Ralston, Elreta Melton Alexander

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2021-10-02 02:13Z by Steven

Ralston, Elreta Melton Alexander

NCPedia
State Library of North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
2013

Virginia L. Summey, Historian, Author, and Faculty Fellow
Lloyd International Honors College, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Elreta Melton Alexander was a pioneering African-American attorney from Greensboro, North Carolina. Born in Smithfield, North Carolina, she was the daughter of a Baptist minister and a teacher, and grew up comfortably as a part of the black middle class. Coming of age during the Jim Crow period of the South, she was raised by her educated, middle-class parents to be a leader in the community. The descendant of two white grandparents, her bi-racialism formed her early awareness of colorism within the African-American community…

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‘How is Pauli Murray not a household name?’ The extraordinary life of the US’s most radical activist

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Gay & Lesbian, History, Law, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States, Women on 2021-09-30 03:38Z by Steven

‘How is Pauli Murray not a household name?’ The extraordinary life of the US’s most radical activist

The Guardian
2021-09-17

Steve Rose


‘I lived to see my lost causes found’ … Pauli Murray. Photograph: Everett Collection Historical/Alamy

She explored her gender and sexuality in the 20s, defied segregation in the 40s and inspired Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Now, a film is bringing her trailblazing achievements to light

It seems inconceivable that someone like Pauli Murray could have slipped through the cracks of US history. A lawyer, activist, scholar, poet and priest, Murray led a trailblazing life that altered the course of history. She was at the forefront of the battles for racial and gender equality, but often so far out in front that her contributions went unrecognised.

In 1940, 15 years before Rosa Parks, Murray was jailed for refusing to move to the back of a bus in the Jim Crow south. In 1943, she campaigned successfully to desegregate her local diner, 17 years before the Greensboro lunch counter sit-ins of 1960. Her work paved the way for the landmark supreme court ruling Brown v Board of Education in 1954 – which de-segregated US schools – to the extent that Thurgood Marshall, a lawyer for the NAACP civil rights group, called Murray’s book States’ Laws on Race and Color “the bible for civil rights lawyers”.

Murray also co-founded the National Organization for Women (NOW), in 1966, alongside Betty Friedan. When Ruth Bader Ginsburg won the Reed v Reed case in 1971, which ruled that discrimination “on the basis of sex” was unconstitutional, her arguments were built on Murray’s work. Ginsburg named Murray as co-author of the brief. “We knew when we wrote that brief that we were standing on her shoulders,” Ginsburg later said.

Murray ought to be celebrated as an American hero, commemorated in stamps, statuary and street names, not to mention biopics, so why is her name relatively unknown?…

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Pauli Murray Should Be a Household Name. A New Film Shows Why.

Posted in Articles, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, Gay & Lesbian, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United States, Women on 2021-09-20 16:49Z by Steven

Pauli Murray Should Be a Household Name. A New Film Shows Why.

The New York Times
2021-09-15

Melena Ryzik


A scene from “My Name Is Pauli Murray.” The documentarian Betsy West, who made the film with Julie Cohen, said, “We just thought, why didn’t anybody teach us about this person?” Amazon Studios

The lawyer, activist and minister made prescient arguments on gender, race and equality that influenced Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

When the lawyer, activist, author and educator Pauli Murray died in 1985 at the age of 75, no obituary or commemoration could contain all of her pathbreaking accomplishments. A radical and brilliant legal strategist, Murray was named a deputy attorney general in California — the first Black person in that office — in 1946, just a year after passing the bar there. Murray was an organizer of sit-ins and participated in bus protests as far back as the 1940s, and co-founded the National Organization for Women. Murray was also the first Black woman to be ordained an Episcopal priest. In 2012, she was sainted.

Murray has been saluted in legal, academic and gender-studies circles, and in the L.G.B.T.Q. community. But her overarching impact on American life in the 20th and now 21st centuries has not been broadly acknowledged: the thinking and writing that paved the way for Brown v. Board of Education; the consideration of intersectionality (she helped popularize the term “Jane Crow”); the enviable social circle, as she was a buddy of Langston Hughes and a pen pal of Eleanor Roosevelt, and worked on her first memoir alongside James Baldwin at the MacDowell Colony in the first year it allowed Black artists.

Murray was devoted to feminism and the rights of women even as, it turned out, she privately battled lifelong gender identity issues. She should be a household name on par with Gloria Steinem or Ruth Bader Ginsburg, both of whom cited her work often. Instead Murray is an insider’s civil rights icon.

