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For African-American Women—and All Women—Let’s Make Every Day Equal Pay Day

By , theroot.com

When we talk about the gender pay gap, most of us are already familiar with the fact that women make just 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. While this remains true, not all women are even that fortunate. For African-American women the wage gap is even larger. African-American women make just 64 cents for every dollar earned by their white male counterparts.

Representative Terri Sewell strongly speaks out for the equal for all women.

Representative Terri Sewell strongly speaks out for the equal for all women.

This discrepancy is unacceptable. And we need better policies and more leaders who will fight for policies that will begin to change this imbalance. We need women in elected office who will speak up for the millions of women across the country who are working hard while not being paid a fair wage.

And here’s what the wage gap really means: It takes a white man and an African-American woman vastly different amounts of time to earn the same amount of money, regardless of the fact that they started working on the same day. If they both began work on Jan. 1, 2013, he would earn a full salary by Dec. 31, 2013—while it would take until July 21, 2014, for her to earn the same amount.

That’s why today, July 21, is her Equal Pay Day.

But her paycheck doesn’t reset today. Every day the wage gap pushes her earnings further and further behind. That gap keeps growing, putting her and her family’s future in jeopardy. If we allow continuance of the pay gap, she’ll never catch up.

That’s why Democratic women in Congress are fighting to make sure Equal Pay Day is not an annual occurrence, but every day. That’s why Democratic women have been championing policies to end gender discrimination in pay for years—because we understand the economic and social consequences of allowing the pay gap to persist—discrimination that hits women of color the hardest.

Earning 64 cents on the dollar is the national statistic for African-American women. But in Alabama, that gap is even larger: African-American women in Alabama make just 56 cents for every dollar earned by their white male colleagues.

These women will not reach their Equal Pay Day until Oct. 13.

According to studies, there are more than 177,000 African-American women in Alabama working full time, year-round, making an average annual income of less than $28,000. Their annual wage gap is more than $21,000. Many of these women bring in half or more of their families’ incomes, which means that when these women lose income, the economic security and stability of their families is diminished.

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One Man’s Epic Quest to Visit Every Former Slave Dwelling in the United States

Joseph McGill, a descendant of slaves, has devoted his life to ensuring the preservation of these historic sites.

“Now that I have the attention of the public by sleeping in extant slave dwellings, it is time to wake up and deliver the message that the people who lived in these structures were not a footnote in American history.”
– Joseph McGill, Founder of the Slave Dwelling Project

By Tony Horwitz, Smithsonian Magazine

Joseph McGill, Civil War re-enacter, sleeps overnight in slave dwellings to raise awareness about the importance of preserving the artifacts and revisiting the history of enslavement.

Joseph McGill, Civil War re-enacter, sleeps overnight in slave dwellings to raise awareness about the importance of preserving the artifacts and revisiting the history of enslavement. (Smithsonian Magazine)

At a bygone plantation in coastal Georgia, Joseph McGill Jr. creaks open a door to inspect his quarters for the night. He enters a cramped cell with an ancient fireplace and bare walls mortared with oyster shell. There is no furniture, electricity or plumbing.

“I was expecting a dirt floor, so this is nice,” McGill says, lying down to sample the hard pine planks. “Might get a decent sleep tonight.”

Some travelers dream of five-star hotels, others of visiting seven continents. McGill’s mission: to sleep in every former slave dwelling still standing in the United States. Tonight’s stay, in a cabin on Georgia’s Ossabaw Island, will be his 41st such lodging.

McGill is 52, with a desk job and family, and isn’t fond of sleeping rough. A descendant of slaves, he also recognizes that re-inhabiting places of bondage “seems strange and upsetting to some people.” But he embraces the discomfort, both physical and psychological, because he wants to save slave dwellings and the history they hold before it’s too late.

“Americans tend to focus on the ‘big house,’ the mansion and gardens, and neglect the buildings out back,” he says. “If we lose slave dwellings, it’s that much easier to forget the slaves themselves.”

