civil rights

Wichita Transit Designates Bus To Honor Rosa Parks

Feb 25, 2016
City of Wichita

Those driving around Wichita might notice a unique bus over the next year. In recognition of Black History Month, Wichita Transit has devoted one of its vehicles to the memory of civil rights activist Rosa Parks.

A vinyl graphic has been wrapped around a transit bus in the style of 1955 Montgomery, Alabama.

With green, yellow and white stripes, it’s meant to mimic the bus in which Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her seat to a white passenger.

Carla Eckels

The Kansas African American Museum held a community discussion on Wednesday about a civil rights trail tour taken by Wichitans to Alabama. The summer trip yielded Kansas ties.

The diverse group went to historic sites in Birmingham, Selma and Montgomery. Museum Director Mark McCormick says the group's tour of Selma included a Wichita dimension: A monument, featured in last year's Selma movie, is dedicated to Wichita Rev. James Reeb, a martyr of the civil rights movement.

McCormick says a Recall drugstore in Selma links back to Wichita’s 1958 Dockum Drugstore sit-in.

National Photo Company, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs

On July 28, 1868, Secretary of State William H. Seward issued a proclamation certifying the ratification of the 14th Amendment to the U.S, Constitution. This amendment extended citizenship to anyone born in the United States; guaranteed equal protection, due process, and privileges and immunities; and tasked the federal government to enforce these rights for all citizens.

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

On May 6, 1960, President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law the second of four civil rights acts that serve as the foundation of federal civil rights statutes in the 20th and 21st centuries.

James Duncan Davidson / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons

Bryan Stevenson is the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala., a private, nonprofit human rights organization, helping the poor, the incarcerated, the condemned and children. He is also professor of law at New York University School of Law and received the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant, and also won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color.

ensh / Flickr / Creative Commons

The meaning of the words justice served relies on the social, political and legal contexts in which it is applied.

Two 19th-century U.S. Supreme Court cases reflect how the Court’s decisions can be swayed by contemporary racial politics. In its 1857 Dred Scott v. Sandford decision, the Court declared that African Americans could not sue for freedom in federal court because they were not considered citizens. This decision reversed 28 years of precedent, reflecting more the heightened division over slavery than impartial justice.

On Words: Civil Discourse

Nov 4, 2014
U.C. Berkeley

Recently, U.C. Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks has come under fire for using the 50th anniversary of the campus free speech movement as a call for “civil discourse.” 

Image courtesy of The Kansas African American Museum

The Kansas African American Museum opened a new show this past weekend commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Summer of 1964.

Wikimedia Commons

On June 19th 1964, the Senate passed the Civil Rights Act, breaking the 83-day filibuster by Southern Democrats. While this act is recognized as a groundbreaking piece of civil rights legislation for African Americans, it also held the key to future civil rights advancements and protections for women.

Two days before the final vote, Representative Howard W. Smith, a powerful Democrat from Virginia, added sex as a protected class to Title VII, a section that prohibits discrimination by employers. Historians have been wondering about his motivations ever since.

David / Flickr / Creative Commons

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the celebrated civil rights case, Brown v. Board of Education. However, on May 3, 1954, two weeks before the Brown ruling, the Supreme Court delivered another important decision in the American Civil Rights movement.

In Hernandez v. Texas, the court declared that the 14th Amendment’s right to equal protection extended to all racial and ethnic groups. In 1951, Texas convicted an agricultural worker named Pedro Hernandez of murdering Joe Espinosa.

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