Now a documentary, “My Name Is Pauli Murray,” aims to introduce Murray to the masses. Made by the same Academy Award-nominated filmmakers behind the surprise hit “RBG,” it uses Murray’s own voice and words as narration, drawn from interviews, oral histories and the prolific writing — books, poems and a collection of argumentative, impassioned and romantic letters — that Murray meticulously filed away with an eye toward her legacy. And the film arrives at a moment when the tenacious activism of people of color, especially women, is being re-contextualized and newly acknowledged, at the same time that many of the battles they fought are still raging…

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Plessy v. Ferguson: An Excerpt from Firsthand Louisiana

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States on 2021-09-15 02:06Z by Steven

Plessy v. Ferguson: An Excerpt from Firsthand Louisiana

University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press
2020-08-13

Devon Lord, Editor In Chief

Discover the history of the Pelican State through the eyes of the people who lived it and shaped its course. In Firsthand Louisiana: Primary Sources in the History of the State, historians Janet Allured, John Keeling, and Michael Martin have compiled dozens of important, interesting, devastating, and even entertaining firsthand accounts cover Louisiana’s history along with questions for further analysis and discussion. Below is an excerpt concerning the Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision and its impact on Louisiana and the nation as a whole.

1896:PLESSY V. FERGUSON

The most important United States Supreme Court case to originate in Louisiana is Plessy v. Ferguson, which in 1896 affirmed the constitutionality of southern segregation laws. In 1890 the Louisiana legislature passed the state’s first segregation bill, the Separate Car Act, which required that railroads provide separate cars for white and black passengers. As a state senator from St. John the Baptist Parish, Henry Demas was one of four remaining African American Republicans in that chamber. In response to the act, leading members of the Afro-Creole community in New Orleans formed the Comité des Citoyens (Citizens Committee) to challenge the legality of the act. On June 7, 1892, Homer Plessy bought a first-class train ticket from New Orleans to Covington and boarded the white passenger car. A private detective hired by the committee ensured that the conductor had him arrested for violating the Separate Car Act, and the test case began. After losing both in a local court and the Louisiana Supreme Court, the case was appealed to the US Supreme Court. In a 7–1 decision, the Court upheld the constitutionality of the Separate Car Act, asserting, among other points, that it was a reasonable exercise of the state’s police power to maintain the health, safety, and morals of its citizens. Associate Justice John Marshall Harlan, however, saw through the reasoning behind the law and the majority opinion, and declared in the most famous dissenting opinion in the history of the Court that the decision established second-class citizenship for African Americans in the South. Through the “separate but equal” rule, that accommodations for each race had to be roughly the same in quality, Jim Crow laws came to dominate southern race relations until overturned fifty-eight years later by Brown v. Board of Education

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In Our Blood: A People, Divided

Posted in Audio, History, Interviews, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2021-08-30 22:44Z by Steven

In Our Blood: A People, Divided

a LATTO thought: An immersive audio documentary series that dismantles post-racial myths about mixed race identities.
2021-08-28

CA Davis, Host

Marilyn Vann, Doug Kiel, Ariela Gross, Leetta Osborne-Sampson and Kim TallBear

The conclusion of a LATTO thought’s first miniseries traces how Indigenous kinship has been damaged by centuries of racist and colonial American policies. Marilyn Vann (Cherokee Nation) and LeEtta Osborne-Sampson (Seminole Nation) share the painful fight that the descendants of Indigenous Freedmen have waged for civil rights within their own nations. Genocide in slow motion and the lack of one equal citizenship created a zero sum game that, left a people—a family—divided.

But… that may not be the case for much longer.

Listen to the episode (01:11:00) here.

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Free People of Color in the Spanish Atlantic: Race and Citizenship, 1780–1850

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Law, Media Archive, Mexico, Monographs on 2021-08-30 22:27Z by Steven

Free People of Color in the Spanish Atlantic: Race and Citizenship, 1780–1850

Routledge
2020-08-07
252 pages
5 b/w Illustrations
Hardback ISBN: 9780367494926
eBook ISBN: 9781003046813

Federica Morelli, Associate Professor of History of the Americas
University of Turin, Turin, Italy

This book grapples with the important contemporary question of the boundaries of citizenship and access to naturalization by analyzing a body of relevant juridical sources, dating from the end of the eighteenth century to the first half of the nineteenth century, concerning the free people of color in late colonial and early independent Spanish America. Their precarious status makes this group a privileged subject to examine the negotiation and formation of racial identity as well as the definition of citizenship requirements in colonial and post-colonial contexts. Based on archival material collected in Spain (Seville and Madrid) and Latin America (Mexico City, Bogotá, Quito, Lima and Buenos Aires), the book demonstrates that the access of free people of color to citizenship both in the late colonial and early independent period was not established by state authorities, but resulted from complex dynamics between the state and the local society.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. Seeking Spaces for Mobility
  • 2. The Revolutions of the Hispanic World: New Citizenship Rights?
  • 3. Between Grace and Rights
  • 4. Race and Equality
  • Conclusion
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Is There Racism in the Deed to Your Home?

Posted in Articles, Economics, History, Law, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United States on 2021-08-23 03:17Z by Steven

Is There Racism in the Deed to Your Home?

The New York Times
2021-08-17

Sara Clemence


Kyona and Kenneth Zak found a racial covenant in the deed to their house in San Diego that barred anyone “other than the White or Caucasian race” from owning the home. Although now illegal across the country, the covenant would have prevented Ms. Zak, who is Black, from owning the home. John Francis Peters for The New York Times

Racial covenants were designed to keep neighborhoods segregated. Some states are now making it easier to erase them from legal documents.

