Music & Social Reform
Written by Catherine A. Paul
“Every participant in revolutionary activity knows from his own experience that a good mass song is a powerful weapon in the class struggle. No other form of collective art activity exerts so far-reaching and all pervading an influence” – Aaron Copland, American […]Continue Reading →
As Birmingham goes, so goes the nation. That belief was the driving force behind Shuttlesworth’s crusade for equality.
“He was the soul and heart of the Birmingham movement,” Georgia Rep. John Lewis said. It was Birmingham, he said, that brought the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
“Fred Shuttlesworth had the vision, the determination never to give up, never to give in,” Lewis said. “He led an unbelievable children’s crusade. It was the children who faced dogs, fire hoses, police billy clubs that moved and shook the nation.”Continue Reading →
SCLC is a now a nation wide organization made up of chapters and affiliates with programs that affect the lives of all Americans: north, south, east and west. Its sphere of influence and interests has become international in scope because the human rights movement transcends national boundaries.Continue Reading →
The Women Who Went to the Field
Editor’s Note: Clara Barton (founder of the American Red Cross) wrote the following poem as a toast to women who served in the Civil War. It was first presented at a gala dinner held in 1892 by the Women’s Relief Corps and was later printed […]Continue Reading →
Oswald Garrison Villard (1872 – 1942): Civil Rights Activist and Editor of the The Nation and the New York Evening Post
Introduction: Oswald Garrison Villard (1872–1949), publisher of the New York Evening Post and The Nation, was the son of railroad tycoon Henry Villard and grandson of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. He used his […]Continue Reading →
The violent mob attack on black residents of Springfield, Illinois in 1908 galvanized a handful of progressive white social activists to reach out to African American leaders. Socialist William English Walling, settlement house worker Mary White Ovington, Jewish social worker Henry Moskowitz, and Oswald Garrison Villard, editor of The Nation, circulated “The Call” to protest the rise of racial violence and discrimination around the nation. They were joined in this venture by black sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois. Long a critic of the “social uplift” agenda advocated by black educator Booker T. Washington, Du Bois saw the NAACP as both an opportunity to re-invigorate demands for full black civil rights and an important reminder of the national dimensions of Jim Crow. After a series of meetings held in 1909 and 1910, the NAACP emerged as an organization dedicated to protesting racial inequality in American public life.Continue Reading →
Oswald Villard, the NAACP and The Nation In 1909, when the founders of the NAACP needed help organizing their new civil rights group, they reached out to Oswald Garrison Villard, The Nation’s future editor and owner.
An Article in the The Nation, July 2, 2009 by Flint Kellogg
In 1909, when the founders […]Continue Reading →
We of the Universal Negro Improvement Association are determined to unite the 400,000,000 Negroes of the world to give expression to their own feeling; we are determined to unite the 400,000,000 Negroes of the world for the purpose of building a civilization of their own. And in that effort we desire to bring together the 15,000,000 of the United States, the 180,000,000 in Asia, the West Indies and Central and South America, and the 200,000,000 in Africa. We are looking toward political freedom on the continent of Africa, the land of our fathers.Continue Reading →
Marcus Mosiah Garvey (1887-1940), one of the most influential 20th Century black nationalist and Pan-Africanist leaders, was born on August 17, 1887 in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica. Greatly influenced by Booker T. Washington’s autobiography Up From Slavery, Garvey began to support industrial education, economic separatism, and social segregation as strategies that would enable the assent of the “black race.” In 1914, Garvey established the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in Kingston, Jamaica, adopting Washington’s inspirational phrase “Up, you mighty race; you can conquer what you will.”Continue Reading →
On July 20, 1914, Marcus Garvey, at the age of twenty-eight, founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A.). His co-founder was Amy Ashwood, who would later become his first wife. The U.N.I.A. was originally conceived as a benevolent or fraternal reform association dedicated to racial uplift and the establishment of educational and industrial opportunities for blacks, taking Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute as a model. The U.N.I.A. floundered in Jamaica. But shortly after Garvey’s relocation to Harlem in 1916, New York became the headquarters of the movement. The Harlem branch started with 17 members meeting in a dingy basement. But by the spring of 1918, Garvey’s strong advocacy of black economic and political independence had taken hold, and U.N.I.A. branches and divisions were springing up in cities and towns across the country, and then in different parts of the world. By 1920 Garvey claimed nearly a thousand local divisions in the United States, the Caribbean, Central America, Canada and Africa.Continue Reading →