Tag: civil rights movement

9 articles

The Drum Major Instinct

“If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long.”


A Dream Undone

The plot to erode the key legislative gains of the civil rights era.


"The Conclusion of the Age of the Prophets"

Remembering jazz musician Ornette Coleman.


Letter from Birmingham Jail

On the moral responsibility to break unjust laws.

“There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all.’”

No Twang of Conscience Whatever

“‘Have you ever killed anybody?’”


Letter from Selma

A voting rights march, from Selma to the statehouse in Montgomery, Alabama.


An Oral History of the March on Washington

A pivotal Civil Rights rally recalled, 50 years later.


The First Church of Rednecks, White Socks, and Blue Ribbon Beer

In the ’50s and ’60s, the Reverend Will Campbell marched with MLK Jr. and worked to desegregate the University of Mississippi. Later, broke, he took a job as Waylon Jennings’ roadie and occasional spiritual guru. Afterward, his ministry grew even stranger and more itinerant.


America's Gandhi

A profile of the Time Man of the Year for 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.