This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This landmark legislation made it illegal to discriminate against someone based upon their race or place of birth.
Before 1964, the experiences of transplanted Africans in this country were dramatically influenced by slavery and Jim Crow racial segregation. During the past 50 years, many African Americans, under the protection of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, have achieved a level of social and economic mobility that their ancestors could only have dreamt of.
2014 marks the 60th anniversary of the landmark civil rights case, Brown v. Board of Education. However, Brown could have been decided one year earlier, if not for some unusual circumstances that brought the lawyers back to the Supreme Court to argue the case… for a second time.
I have been maligning Lee Daniels' The Butler as a movie without a central storyline, but my powers of prophecy were weak: its story is the whole civil rights movement, from beginning lunch counters to South African apartheid and the Reagan administration.
Tom Hayden, internationally known human rights and peace activist, former California state legislator, and Freedom Rider will speak Friday at the Peace & Social Justice Center's 20th anniversary dinner.
Hayden will share his long-time experience in peace, justice and environment movements. He spent years on the forefront of the anti-Vietnam War movement and is against the war in Afghanistan. He says in the '60s, President Lyndon Johnson said that the United States could afford guns and butter, meaning the Vietnam War and domestic programs.