Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Education of Martin Luther King

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Martin Luther King became a civil rights activist against Jim Crow laws during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, sparked by Rosa Parks.


We must remember that Martin Luther King was more than a gifted speaker, who lectured America about the evils of Jim Crow Laws and segregation in the 1950s and 1960s. Well prepared academically, he began his career in civil rights activism during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, sparked by Rosa Parks in 1955. Through the NAACP, Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks worked together during the boycott to begin bringing down segregation in the 1950s.

Martin Luther King was a highly intelligent man, proof of which showed in his education and academic credentials. Early in his education, King skipped both ninth and twelfth grades, tested his way out of high school at age 15 before graduation. Because a college education was so prized in the African American community, King entered Morehouse College, where he earned Bachelor's degree in sociology. King received a Bachelor of Divinity from Cozier College, while also studying at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1955, three months before Rosa Parks sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and hurled King into national prominence, he received his Doctorate of Philosophy in Systematic Theology from Boston University.

Honorary Degrees from U.S. and international colleges and universities. during his lifetime and posthumously, Dr. King also was awarded:
1957 - Doctor of Humane Letters, Morehouse College; Doctor of Laws, Howard University; Doctor of Divinity, Chicago Theological Seminary
1958 - Doctor of Laws, Morgan State College; Doctor of Humanities, Central State College
1959 - Doctor of Divinity, Boston University
1961 - Doctor of Laws, Lincoln University; Doctor of Laws, University of Bridgeport
1962 - Doctor of Civil Laws, Bard College
1963 - Doctor of Letters, Keuka College
1964 - Doctor of Divinity, Wesleyan College; Doctor of Laws, Jewish Theological Seminary; Doctor of Laws, Yale University; Doctor of Divinity, Springfield College
1965 - Doctor of Laws, Hofstra University; Doctor of Human Letters, Oberlin College; Doctor of Social Science, Amsterdam Free University; Doctor of Divinity, St. Peter's College
1967 - Doctor of Civil Law, University of New Castle Upon Tyne; Doctor of Laws, Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa



At age 35, Dr. King was the youngest man in history to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. The second American after Theodore Roosevelt, Dr. King is also the second African American in history to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The first African American to win the Nobel Peace Prize was Ralph Bunche in 1950 and the third black recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize is President Barack Obama

Photo: Martin Luther King Receives Nobel Peace Prize, Coretta King (right)
CREDIT: Rev. Martin Luther King congratulated
by Crown Prince Harald & King Olav
Mrs. Coretta King (right) 
UPI Photo 1964 Dec 10. Library of Congress
Scholarly and Leadership Awards received below and others listed in the Archives of the Martin Luther King, Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia.
1957 - Among Time’s most outstanding personalities
1957 - Who's Who in America
1957 - NAACP Spingarn Medal Recipient
1957 - National Newspaper Publishers’ Russwurm Award
1958.- Guardian Association of the Police Department of New York, Second Annual Achievement Award
1959 - Among New Delhi, India, Link Magazine’s sixteen world leaders who contributed most to the advancement of freedom
1963 - Time Man of the Year
1963 - Laundry, Dry Cleaning, and Die Workers International Union’s American of the Decade
1964 - United Federation of Teachers’ John Dewey Award
1964 - Catholic Interracial Council of Chicago John F. Kennedy Award
1968 - Jamaican Government Marcus Garvey Prize for Human Rights (posthumously)
1968 - Southern Christian Leadership Conference Rosa Parks Award (posthumously)

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At the time Martin Luther King delivered I Had a Dream at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, none imaged that fifty years would pass so soon and the projections of his speech would come true. However, Martin Luther King's projections did come true. Martin Luther King's was not the only prediction made in the 1960s about a black man becoming president. 

In 1968, Robert Kennedy predicted that a black man would become president in 40 years. That is precisely what happened forty years later. Barack Obama is living proof of Bobby Kennedy's prediction. In 2008, Barack Obama was elected president. 

Without the courage of Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy and so many others who died because of race relations in the tumultuous 1960s, there may not have been a Barack Obama presidency this soon.

More Articles on Martin Luther King 

by Sunny Nash


I watched Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, civil rights and the dismantling of Jim Crow laws unfold on the evening news on television along with every other American household that had a television in their living room. 

See full video of Martin Luther King's 'I Have A Dream,' written after Rosa Parks sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and ignited the modern Civil Rights Movement against Jim Crow laws.

Martin Luther King: Dream Speech
Read full text of Martin Luther King's 'I Have A Dream,' written after Rosa Parks sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and ignited the modern Civil Rights Movement against Jim Crow laws.


