Much has changed in the past 50 years, since the height of the Civil Rights movement. But how do you teach the Civil Rights to kids who haven’t ever experienced it? In Jackson, Miss., Fannie Lou Hamer Institute’s Summer Youth Workshop tackles that question, reports NPR today.
“Take 13-year-old Jermany Gray, for instance. Gray and his fellow students are all African-American, and many of them are from Jackson. They’re familiar with the struggle for civil rights — they read about it in text books and saw it in museum exhibits. But for most, it’s a story that ended long before they were even born. Gray has no problem talking about what the Civil Rights movement was back in the ’60s, but when asked what it means to him these days, the answer doesn’t come as easily.
“What does it mean? I’ll have to think about that question,” he said. “Maybe I can answer that at the end of the week.”That’s the typical challenge, according to Michelle Deardorff who is the chair of political science at Jackson State and who also helped found the Hamer Institute. “The image I give when I talk about this is a tree, and the tree is democracy. And a chain link fence was around it,” said Deardorff, who used the idea of the fence to represent racism and slavery. “And as the tree grew, it grew around the fence. We’ve now pulled the fence out… but the tree is shaped by it forever.” Continue reading “Teaching the civil rights movement”
“By 1968, President Lyndon Johnson — a man brought into office by an assassin’s bullet — had already convinced Congress to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act the following year,” states a Huffington Post editorial today.
“The bills put the full force of federal law behind the rights of black and other disenfranchised Americans to vote and use a wide variety of public facilities. But one other measure that Johnson and many civil rights activists saw as essential
— The Fair Housing Act — had languished in Congress for three years. In April of that year, Congress finally passed the bill. It was just days after another assassin’s bullet sliced through Martin Luther King Jr.’s neck and jaw, killing the civil rights leader in Memphis.
“Nearly 45 years later, the desire to memorialize King and his nonviolent struggle for a broad range of civil, labor and economic rights, has changed. Continue reading “Civil rights and wrongs”
Half the Sky now is going digital with a new online game. In early 2013, the movement to empower women and girls continues with a new adventure on Facebook. This new game is part of a growing effort on the part of game developers (Zynga, in this instance) to partner with groups working for social change. Half the Sky Movement: The Game is inspired by the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide and brings players first to a small village in India to meet Radhika. The press release says that “Over 300 million people play online social games each month, and their demographic profile cuts across gender and age groups. In the game, Radhika will take players on a global journey, from India to Kenya, Vietnam, Afghanistan and the U.S. In her transition from oppression to opportunity, she must find her voice in her own house and gain financial and social independence. Players start with very little, but as they complete quests to help Radhika and other girls and women, Radhika becomes a community leader. Whether helping a girl in the village to buy a bicycle that will take her to school, or fighting off an international gang of sex traffickers, Radhika becomes a force within her world. Continue reading “Half the Sky to launch online game”