Civil Rights

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Texas has its own claim to the legacy of the American civil rights movement - James Farmer Jr.  Born in Marshall in 1920, Jan. 12 would have been the birthday of the man many remember as “the great debater.”

Dr. Ben Voth, director of forensics (speech & debate) at Southern Methodist University, says Farmer’s bipartisan civility has much to teach us today.

Paul Schutzer / via 'Freedom Riders' c/o PBS

Fifty years ago this summer, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law. But that didn’t come without a price. It was the era of the Freedom Summer, a bloody campaign to get blacks registered to vote in Mississippi. 

Study Up For 'Think': Blood For Freedom

Jun 16, 2014
PBS

The Freedom Summer was a 1964 campaign in Mississippi to increase black voter registration. Adversaries resisted the movement with malevolence and violence. Today at noon, Krys Boyd will speak to historian Bruce Watson, author of American Experience: Freedom Summer, about the effort 50 years ago.

Eduard Moldoveanu / Shutterstock.com 181528181

Louis A. Bedford Jr. was born in Dallas, in the 1920s, when the Ku Klux Klan was rampant and Texas enforced Jim Crow laws. Four decades later, he became the city’s first black judge, and eventually helped other blacks into city and state politics. 

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A half-century after the passage of sweeping civil rights legislation, President Barack Obama declared that he had "lived out the promise" envisioned by Lyndon B. Johnson, the president who championed the push for greater racial equality.

Marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, which Johnson signed into law, Obama lauded his Democratic predecessor's ability to grasp like few others the power of government to bring about change and swing open the doors of opportunity for millions of Americans.

Diana Orozco-Garrett

Adelfa Botello Callejo, a longtime civil rights leader and attorney in Dallas, died early Saturday from a brain tumor. She was 90.

Callejo endured three bouts with cancer, including colon and breast cancer. In an email to friends, her nephew John David Gonzales described her as a “giant among giants who became a Texas legal legend and philanthropist who dedicated her life to the promotion of education.”

Hear what others had to say about her decades-long legacy:

A senior attorney at the National Center for Youth Law says "Dallas is, by far, the most aggressive in the state of Texas, and Texas is way more aggressive than any other state". The group joined 'Texas Appleseed' and 'Disability Rights Texas' in filing the complaint.

Victims of bullies and those picked on because they’re gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered have federal law on their side. KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports that was one of the messages at a university conference that featured the U.S. Attorney General.