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Blogger, Sunny Nash, is a writer, producer, photographer and leading author on race relations in America. 




Sunny Nash produces blogs, media, books, articles and images on history and contemporary topics, from slavery, the Civil War, Jim Crow and civil rights to post racism, social media, entertainment and technology using her book, Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s, as a basis for commentary and research.

Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s by Sunny Nash on Amazon

by Sunny Nash
Sunny Nash's book was selected by the Association of American University Press as a resource for understanding U.S. race relations and recommended for Native American Collections by the Miami-Dade Public Library System.

"My book, 'Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's,' began in the 1990s. I was writing for Hearst and Knight-Ridder newspapers. The stories are about my childhood with my part-Comanche grandmother, Bigmama, my parents, relatives, friends, and others; and my interpretation of the events surrounding the Jim Crow South before and during the Civil Rights Movement.

Robin Fruble of Southern California said, "Every white person in America should read this book! Sunny Nash writes the story of her childhood without preaching or ranting but she made me realize for the first time just how much skin color changes how one experiences the world. But if your skin color is brown, it matters a great deal to a great number of people. I needed to learn that. Sunny Nash is a great teacher," Fruble said.

© 2012 Sunny Nash. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
~Thank You~

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Rosa Parks & the Montgomery Bus Boycott Legacy


Rosa Parks challenged Jim Crow laws and sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, launching Martin Luther King as leader of the Civil Rights Movement.


Photo: Rosa Parks on bus after Montgomery Bus Boycott
Photo: Rosa Parks 
Montgomery Bus Boycott

Rosa Parks challenged Jim Crow laws, igniting the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955.


When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to another bus rider, she set the nonviolent tone used by Martin Luther King in his nonviolent protest methods that left quite a legacy for both civil rights activists. The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, including the Woolworth Sit-ins and Freedom Riders, were modeled on nonviolence.

Rosa Parks, was born on February 4, 1913, one hundred years ago, a child of Jim Crow laws. 


Photo: Martin Luther King (podium) Rosa Parks (center)
Photo: Martin Luther King (podium)
Rosa Parks (center)

Montgomery Bus Boycott
Montgomery Improvement Association Meeting
Rosa Parks was raised by her grandparents on their' farm in rural Alabama near Tuskegee. The modern Civil Rights Movement had not begun at the time of her birth and her future chief partner in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Martin Luther King, was not yet born.

After their arrest for inciting the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King formed the Montgomery Improvement Association to raise funds to administer the boycott. Administration of the Montgomery Bus Boycott included transportation to work and school for those who had previously ridden buses; money to bail bus boycott participants out of jail; and legal fees.



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Photo: Montgomery Buss Boycott in the rain
Photo: Montgomery Buss Boycott in the rain
In order to get an education, Rosa Parks had walked from her grandparents' farm to the nearest colored school because the same Jim Crow laws that prevented her from attending white schools in Alabama, also prevented her from riding the school bus when she was a young student. School buses for white students were not permitted to transport black students during the era of Jim Crow laws. Therefore, she and her classmates had to walk in all kinds of weather, as did the participants of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.



Below is a video sketch of the education of Rosa Parks, an excerpt from a YouTube Biography Channel program.


video

Jim Crow laws were in effect from 1876 to 1965. For more videos on race relations in America, Subscribe to my YouTube Channel, iksunny.


Rosa Parks eventually went back and finished high school after she married Raymond Parks, who also encouraged her to join him in working with the Montgomery National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Sign: No Spanish or Mexican
Sign: No Spanish or Mexican

Rosa Parks wanted more opportunity. A person of color, she had  been denied decent treatment by society all her life, had had enough and refused to move when the bus driver ordered her to another seat. I can only imagine what must have gone through the mind of a woman fed up. recognized the fed-up expressions on the faces of my mother, grandmother, father and others I knew when I had seen them in similar situations.

Montgomery Bus Boycott Rosa Parks: Tired of Giving in
Rosa Parks: 
Tired of Giving 
in (African-American 
Biographies (Enslow))

On December 1, 1955, a beautiful, smart, high-school educated, hard-working, 42-year-old seamstress, named Rosa Parks, boarded a bus after work. Like every weekday, she sat down on a seat designated 'black seating.' Stop to stop, the bus filled, leaving no vacancies in the white section. The bus driver, familiar with this situation, ordered Rosa Parks to move from her seat to allow more seating for white passengers.

Again, the bus driver ordered Rosa Parks to move to another seat in his attempt to enforce a Jim Crow law that mandated racial segregation of all public and private facilities and separate but equal facilities for customers, clients, students, patrons, patients and  passengers who were black or people of color.