Slave quarters.MBrady 1862.LOC

Slave quarters photographed in 1862 by Civil War photographer, Matthew Brady. (Library of Congress)

A century ago, the whitewashed cabins of former slaves remained as ubiquitous a feature of the Southern landscape as Baptist churches or Confederate monuments. Many of these dwellings were still inhabited by the families of the four million African-Americans who had gained freedom in the Civil War. But as blacks migrated en masse from the South in the 20th century, former slave quarters—most of which were cheaply built from wood—quickly decayed or were torn down. Others were repurposed as toolsheds, garages or guest cottages. Of those that remain, many are now endangered by neglect, and by suburban and resort development in areas like the Georgia and Carolina Low Country, a lush region that once had the densest concentration of plantations and enslaved people in the South.

McGill has witnessed this transformation firsthand as a native South Carolinian who works for the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Charleston. But it wasn’t his day job that led him to sleep in endangered slave cabins. Rather, it was his weekends as a Civil War re-enactor, wearing the uniform of the 54th Massachusetts, the black unit featured in the movie Glory. Donning a period uniform and camping out, often at antebellum sites, “made the history come alive for me,” he says.

Replica of Slave Quarters: This replica of the interior of a slave cabin displays the squalid living conditions of these forced laborers (Baton Rouge, c. 1999). (Photo Credit: Richard Cummins/CORBIS)

Replica of Slave Quarters: This replica of the interior of a slave cabin displays the squalid living conditions of these forced laborers (Baton Rouge, c. 1999). Generally there was little furniture so as to make enough room on the small floor for everyone to lie down. The insides of these 1-room cabins were used mostly for sleeping and for cooking inside when it rained. (Photo Credit: Richard Cummins/CORBIS)

Re-enacting the 54th has also drawn public attention to the pivotal role of black soldiers in the Civil War. So in 2010, when Magnolia Plantation near Charleston sought to publicize restoration of its neglected slave cabins, McGill proposed sleeping in one of them….

Slave Punishment: Wilson Chinn, a freed slave from Louisiana, poses with equipment used to punish slaves. Such images fueled Northern resolve against slaveholders during the American Civil War (photographed in 1863). (Photo Credit: CORBIS)

Slave Punishment: Wilson Chinn, a freed slave from Louisiana, poses with equipment used to punish slaves. Such images fueled Northern resolve against slaveholders during the American Civil War (photographed in 1863). (Photo Credit: CORBIS)

“I’m not trying to provoke people to anger,” he says. His missions are preservation and education, and he needs the cooperation of the owners and stewards of former slave dwellings who might be put off by a more strident approach. He also feels blacks and whites need to talk openly about this history, rather than retreat into age-old division and distrust. “I want people to respect and restore these places, together, and not be afraid to tell their stories.”

This has happened in gratifying ways during a number of his stays. He tells of two sisters who had avoided any contact with the Virginia plantation where their ancestors were enslaved, despite invitations to visit. After overnighting with him at a slave cabin on the site, and realizing there was genuine interest in their family’s history, one of the women became a volunteer guide at the plantation. Local students, black and white, have joined McGill and written essays about how the experience changed their views of race and slavery. “Suddenly, what I read in textbooks became something I was able to see in my mind’s eye,” wrote one teenager in South Carolina.

Slave Family: A slave family standing next to baskets of recently-picked cotton near Savannah, Georgia in the 1860s. (Photo Credit: Bettmann/CORBIS)
Slave Family: A slave family standing next to baskets of recently-picked cotton near Savannah, Georgia in the 1860s. Once children turned four, they had to begin working alongside their parents. (Photo Credit: Bettmann/CORBIS)

McGill has also found that older white Southerners who own or operate properties with slave dwellings are much more receptive to his project than they might have been just a decade or two ago. In only a few instances have his requests to stay been rebuffed. More often he’s been enthusiastically welcomed, dined with his hosts and even been given the keys to the big house while the owners go off to work. “Sometimes I sense guilt is part of what’s driving people, but whatever it is, having me visit and acknowledge their preservation of these places makes them feel they’re doing the right thing,” he says. “It’s not a cure-all for what happened in the past, but it’s a start.”…

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‘MODIFIED DUTY’ FOR MEDICS AFTER FATAL NYC ARREST

By VERENA DOBNIK, bigstory.ap.org

These two pictures depict Eric Garner, the man who died while in police custody in New York. On the right is a still from the video taken by a bystander of the 'arrest.'

