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Subjects: Civil Rights


“I Was There”

Joan Little on WAFR, 1975

by Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

In 1975, Joan Little was on tour. Media covering the story of her legal case—a first-degree murder charge, her ultimate acquittal, and her subsequent retreat from public life—tended to frame her life as a political and social cause. Many groups took up her case as a landmark gesture toward prison abolition, antirape activism, and civil rights »


“The Laws Have Hurt Me”

Violence, Violation, and Black Women’s Struggles for Civil Rights

by Adriane Lentz-Smith

“Much changed over the course of the freedom struggle in how African Americans pursued rights and how segregationists defended white democracy, but sexual violence remained central to asserting white power.” On August 26, 1965, Henrietta Wright drove to the Winona, Mississippi courthouse and registered to vote. A few hours later, she was facing the barrel »

Photo Essay

Road Through Midnight

by Jessica Ingram

“In a purposeful inversion of the news headlines from the time, my work foregrounds individuals who fought for civil rights and who were victims of retaliatory violence.” It was a sweltering summer in 2002 and I was wandering downtown Montgomery, exploring and making photographs, when I found myself at a historical marker in front of »


“Now We Work Just as One”

The United Farm Workers in Florida Citrus, 1972–1977

by Terrell Orr

“If labor organizers had learned anything from decades of small victories and stubborn failures the U.S. South, it was that interracial unions were hard work.” “I have your letter of June 1 [1974] and suggest that if you really want to know what is involved in organizing a Union, you should put some time into »


A Beautiful Queerness

by Holly Christopher Lewis, Ocean Eerie

This interview first appeared in the Left/Right Issue (vol. 25, no. 3: Fall 2019). I’m not sure I’d be who I am today if I hadn’t come to Atlanta in 2011. I was born in Boston, went to Harvard and lived in Cambridge. I grew up on the south side of Boston, a Catholic town, »

Photo Essay

The People of Jackson Are Ready

Chokwe Antar Lumumba in conversation with Kiese Laymon

by Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Kiese Laymon

“We have to figure out how we go around [the mountain] or, like Hannibal, how we just run the troops up.” Kiese Laymon: Yo, man. It’s so good to talk to you, fam. I don’t even know how to ask somebody as busy as you how you doing. Are you less busy in the summer, »


What I’m Doing Is for Them

Rosa Ortez-Cruz, interviewed by Lori Fernald Khamala

by Rosa Ortez-Cruz, Lori Fernald Khamala

“At first, I thought three months was forever. I counted ninety-six days; “Oh God, that’s insane!” But imagine, now, I’ve already been here for more than four hundred days.” I have been living in this church for more than a year now, and it hasn’t been easy at all. It is exhausting, for me and »


Carving A Path For Those Who Will Follow

Carving A Path For Those Who Will Follow

by Stacey Abrams, Valerie Boyd

VALERIE BOYD: Everybody I’ve talked with, when I’ve told them that I’m interviewing Stacey Abrams, they’re so excited—and especially Black women. Every time I tell a Black woman I’m interviewing you, they get a dreamy look in their eyes that’s usually reserved for Michelle Obama. Well, maybe Oprah. But now there are three Black women »


Gird Up, Get Up, and Grow Up

by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, Tim Tyson

REV. DR. WILLIAM J. BARBER II: My father . . . said, “When you feel overwhelmed by your moment, go back and read the moments that people faced that are worse than yours. What courage and hope and truth did they find in that moment?” I go back and I read Henry McNeal Turner and »


Losing Carolina

by Gene Nichol

It can be an odd undertaking to explore the meaning and mission of an American public university through the lens of history. The concept of a “university of the people”—especially for a southern state university—must begin with a great and unyielding asterisk. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was all male until 1897, »


Southern Strategy

From Nixon to Trump

by Ferrel Guillory

On August 14, 1970, Richard Nixon treated New Orleans, a city keen on parades, to a campaign-style motorcade. With Nixon standing and waving through the sunroof, his limousine moved slowly down wide Canal Street, then through narrow Chartres Street. Thousands of people lined the sidewalks to cheer and be near the President of the United »


“Sing It So Loudly”

The Long History of “Birmingham Sunday”

by Julia Cox

“‘The problem right now is we have no anthem.’” Reflecting on her induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017, folk icon Joan Baez was underwhelmed by the resurgence of protest music. “There needs to be more. It’s terribly important, because that’s what keeps the spirit,” she told Rolling Stone. “Carping and »