By DC Livers
Fifty years ago, with the help of hundreds of volunteers, over 17,000 African Americans attempted to register to vote in the state of Mississippi. Only 1,600 of the applications were accepted by local registrars which led to a movement now known as Freedom Summer. Half a century ago, America imploded with a vicious battle over civil rights, largely over what rights African Americans should have. Students gathered from across America stormed the south in hopes of demanding civil rights for all Americans, especially the Black community. They carried signs. They sang. They were beaten. They arrived largely by Greyhound bus, which played a significant role in the civil rights movement. Their buses not only brought people to the protest, but they doubled as hotel rooms, meeting spaces and served as a kind of refuge keeping as many of its passengers safe as possible. One bus was even burned when protestors lost their tempers.
Fast forward 50 years and America is still grasping to understand the impact of civil rights. The gains of the civil rights movement are under attack from numerous institutions. From the Supreme Court, to municipalities that allow hundreds of thousands to go without water in Detroit, turning the clock back seems to be number one on the agenda. Every month, more and more Black parents file complaints related to discrimination of their children. From hand cuffing children at school to restricting what clothes Black children can wear, today’s Black community is freer in some ways, but still oppressed. Educational arenas are full of evidence of discrimination. In New York City alone, parents are finding themselves fighting to get their children into their neighborhood schools due to gentrification and misleading marketing campaigns for charter schools.
In the spirit of the struggles faced today by the Freedom Riders, the Black blogosphere and social media has decided to band together to raise awareness about today’s matters that face Black America. Polite On Society along with ATL Momma , Black Star News, and a number of other sites are content sponsors for Black Press Radio’s Mini-Blog Tour. View the promo video below. The fight for equality may never be over but it’s clear that there are some in today’s generation who have not forgotten what they are fighting for.