These two pictures depict Eric Garner, the man who died while in police custody in New York. On the right is a still from the video taken by a bystander of the ‘arrest.’

 

NEW YORK (AP) — Four emergency workers involved in the medical response for a New York City man who died in police custody after being put in an apparent chokehold have been barred from responding to 911 calls, the Fire Department of New York said.

The two EMTs and two paramedics removed from the city’s emergency response system are the latest public safety workers to face reassignment as questions mount about Thursday’s death of Eric Garner. Two police officers — including the one who put his arm around Garner’s neck — have been put on desk duty…

Video of the arrest shot by a bystander shows one officer wrap his arm around Garner’s neck as he is taken to the ground — arrested for allegedly selling untaxed, loose cigarettes — while Garner shouts, “I can’t breathe!”

The restrictions on the medical personnel came a day after the police department said it reassigned Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who used the apparent chokehold on Garner, and another unidentified officer while prosecutors and internal affairs detectives investigate. Chokeholds are banned under department policy.

The department said it stripped Pantaleo, an eight-year veteran of the force, of his gun and badge.

Esaw Garner, wife of Eric Garner, breaks down in the arms of the Revs. Herbert Daughtry (left) and Al Sharpton (right) during a rally on Sunday

Esaw Garner, wife of Eric Garner, breaks down in the arms of the Revs. Herbert Daughtry (left) and Al Sharpton (right) during a rally on Sunday

Court records show that within the past two years, three men sued Pantaleo in federal court over allegedly unlawful, racially motivated arrests…

Earlier Sunday, the Rev. Al Sharpton demanded justice for Garner and accountability from citizens who attack police officers during an appeal from the pulpit at Manhattan’s Riverside Church.

Garner was “choked by New York City policemen,” the Harlem preacher told the congregation. “What bothers me is that the nation watches a man say ‘I can’t breathe’ and the choking continues, and police surround him and none of them even say, ‘Wait a minute, stop! He can’t breathe!’”

 

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An Opportunity for Real Dialogue about Milwaukee’s Segregation Issues

Free and Open to the Milwaukee Public (with RSVP only)

ABHM is collaborating with the Zeidler Center for Public Discussion in their “Building Thriving Community: Beyond Segregation” Community Dialogues.

Jan Buchler, who recently retired as the director of a community-based organization, served as a facilitator of one of the diverse dialog groups at the 100th Birthday Celebration for Dr. James Cameron: A Gathering for Racial Repair and Reconciliation. (James Causey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Jan Buchler, who recently retired as the director of a community-based organization, served as a facilitator of one of the diverse dialog groups at the 100th Birthday Celebration for Dr. James Cameron: A Gathering for Racial Repair and Reconciliation. (James Causey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

This dialog project is the response of our two organizations to the yearning for deep conversations on this topic that we’ve both experienced this year. Milwaukee is the most hyper-segregated urban area in the nation and has the largest black-white employment gap. Wisconsin has the highest black male incarceration rate and also has the poorest record of protecting the well-being of African American children in the country. (See the Report Card to get the full stories behind these facts – and many more.)

The dialog will take place in small groups of five and will be led by facilitators trained in managing civil discourse around tough topics.

When: July 30th, 5:30-8:30pm

Where: In a Riverwest arts facility (TBA)

What:

  • 5:30pm –Hot Dinner Served
  • 6:00 pm promptly – Facilitated Dialogue

Who:

  • 15 Participants
  • 3 Facilitators – Reggie Jackson, Sara Daleiden and Fran Kaplan

How: To reserve your place, you MUST RSVP (include your phone #) no later than July 23rd to info@abhmuseum.org (copy and paste this email address into your email program). It’s filling up fast!

There is no charge for dinner and dialogue, but free will offerings to defray ABHM’s food costs will be accepted. Please plan to stay for the entire two and a half hour program.

We look forward to being in conversation with you on July 30th!

