“A day that will live in glory” — Frankfurter to Warren, on Brown v. Board

May 17, 2014

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Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education, and Herblock’s cartoon

May 17, 2014

Note the inscription on the bell.  It’s the Liberty Bell.  The inscription comes from the Bible.

Cartoons like this make racists and so-called conservatives nervous, very, very nervous.


Let’s do lunch: February 1, 1960, non-violence, human rights, and a grilled cheese sandwich

February 2, 2009

Four young men turned a page of history on February 1, 1960, at a lunch counter in a Woolworth’s store in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Ezell A. Blair, Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan), Franklin E. McCain, Joseph A. McNeil, and David L. Richmond, sat down at the counter to order lunch.  Because they were African Americans, they were refused service.  Patiently, they stayed in their seats, awaiting justice.

On July 25, nearly six months later, Woolworth’s agreed to desegregate the lunch counter.

Ezell A. Blair, Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan), Franklin E. McCain, Joseph A. McNeil, and David L. Richmond leave the Woolworth store after the first sit-in on February 1, 1960. (Courtesy of Greensboro News and Record)

From the Smithsonian Institution: "Ezell A. Blair, Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan), Franklin E. McCain, Joseph A. McNeil, and David L. Richmond leave the Woolworth store after the first sit-in on February 1, 1960. (Courtesy of Greensboro News and Record)"

News of the “sit-in” demonstration spread.  Others joined in the non-violent protests from time to time, 28 students the second day, 300 the third day, and some days up to 1,000.   The protests spread geographically, too, to 15 cities in 9 states.

On the second day of the Greensboro sit-in, Joseph A. McNeil and Franklin E. McCain are joined by William Smith and Clarence Henderson at the Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Courtesy of Greensboro News and Record)

Smithsonian Institution: "On the second day of the Greensboro sit-in, Joseph A. McNeil and Franklin E. McCain are joined by William Smith and Clarence Henderson at the Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Courtesy of Greensboro News and Record)"

Part of the old lunch counter was salvaged, and today is on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History.  The museum display was the site of celebratory parties during the week of the inauguration as president of Barack Obama.

Part of the lunchcounter from the Woolworths store in Greensboro, North Carolina, is now displayed at the Smithsonians Museum of American History, in Washington, D.C.

Part of the lunchcounter from the Woolworth's store in Greensboro, North Carolina, is now displayed at the Smithsonian's Museum of American History, in Washington, D.C.

Notes and resources:


Former Arkansas teacher remembers, long before 1957

September 27, 2007

Poignant story from the Associated Press, via Teacher magazine, about the Emancipation Proclamation, picking cotton, Brown v. Board of Education, and education.


Little Rock, 50 years later

September 4, 2007

Elizabeth Eckford leaves Little Rock's Central High after being denied enrollment

50 years ago today.

Elizabeth Eckford, one of the Little Rock Nine, leaves Little Rock’s Central High School after having been denied the chance to enroll. Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus called the Arkansas National Guard to duty to prevent nine African American students from enrolling.  (Photo by Will Counts – see his series here.)

Elizabeth Eckford graduated*, went on to a career with the Army as a journalist, and is the only one of the nine students (all of whom graduated and did well) to live in Little Rock today. Central High school is a National Historical Monument — and still a high school.

What I want to know is this: The woman in back of Ms. Eckford, face thoroughly engaged in delivering a piece of her mind, I suppose: Who is she, and where is she, today? Does anyone know?


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