. On October 27, 2008, the airport was officially changed to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
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