 

Alice Coachman, first black woman to win Olympic gold medal dies

by Associated Press, thegrio.com

ALBANY, Georgia (AP) — The first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal, Alice Coachman Davis, died early Monday in south Georgia. She was 90.

Davis’ death was confirmed by her daughter, Evelyn Jones.

In 1948, Alice Coachman became the first black American woman to win a gold medal in the Olympics games in London. She won the Gold medal in the high jump with a record of 1.68 meters.

In 1948, Alice Coachman became the first black American woman to win a gold medal in the Olympics games in London. She won the Gold medal in the high jump with a record of 1.68 meters.

Davis won Olympic gold in the high jump at the 1948 games in London with an American and Olympic record of 1.68 meters, according to USA Track and Field, the American governing body of the sport. Davis was inducted to the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1975 and was inducted to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004.

“Going into the USOC Hall of Fame is as good as it gets,” she told The Associated Press in a 2004 interview. “It’s like Cooperstown, Springfield and Canton,” she said, referring to the sites of other prominent Halls of Fame.

Davis was the only American woman to win a gold medal at the 1948 games. According to Olympic historian David Wallechinsky, Coachman was honored with a 280-kilometer motorcade in Georgia when she returned from London. However, the black and white audiences were segregated at her official ceremony in Albany.

Recollecting her career in the 2004 interview, Davis speculated that she could have won even more Olympic medals, but the Olympics weren’t held in 1940 or 1944 because of World War II. She retired at age 25 after winning the gold medal in London.

“I know I would have won in 1944, at least,” said Davis. “I was starting to peak then. It really feels good when Old Glory is raised and the National Anthem is played.”

Davis attended Tuskegee University and also played basketball on a team that won three straight conference basketball titles. She won 25 national track and field championships — including 10 consecutive high jump titles — between 1939 and 1948, according to USA Track and Field.

Growing up in the deep South during the era of legal segregation, Davis had to overcome multiple challenges.

The New Georgia Encyclopedia says she was prohibited from using public sports facilities because of her race, so she used whatever equipment she could cobble together to practice her jumping.

“My dad did not want me to travel to Tuskegee and then up north to the Nationals,” Davis told the AP. “He felt it was too dangerous. Life was very different for African-Americans at that time. But I came back and showed him my medal and talked about all the things I saw. He and my mom were very proud of me.”

Davis won her first national high jump title at age 16, according to USA Track and Field, and worked as a school teacher and track coach after retiring. An elementary school in her home town is named in her honor and opened in August 1999 according to Dougherty County schools officials.

Vera Williams, a secretary at Meadows Funeral Home in Albany, said Meadows will be handling Davis’ memorial service, but plans haven’t been finalized yet. Davis’ cause of death was not immediately disclosed.

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Janet Mock Breaks Through the Isolation for Transgender Women of Color

Janet Mock, a transgendered woman, is known for her best selling memoir "Redefining Realness", however she is also known for being a strong advocate for transgendered women and girls like herself.

Janet Mock, a transgendered woman, is known for her best selling memoir “Redefining Realness”, however she is also known for being a strong advocate for transgendered community.

By  the root.com

I recently added a new name to my list of inspirational writers: Janet Mock. Her best-selling memoir, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love and So Much More, is a beautiful—at times bumpy—journey through girlhood. Reminiscent of Zora Neale Hurston’s iconic Their Eyes Were Watching God, it is a touching story of self-realization and self-love.

For many it was Mock’s early 2014 interview on CNN with Piers Morgan that drew attention to this young woman’s story. But she is so much more than one interview. Mock publicly proclaimed her identity as a transgender woman in 2011. She has continued working in her community to advocate for women and girls like herself. She has commanded a social media presence through the #GirlsLikeUs hashtag, encouraging transgender women to live freely.

After her many successful years as a staff editor at People.com, writing and advocacy have continued to be her main motivation. Most important, Mock has challenged us all to question our perceptions of challenges facing transgender girls and women of color. She spoke with The Root about her work and how words empower isolated communities.

The Root: Isolated communities of color have been on the forefront of awareness when it comes to issues of gender identity; everyone else seems to be lagging behind. Do you think these communities will lead the social charge for trans people of color—people of color in general—when it comes to differences from the mainstream?

