By: RACHEL HEWS On April 12, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. was sent to a Birmingham, Alabama, jail, where he would spend the following eight days. The cause? Protesting without a permit. At the time, King had been leading the Civil Rights Movement for nearly a decade, with little progress to show. Congress passed the … Continue reading #InContext: Martin Luther King Jr.
By: LAUREN BALDWIN In 1947, at the age of 28, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball when he was signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers – 58 years after the League was founded. Baseball’s unwritten rules of segregation were to change forever when Robinson was signed. In the decade after World War … Continue reading #InContext: Jackie Robinson
By: JONATHAN ROBERTS Kenneth Kaunda was the first President of independent Zambia and is steadfast in his support for societal improvement in Africa. Kaunda was born in 1928 in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) to Church of Scotland missionaries and schoolteachers. His mother was the first African woman to teach in colonial Zambia. Kaunda followed in … Continue reading #InContext: Kenneth Kaunda
By: EMILY SAUER In early 1957, Martin Luther King Jr. pitched an idea to publish his well-known sermons. Melvin Arnold, head of Harper & Brothers’ Religious Books Department, agreed to publish King’s book and repeatedly begged him for the manuscript for the next several years. But it was not until five years later that King … Continue reading #InContext: Martin Luther King Jr.
By: SARAH CRAMER Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. At a young age, Parks’ parents separated. She and her mother moved in with her mother’s parents, who were former slaves. From a young age, she witnessed her family serve as leading examples and strong advocates for human equality. In one … Continue reading #InContext: Rosa Parks
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, known as Mahatma meaning “Great Soul,” was born in 1869 to an elite family in northwest India. Influenced by Jainism, his mother taught him the virtues of tolerance, non-violence, and simple living that would reappear later in his political campaigns. In direct defiance of the elders of his caste, Gandhi left India … Continue reading #InContext: Gandhi
By: TAKIM WILLIAMS “Justice is what love looks like in public, just like tenderness is what love feels like in private,” said Dr. Cornel West, Professor of Philosophy at Union Theological Seminary and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. The provocative black intellectual has said this on more than one occasion. However, it was during his … Continue reading #InContext: Cornel West
By: TAKIM WILLIAMS Over the course of her 86-year life, Maya Angelou was an accomplished singer, actor, dancer, poet, playwright, author, historian, and civil rights activist. President Barack Obama honored her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010 in celebration of each area of achievement, yet Angelou herself identified first and foremost as a … Continue reading #InContext: Maya Angelou
The Selma to Montgomery March of 1965 occurred the year after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which did far less to improve the lives of oppressed African Americans than many of them had hoped. In King’s own words at the march, “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave Negroes some part of their rightful … Continue reading #InContext: Theodore Parker & Martin Luther King Jr.