Photo: Segregated Birmingham, Alabama, Bus, Birmingham Public Library, via NPR
Segregation on Alabama Bus
Source: Birmingham Public Library
Via: National Public Radio
Montgomery Bus Boycott


Jim Crow laws required blacks to give up seats to whites, as needed, determined by bus drivers. If whites were standing because their section of the bus was filled, the driver corrected the situation by ordering black riders to move from their seats to allow whites to sit instead. When Rosa Parks would not move from her seat, the bus driver haled a policeman to assist him in the matter. Thousands of people were involved in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, including many white people who were against segregated bus transportation in the city.


Below is a list of additional blog posts with photographs about Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.


Rosa Parks, The Montgomery Bus Boycott: A History and Reference Guide
The Montgomery 
Bus Boycott: 
A History and 
Reference Guide

Rosa Parks: Black Womanhood, Rape & Lynching
Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth and Ida B. Wells created a century-long movement (1850s-1950s) against Jim Crow laws that allowed rape and lynching of black women and girls.

Fashion in the 1960s is a memorable part of the Civil Rights Movement.

Before Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth - Ain't I A Woman?
Before Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, a former slave, became a women’s and civil rights activist during the era of Jim Crow laws.

Blogger, Sunny Nash, is a writer, producer, photographer and leading author on race relations in America. 



Sunny Nash
Sunny Nash
Bigmama Didn't Shop  At Woolworth's by Sunny Nash
Bigmama Didn't Shop
At Woolworth's

by Sunny Nash

Hard Cover
Bigmama Didn't Shop 
at Woolworth's

Amazon Kindle
Bigmama Didn't Shop 
at Woolworth's
Sunny Nash is the author of Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's (Texas A&M University Press), about life in the with her part-Comanche grandmother during the Civil Rights Movement. Nash’s book is recognized by the Association of American University Presses as essential for understanding U.S. race relations; listed in the Bibliographic Guide to Black Studies by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York; and recommended by the Miami-Dade Public Library System in Florida for Native American collections.

Nash is also a producer, photographer, blogger and a leading writer on race relations in America--writes books, blogs, articles and reviews, and produces media and images on U.S. history and contemporary American topics, ranging from Jim Crow laws to social media networking, using her book, Bigmama Didn't Shop at Woolworth's, chosen by the Association of American University Presses for its value to understanding of U.S. race relations, to relate experiences about life with her part-Comanche grandmother.


Sunny Nash produces blogs, media, books, articles and images on history and contemporary topics, from slavery, the Civil War, Jim Crow and civil rights to post racism, social media, entertainment and technology using her book, Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s, as a basis for commentary and research.

"My book, 'Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's,' began in the 1990s. I was writing for Hearst and Knight-Ridder newspapers. The stories are about my childhood with my part-Comanche grandmother, Bigmama, my parents, relatives, friends, and others; and my interpretation of the events surrounding the Jim Crow South before and during the Civil Rights Movement.

Robin Fruble of Southern California said, "Every white person in America should read this book! Sunny Nash writes the story of her childhood without preaching or ranting but she made me realize for the first time just how much skin color changes how one experiences the world. But if your skin color is brown, it matters a great deal to a great number of people. I needed to learn that. Sunny Nash is a great teacher," Fruble said.



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© 2012 Sunny Nash. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
~Thank You~


Sunny Nash – Race Relations in America

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Audrey Patterson First Female Olympics Medal Winner

In 1948, Audrey Patterson became the first African American woman to win an Olympic medal.


Audrey "Mickey" Patterson, President Harry S. Truman The White House 1948
Audrey Patterson & President Harry S. Truman
The White House 1948

Audrey Patterson



Audrey Patterson was the first African American woman to win an Olympic medal--bronze in 1948. 


Audrey Patterson was born in 1926 in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the heart of Jim Crow laws. 

The Olympics were cancelled in 1940 and 1944 as many Americans were glued to the radio listening for developments of war with Germany. Audrey Patterson was in high school at this time of world chaos with fighting in the European and Pacific theaters. No doubt, Patterson knew of black soldiers in her family, her community or her school--although not allowed to enter combat in a meaningful way due to Jim Crow laws.  

African American men nationwide were on the cusp of gaining important civil rights for themselves in the military, as well as for other American blacks back home. 