Last year, to celebrate the centennial of their charming Craftsman home, Kyona and Kenneth Zak repainted it in historically accurate colors — gray, bronze green and copper red. They commissioned beveled-glass windows to complement the original stained glass. And they visited the San Diego County Recorder, to have a line drawn through a sentence in their deed that once would have prohibited Ms. Zak, who is Black, from owning the home.

“I’ve referred to it as the ultimate smudge stick to the house,” said Ms. Zak, an ayurvedic health counselor and yoga therapist, drawing parallels to the Indigenous practice of purifying a place by burning sacred herbs.

Buried in the fine print of the Zaks’ deed was a racial covenant, a clause that barred anyone “other than the White or Caucasian race” from owning the home. For much of the 20th century, it was common practice to insert such restrictions into deeds. The covenants targeted people who were Asian, Latino and Jewish, but especially those who were Black…

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White Fright: The Sexual Panic at the Heart of America’s Racist History

Posted in Books, History, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2021-07-08 21:15Z by Steven

White Fright: The Sexual Panic at the Heart of America’s Racist History

Basic Books (and imprint of Hachette Book Group)
2020-11-17
368 pages
Hardcover ISBN-13: 9781541646551
eBook ISBN-13: 9781541646544
Audiobook Downloadable ISBN-13: 9781549157721

Jane Daily, Associate Professor of History
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

A major new history of the fight for racial equality in America, arguing that fear of black sexuality has undergirded white supremacy from the start.

In White Fright, historian Jane Dailey brilliantly reframes our understanding of the long struggle for African American rights. Those fighting against equality were not motivated only by a sense of innate superiority, as is often supposed, but also by an intense fear of black sexuality.

In this urgent investigation, Dailey examines how white anxiety about interracial sex and marriage found expression in some of the most contentious episodes of American history since Reconstruction: in battles over lynching, in the policing of black troops’ behavior overseas during World War II, in the violent outbursts following the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, and in the tragic story of Emmett Till. The question was finally settled — as a legal matter — with the Court’s definitive 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia, which declared interracial marriage a “fundamental freedom.” Placing sex at the center of our civil rights history, White Fright offers a bold new take on one of the most confounding threads running through American history.

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70 years Moluccans in the Netherlands: the ‘painful problem’ of mixed marriages and relationships

Posted in Articles, Europe, History, Law, Media Archive on 2021-06-22 21:46Z by Steven

70 years Moluccans in the Netherlands: the ‘painful problem’ of mixed marriages and relationships

EUROMIX Research Project: Regulation of mixed relationships, intimacy and marriage in Europe
2021-06-11

Betty de Hart, Euromix Principal Investigator; Professor of Transnational Families and Migration Law
Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Source: Het Parool, 1951-05-11

Introduction

In May 1951, the local council of the town of Huizen in the Netherlands adopted a local police regulation (Algemene Politie Verordening) prohibiting town girls from hanging out at the gates of the camp where recently arrived Moluccan colonial migrants were housed. The newspaper article in Het Parool reporting on this regulation quoted the town mayor saying that he got ‘nauseous’ by the 15 and 16 year old girls, who sought contact to the ‘Ambonese’.

In light of the various events organised this year to commemorate the 70-year presence of Moluccans in the Netherlands, it seems appropriate to go further into the way these colonial subjects were received, especially in relation to the regulation of mixture. As will be demonstrated, the local regulation in Huizen was not exceptional, but part of a pattern of regulation of mixed relationships and marriages between Moluccans and Dutch nationals, that was framed in terms of ‘racial mixture’…

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Being mixed-race in the age of BLM

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2021-06-12 17:41Z by Steven

Being mixed-race in the age of BLM

The New York Daily News
2021-06-12

Tanya K. Hernández, Archibald R. Murray Professor of Law; Associate Director & Head of Global and Comparative Law Programs and Initiatives
Fordham University School of Law, New York, New York


Protesters march for the sixth consecutive night of protest on September 7, 2020, following the release of video evidence that shows the death of Daniel Prude while in the custody of Rochester Police in Rochester, New York. (MARANIE R. STAAB/AFP via Getty Images)

Today marks the 54th anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia, the landmark Supreme Court decision that invalidated interracial marriage bans in the United States in 1967. Interracial marriage has been legal across the nation for nearly half a century, but the children of mixed-race marriages and other interracial unions are still subject to many other types of discrimination that their parents and ancestors faced. The persistence of such bias shows that while courts have may have remedied the bias behind interracial marriage bans, but they remain unable to blunt the continued vibrancy of white supremacy in the United States.

In my book, “Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination,” I found that mixed-race arrestees describe their experiences of racial profiling and police violence in much the same way that single-race identified non-whites do. Thus, like George Floyd, the African-American man killed in 2020, by police officer Derek Chauvin, multiracial people can also experience being viewed as so inherently suspicious that they warrant out-sized interventions based upon their non-white racial appearance…

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