Janet Mock: All of our forebearers—when you think about queer and trans people of color—have always been at the forefront of movements of resistance. I think about Marcia P. Johnson, I think about Audre Lorde. These people have been a part of intersecting movements for so long because they have never had a place. When you never have a place in movements that are supposedly about you, you tend to look at them from an outsider’s perspective. You can tell people about themselves in a way that is powerful and also transformative.

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63 Abducted Females Escape Extremists In Nigeria

main13-300x188by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, npr.org

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — More than 60 Nigerian girls and women abducted by Islamic extremists two weeks ago have managed to escape, officials said Monday, though more than 200 girls who were kidnapped in April remain missing.

Nigerian security forces and federal government officials had denied reports of the mass abduction from three villages in the northeast state of Borno on June 22.

Chibok local government chairman Pogu Bitrus said Monday he had verified that about 60 women and girls escaped on Thursday and Friday by sending a representative who met with some of the escapees and their families at the hospital in Lassa, a town in the neighboring Damboa local government area.

Vigilante leader Abbas Gava in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, said Sunday that vigilantes in the area told him 63 women and girls escaped Friday while their captors were engaged in a major attack on a military barracks and police headquarters in Damboa town.

Small-scale kidnappings by Boko Haram extremists had been going on for months when they drew international condemnation for the abductions of more than 200 schoolgirls from a school in Chibok town of Borno state on April 15. Some 219 of those girls still are missing.

 

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Who Were the White Folks of Freedom Summer?

From SNCC leaders to Freedom School organizers, these are their stories.

By Diamond Sharp, theRoot.com

Marshall Ganz, a SNCC field secretary, also helped organize the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. One of the most notable participants in the Freedom Summer movement, he would go on to do organizing work with Cesar Chavez. Ganz has been credited with creating the successful grassroots organizing model that the Obama campaign utilized during the 2008 election. Here he speaks to the Boston Occupy Movement.

Marshall Ganz, a SNCC field secretary, also helped organize the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. One of the most notable participants in the Freedom Summer movement, he would go on to do organizing work with Cesar Chavez. Ganz has been credited with creating the successful grassroots organizing model that the Obama campaign utilized during the 2008 election. Here he speaks to the Boston Occupy Movement.

It’s well-known that 1964’s Freedom Summer, as it came to be called, was an interracial effort, with many white college students joining African Americans to register voters in Mississippi. It was the murder of three civil rights activists—two of them white—by members of the Ku Klux Klan that sparked national outrage and drew national attention to the struggle for access to the ballot. Ironically, thanks to a racially biased press, it was those murders and the presence of nonblack activists that many believe earned the work the headlines it deserved. From Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee leaders to Freedom School organizers, here are some of these activists’ stories…

Click here to read short bios and see photos of these 10 white allies you should know:

 

Heather Booth, SNCC member and, later, founding director of the NAACP National Voter Fund. Considered one of the most notable alums of Freedom Summer, she is currently vice president of USAction.

Heather Booth, SNCC member and, later, founding director of the NAACP National Voter Fund. Considered one of the most notable alums of Freedom Summer, she is currently vice president of USAction.

1. Heather Booth

2. Dr. June Finer

3. Frank Cieciorka

4. Mary King

5. Miriam Cohen Glickman

6. Casey Hayden

7. Howard Zinn

8. Constance Curry

9. Marshall Ganz

10. Mario Savio

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New Malcolm X Diary Reveals a Revolutionary Optimist

By  theroot.com

While many in the civil rights movement community this summer are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, another important half-century milestone—and a significantly blacker, more radical one—was recently acknowledged in New York City: the founding of the Organization of Afro-American Unity, Malcolm X’s political organization.

Malcolm X, founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), was  a tremendous radical during the time of Civil Rights, however his recently published diary depicts various goals of his like educating African leaders about the plight of African American in America.

Malcolm X, founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), was a tremendous radical during the time of Civil Rights, however his recently published diary depicts various goals of his like educating African leaders about the plight of African American in America.

