civil rights

Society
4:22 pm
Thu July 16, 2015

Tennessee Community Pushes To Reopen 'Civil Rights Hero' Cold Case

Williams is believed to be buried in the Taylor Cemetery in Brownsville, Tenn.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Thu July 16, 2015 7:10 pm

A rural West Tennessee community is pushing the Justice Department to reopen a 75-year-old civil rights murder case.

Elbert Williams is believed to be the first NAACP official killed for seeking to register black voters. Yet the mysterious story of his 1940 murder is not widely known.

Clues about Williams' murder are thought to be buried with him, here in the Taylor Cemetery just outside Brownsville, Tenn.

Local attorney Jim Emison walks to a corner of the cemetery, set off by two towering oaks.

"This is the area where we believe he lies," Emison says.

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Culture
4:14 pm
Mon June 22, 2015

Hear Dozens of Interviews with Civil Rights Activists at Vanderbilt's Digital Archive

Screenshot of Vanderbilt's Digital Archive of Robert Penn Warren's "Who Speaks for the Negro?"
Credit whospeaks.library.vanderbilt.edu

On the Kentucky side of the border along Tennessee sits a little railroad town named Guthrie, the home of the nation's first poet laureate and three-time Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and poet Robert Penn Warren, known as "Red" Warren, born in 1905. During the Civil Rights Movement, Warren wrote a book titled Who Speaks for the Negro? featuring interviews with activists like Malcom X, Martin Luther King Jr. and many others. For nearly a decade, these interviews have been available online for listening. On Sounds Good, Kate Lochte learns more about the digital archive from Mona Frederick, Executive Director of the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities at Vanderbilt University.

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Culture
2:43 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

[Update] Retired Tenn. Lawyer Researches Cold Case of Murdered Civil Rights Era NAACP Official

Elbert Williams, left, the subject of research by Jim Emison, right, on the Civil Rights Era cold-case surrounding his murder in Brownsville, TN
Credit Photos courtesy of Jim Emison

Second Update: NPR's All Things Considered reported on this  effort. Here's the link to their story: Tennessee Community Pushes To Reopen 'Civil Rights Hero' Cold Case

Update: Part two of this conversation, which aired on Sounds Good Friday, June 19, has been added to this story, along with its narrative.  

Brownsville, Tennessee is in Haywood County mid-way northeast of Memphis and southwest of Jackson. On Saturday, the Haywood High School Gymnasium is the site of a Community Memorial Service honoring civil rights activist Elbert Williams on the 75th anniversary of his death. Alamo, Tennessee lawyer Jim Emison retired in 2011 and began a quest to understand more about the death of Elbert Williams, whose murder was never solved. Williams was the first known NAACP official to be killed for his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. Jim Emison speaks with Kate Lochte on Sounds Good about what he's learned.

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Society
8:19 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

UT Martin Hosts 15th Annual Civil Rights Conference Next Week

Credit UT Martin logo, utm.edu

The University of Tennessee at Martin hosts its 15th Annual Civil Rights Conference next week. Conference Director, Assistant Professor of History Renee LaFleur previews the multi-day event whose keynote speaker is presidential historian and Director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library since 2009, Mark Updegrove. On Sounds Good, Kate Lochte speaks with LaFleur about the theme of how President Johnson's "Great Society" contributed to the Civil Rights Movement and other featured speakers at the event.

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Marriage
10:13 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Same Sex Marriage: County Officials Mulling Future of Courthouse Weddings

The Christian County "Love Chapel"
Credit Allison Crawford

As Alabama becomes the most recent state to issue same sex marriages, some lawmakers there are decrying a federal judge’s decision to strike down the ban and the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to intervene. Kentucky, another largely conservative state, may receive a final decision on its gay marriage ban this summer. The impending decision has some public officials reexamining their role as marriage officiants.


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WKMS Press Releases
11:33 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Hear Black History Month Specials on WKMS

Civil Rights leaders: Bayard Rustin, Andrew Young, Rep. William Fitts Ryan, James Farmer, John Lewis, 1965
Credit Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons, Library of Congress

WKMS celebrates Black History Month with a unique collection of vignettes during Sounds Good all month long, a limited-run series on the life and music of Duke Ellington and special programming covering "Race and Fear" in America, the Civil Rights movement from Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall, and a special report following three African American women coping with breast cancer.

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Politics
12:18 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Commentary: 50 Years Later - Freedom Summer 1964

Students protesting in Mississippi
Credit crmvet.org

"All my life I've been sick and tired. Now I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired." - Fannie Lou Hamer

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, a campaign to open the polls to African-American voters in Mississippi, which became a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights era. The summer marked a turning point in ending white supremacy in the state and decades of isolation in the Deep South for black voters ahead of the 1964 elections. Commentator and Murray State history professor Dr. Brian Clardy reflects back on Freedom Summer and its legacy 50 years later.

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Society
5:31 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Western Kentucky Loses Civil Rights Trailblazer

Wardelle G. Harvey
Credit New Greater Love Missionary Baptist Church

Paducah has lost a formative civil rights activist and its first black City Commissioner. Reverend Wardelle G. Harvey died the Tuesday evening at the age of 88. 

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Society
2:12 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

50 Years Later: The Civil Rights March on Frankfort

1964 March on Frankfort
Credit kchr.ky.gov / Kentucky Commission on Human Rights

This week marks the 50th anniversary of a Kentucky event of importance not only for the state, but also for the nation. On March 5, 1964, over 10,000 people marched to Frankfort, Kentucky, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Jackie Robinson, demanding a law to end segregation in the Commonwealth. We hear the story with Kate Lochte, through the voices of a state employee of that time and an organizer of the event - who is still working for human rights.

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Society
12:11 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

UT Martin Hosts Nation's Oldest Civil Rights Conference

Credit utm.edu

This week, the University of Tennessee at Martin hosts "Freedom Summer: Fifty Years Later." It's their 14th Annual Civil Rights Conference featuring keynote speaker Mr. Dave Dennis, who participated in the first Freedom Bus ride from Montgomery, Alabama and in voter registration efforts during the 1964 Freedom Summer. Today, he works as the director and CEO of the Southern Initiative of the Algebra Project, a nonprofit that aims to improve mathematics education for minority children. UTM Department of History faculty member Dr. Renee LaFleur is coordinator for the conference and speaks with Kate Lochte about its events on Sounds Good.

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