Legacies links for August 28, 2023: MLK’s Dream at 60 (and counting)

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Peaceful protesters with signs from the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Today is the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963. source: Library of Congress
  • “Threats to Racial Justice Persist Six Decades After the March on Washington,” Equal Justice Initiative (August 28, 2023): LINK. “Today, the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, is an occasion to reflect on the widespread and often violent opposition to racial equality and civil rights that surrounded that landmark event and to recognize the parallels that persist today.”
  • David Crary, “From MLK to today, the March on Washington highlights the evolution of activism by Black churches,” Associated Press (August 22, 2023): LINK. This article reviews the long history of social activism and conservative impulses in the Black Church.
  • Ben Railton, “Considering History: Black-Owned Businesses Reflect the Best of American History,” Saturday Evening Post (August 22, 2023): LINK. August is Black Business Month, an opportunity to remember individual entrepreneurs and community support for Black-owned businesses from the 1790s to today.
  • Kayla Berkey, “Michigan church releases $170,000 as faith-based reparations,” United Church of Christ News (August 22, 2023): LINK. A local congregation was inspired by “the history of racial injustice in their community”—including restrictive covenants on many homes in East Lansing, MI—and “the responsibility to offer faith-based reparations.”
  • “Two Histories, One Future: The Legacy of Confederate Memorials and the Promise of Public Spaces,” PRRI (August 22, 2023): LINK. A report from the Public Religion Research Institute, based on extensive surveys and focus groups with Black and white Americans across the South, explores public attitudes towards the legacy and future of Confederate memorials in public spaces. (Not surprisingly, attitudes differ by race.)
  • Hannah Schoenbaum, “North Carolina unveils its first park honoring African American history,” AP via WSOC-TV (August 23, 2023): LINK. “North Carolina state officials joined historians and Black community leaders Wednesday under a sprawling oak tree in the heart of downtown Raleigh for the long-anticipated unveiling of the state’s first park honoring the African American struggle for freedom.”
  • Jay Caspian Kang, “The Fantasy of Integration in Shaker Heights, Ohio,” New Yorker (August 24, 2023): LINK (free account may be required for access). “Can the good intentions of affluent liberals create integrated and equitable communities? This is the implied question that underlies so much of the current discourse on race and education.” It is also the topic of a new book about imperfect school integration in one Cleveland suburb.
  • Jessica Washington, “Meet the Black Woman Abolitionist Whose Name is Replacing a White Slaveowner’s in a Town Square,” The Root (August 25, 2023): LINK. In Savannah, Georgia, Susie King Taylor—abolitionist, teacher, Civil War nurse, freedwoman—will replace John C. Calhoun.
  • “109-Year-Old Tulsa Massacre Survivor Shares Slavery Legacy at UN,” UN News (August 26, 2023): LINK. Viola Fletcher, a Tulsa Massacre survivor, visited the UN Headquarters to commemorate UNESCO’s International Day of Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. Fletcher discussed the legacy of slavery and the possibility of reparations while giving a first-person account of her violent displacement in 1921.