Malcolm X, founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), was a tremendous radical during the time of Civil Rights, however his recently published diary depicts various goals of his like educating African leaders about the plight of African American in America.

If Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of domestic social equality turned into a nightmare, Malcolm’s vision for black Americans to join the international community of Africans as an anti-Western bloc was quickly stifled with his 1965 assassination. The OAAU—patterned after the OAU, the Organization of African Unity—represented Malcolm’s domestic and international potential, a painful addition to the pile of 20th-century black historical what-ifs.

“Brother Malcolm was internationalizing the movement,” said event organizer A. Peter Bailey, who was only in his early 20s when he edited the OAAU’s newsletter, The Blacklash. “He was on a conscious effort to connect the struggle against racism in America to the struggle against colonialism internationally, especially in Africa.”

The OAAU event, which took place on June 28—the to-the-day 50th anniversary—at the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center (the former Audubon Ballroom, where Malcolm was assassinated), came in the wake of a newly published diary of Malcolm X. The book, edited by journalist-historian Herb Boyd and writer Ilyasah Al-Shabazz, one of Malcolm X’s six daughters, is called The Diary of Malcolm X: El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, 1964. Finally freed from scholarly microfilm, the diary has been the subject of a court case between the authors and the publisher, Third World Press, and Malcolm’s other five daughters, who did not sign off on the book’s publication.

Malcolm’s diary paints the picture of a man eager to find his religious and political centers. Most of the first half of the book details his much-talked-about trip to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, while the second half—which takes place after the OAAU founding in New York—is more about his travels to Africa, where he meets more than 10 heads of state and is treated like a de facto ambassador of black America.

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Who Was the Unsung Hero of the 1964 Civil Rights Act?

By Henry Louis Gates, Jr., theRoot.com

President Lyndon Baines Johnson gives the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the pen he used to sign the 1964 Civil Rights Act

President Lyndon Baines Johnson gives the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the pen he used to sign the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Fifty years ago this Wednesday, July 2, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act into law at the White House. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a bevy of politicians crowded around him, taking in the historic moment, as significant as any in advancing American race relations since the end of the Civil War. Although the struggle for voting rights would continue for another year (and beyond), the 1964 Civil Rights Act dealt a severe blow to Jim Crow-style segregation in public schools and accommodations. At least as a matter of law, it forbade forevermore discrimination based on “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” It was, as Sen. Everett Dirksen famously quoted the writer Victor Hugo, “an idea whose time [had] come.” But it was anything but inevitable.

Unfortunately, since then, we’ve had to endure the long and silly debate over which man deserves more credit for the bill’s passage through the House and Senate en route to the president’s desk: Johnson, the political animal inside the White House, or King, the charismatic civil rights leader at the forefront of the march outside it. The fact is, both men were critical. And by setting up the debate in this way, we not only distort the complexity of such an undertaking, but we also dangerously reinforce the notion that when it came to getting things done during the civil rights movement, the insiders were white and the outsiders were black. Nothing could be further from the truth, especially where the 1964 Civil Rights Act is concerned.

Clarence Mitchel, Jr., the NAACP lobbyist behind the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, with President Lyndon B. Johnson who signed the Act.

Clarence Mitchel, Jr., the NAACP lobbyist behind the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, with President Lyndon B. Johnson who signed the Act.

Just as vital to the bill’s success was another African-American leader. Another “Jr.,” he was far less well-known, precisely because he was so deep inside the process. His name was Clarence M. Mitchell Jr., and he was the chief Washington lobbyist for the NAACP during the extraordinarily heroic phase of the civil rights movement.

As far as I’m concerned, Mitchell was and remains the unsung hero of the 1964 law. You won’t see his face in many pictures. His focus was on the law and the finesse needed to ensure that the bill had enough votes to pass. Although the law has been studied and discussed in great detail over the past half-century, thankfully new works continue to shed light on it and its pivotal players. For giving Mitchell his due, we owe a debt to Todd Purdum, author of this year’s masterful anniversary account, An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As soon as I read Purdum’s book, I knew I wanted to dedicate my column on the Civil Rights Act to Mitchell.

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