An audio recording of a speech given by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s, long thought to be lost in time, was made available to the masses this week online.
The story of the seminal 1965 Alabama civil rights protests is being retold in the historical drama “Selma,” bringing to life the heroism of the activists and the brutality of the resistance. Gwen Ifill talks to director Ava DuVernay about contention over historical discrepancies and why no one has ever attempted to make a feature film about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. before. Continue reading
- With number of English learners growing, school districts get federal guidance on honoring students’ civil rights
For the first time this year, non-white children make up a larger portion of the country’s public school students than white children. Within that growing racial diversity is an increasing linguistic diversity. There are about 5 million public school students who are not proficient English speakers. Since 2004, 19 states have seen the number of these students enrolled in public schools grow more than 40 percent, according to the Department of Education. Continue reading
There is a shock of recognition in the scenes that begin and end “Selma,” the elegiac new work by filmmaker Ava DuVernay. Even if you know only a little about your history, the events surrounding the 1965 Selma to Montgomery, Alabama March will seem familiar. Continue reading
Fifty years ago this month, long before the Vietnam War, students on the U.C. Berkeley campus ignited protests over a ban on political activity — a student movement that would morph into the huge, confrontational demonstrations of the early 1970s and beyond. Continue reading
Fifty years ago, in October 1964, less than a month before the presidential elections, Lady Bird Johnson boarded a train in Washington to stump through eight Southern states — a gamble to help win back disaffected voters after the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Judy Woodruff explores a lesser-known part of the legislation’s history with a look at the first lady’s influential whistle-stop tour. Continue reading
After six years as head of the Department of Justice, Eric Holder, the nation’s first African-American attorney general, will be stepping down. Holder has focused on major civil liberties issues, but has also been a lightning rod for partisan criticism. Gwen Ifill assesses Holder’s tenure with Tony West, the former associate attorney general, and Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation. Continue reading
The Supreme Court could decide as early as this month whether to take up yet another case challenging so-called “disparate impact” lawsuits. In disparate impact cases, plaintiffs rely on statistics to show that seemingly neutral housing or lending practices can disproportionately harm racial minorities, even if there is no proof of intent to discriminate. The theory has been used for years to show bias in employment cases, but Texas officials are urging the justices to find that it doesn’t apply in housing discrimination cases. Continue reading
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department plans to open a wide-ranging civil rights investigation into the practices of the Ferguson, Missouri, Police Department following the shooting last month of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer in the St. Louis suburb, a person briefed on the matter said Wednesday night.
The person said the investigation could be announced as early as Thursday afternoon. Missouri officials were notified Wednesday of the probe. Continue reading
For a second night, protests boiled over into violence in Ferguson, Missouri, after the fatal police shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager on Saturday. In a statement, President Obama said pain over the killing should be expressed in a way “that heals, not in a way that wounds.” For a closer look at the unrest, Judy Woodruff talks to Jim Salter of the Associated Press. Continue reading