The following is an excerpt fromThe Folklore of the Freeway: Race and Revolt in the Modernist City  by Eric Avila. Copyright © 2014. Reprinted with permission of University of Minnesota Press. In this age of divided government, we look to the 1950s as a golden age of bipartisan unity. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, often invokes the landmark passage of the 1956 Federal Aid Highway Act to remind the nation that Republicans and Democrats can unite under a shared sense of common purpose. Introduced by President Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, the Federal Aid Highway Act, originally titled the National Interstate and Defense Highway Act, won unanimous support from Democrats and Republicans alike, uniting the two parties in a shared commitment to building a national highway infrastructure. This was big government at its biggest, the single largest federal expenditure in American history before the advent of the Great Society.
PORTLAND, Oregon (NNPA) – The St. Louis American has won the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s Russwurm/Senstacke Trophy for general excellence for the third consecutive year, it was announced Thursday night at the NNPA’s annual convention here. It was the Missouri newspaper’s 8th time winning the NNPA ‘s top award in the past 15 years. The award was named in honor of John B. Russwurm, co-founder of Freedom’s Journal, the nation’s first African American newspaper, and late Chicago Defender Publisher John H. Senstacke, founder of the Negro Newspaper Publishers Association, now the National Newspaper Publishers Association, in 1940.
WASHINGTON (NNPA) – One year after the United States Supreme Court gutted a key section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, “the right to vote for all is under grave threat,” says Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of nearly 200 civil and human rights organizations. Last summer, in Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court struck down section 4 of the VRA, a key provision of the law that defined which states and jurisdictions with histories of voter discrimination had to pre-clear any changes to voting rules with the Department of Justice or a federal court.
Systemic Racism is Killing Black Babies in America — But There is Something Black Women Can Do About It!
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says the U.S. infant mortality rate is the highest among selected states in the South and Midwest regions. In 2010, 13 states and the District of Columbia had infant mortality rates of 7.00–7.99, and two additional states (Mississippi and Alabama) had infant mortality rates of 8.00 or higher, (www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db120.pdf). According to recent studies, systemic racism in America is negatively impacting the health of pregnant black women, by creating stress over load on their system which is affecting the health of babies. Black babies are being born too soon and too small, and lack the option of being breastfed, as result of stress.
RELEASE: 50 Years After Freedom Summer, Report Shows that Communities of Color Can Shift the Balance of Power in ‘Black Belt’ States
Washington, D.C. — Fifty years after Freedom Summer sparked a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement, a new report released today by the Center for American Progress, in conjunction with an event exploring the subject, examines how current demographic and political changes in heavily black southern states could upset the balance of power in many of the country’s so-called “Black Belt” states. The report analyzes 13 Black Belt states that are still defined by racial polarization: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. In these Black Belt states—which each contain a black population of at least 10 percent—voters of color continue to be locked out of statewide politics, and candidates of color rarely get elected to statewide office. However, as outlined in the report, a massive wave of voter registration could trigger a major shift in the country’s political landscape that would shake up the status quo and create a more inclusive Black Belt.
Recently, I marched with McDonald's workers from three dozen cities to the company's corporate headquarters outside of Chicago. After they refused to leave the corporate campus of the fast-food giant with its $5.6 billion in profits last year, 101 workers were arrested. I knew I had to come when the workers invited me to share some of the lessons we have been learning in North Carolina about civil disobedience - and moral support. I watched my new friends sit down. I watched the police gather. I prayed with the McDonald's workers as the police looked on and then slapped plastic handcuffs on more than 100 of the workers and arrested them.
St. Louis/Washington, DC - A new poll shows that a majority of black Americans support voter ID laws despite a full-court press by the Obama Administration and its supporters in and out of government to label such polling place protections as a danger to civil rights. Members of the Project 21 black leadership network note this very basic safeguard ensures the integrity of the democratic process and provides Americans of all races, genders and creeds with an assurance their vote will count.
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