During WWII, the Tuskegee Airmen, a unit of black pilots was organized at the instigation of black activist, A. Philip Randolph. The Army trained these men for air combat.Their proficiency proved so strong that they led to the desegregation of the U.S. Army by the Executive Order of President Harry S. Truman. After WWII ended in 1945, the next time a black American woman competed in the Olympics was in 1948. This was just before the official opening of the modern Civil Rights Movement when Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King burst onto the scene in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1954. In the meanwhile, black Americans were on the hunt for heroes to use in the fight against Jim Crow laws and the Olympics seemed as good a place as any. Female Olympians were training at both Tuskegee and Tennessee State in the tradition of former Olympic competitors.


Black females had been qualifying for the Olympics since 1932 in integrated track and field teams. 


1936 U.S. Female Olympic Track & Field

Trained at Tuskegee Institute, Tydie Pickett and Louise Stokes entered competition with the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics and the 1936 Berlin Olympics teams. Both times, Pickett and Stokes were replaced at the last minute by white teammates they had previously defeated.These political decisions were made by Olympic officials and seemed to have something to do with race.

The Berlin Olympics of 1936, however, belonged to black male track star, Jesse Owens, who won four individual gold medals at the Olympics. Legend has it that Jesse Owens was snubbed by Adolph Hitler. However, Owens said in his biography that he felt more of a snub by his own country upon his return from the Berlin Olympics. Touring with his Olympics team, he was discriminated against in hotel accommodations, restaurants and transportation due to Jim Crow laws in the United States. 

Further, Jesse Owens was not invited to the White House until many years after his victory when he was invited to the White House by President Dwight Eisenhower and appointed Athletic Ambassador. Owens when around the world promoting the goodwill of the United States by speaking to school children. Owens also made the rounds among schools in the United States, especially in the south where Jim Crow laws still prevailed.

Audrey Patterson said she felt that 1936 Olympic gold medal winner, Jesse Owens, was speaking to her in 1944 when he told a group at Gilbert Academy, "There is a boy or a girl in this audience who will go to the Olympics."In 1947, Patterson enrolled at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, where she became a track star, winning the Tuskegee Relays in the 100- and 220-yard dashes and the Amateur Athletic Union National Indoor Title in the 220-yard event. In 1948, Patterson transferred from Wiley to Tennessee State in Nashville, where she dominated the American record with another undefeated season. Patterson went to Providence, Rhode Island, for trials in the 1948 Olympics and earned a position on the U.S. Women's All-American Track & Field Team for the London Olympics. Patterson was one of the nine black females on the 12-member team.

At the time of the 1948 Olympics, Audrey Patterson, also known as Mickey, was a 22-year running beauty, who got cheers whenever the crowd caught a glimpse of her. And Mickey did not disappoint her international fans. By edging out Shirley Strickland of Australia, Patterson won a bronze medal for the 200-meter dash in the first Olympic Games that offered women the 200-meter race for competition. Fanny Blankers-Koen of the Netherlands won the race, her third gold medal. A few days later, African American track and field star from Tuskegee Institute, Alice Coachman, won a gold medal for the high jump.

When Audrey Patterson returned from the Olympics, her hometown newspaper, The Times-Picayune, did not mention her victory, which was interpreted by the black community as a snub because Patterson was an African American. The mayor did not attend her celebration ceremony, sending a certificate in his stead. However, President Harry Truman invited Patterson to the White House for a congratulatory visit after her history-making Olympic performance. 


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In 1948, Rosa Parks had started her civil rights career with the Montgomery, Alabama, branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as a principal investigator in rape cases involving black Alabama women. Rape was a primary offense against black women during the era of Jim Crow laws, used to control activities and suppress esteem in the black community. It was during the next decade, that Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King led the Montgomery Bus Boycott that led to the dismantling of Jim Crow laws across America.

Although, during this same period changes were occurring nationally in race relations. The Tuskegee Airmen, a unit  of black pilots had helped the United States win WWII and President Harry Truman had desegregated the U.S. Army. Both of these events were brought about by the encouragement of former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and black activist, A. Philip Randolph, labeled the most dangerous black man in America.

1948 U.S. Female Olympic Track & Field

At the 1948 London Olympics, nine of the 12  members of the U.S. Women’s All-American Track & Field Team were African American. Audrey "Mickey" Patterson of Tennessee State became the first African American woman in Olympic history to win a medal. 


Audrey Patterson was born in 1926 in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the heart of the Jim Crow south, steeping in discrimination against African Americans. 

Audrey Patterson won a bronze medal for the 200-meter dash in the 1948 Olympics. That was the first time the 200-meter race was included in Olympic competition for female runners. In that 1948 Olympic Games, another African American female became the first black American woman to win a gold medal in Olympics history; Alice Coachman won the high jump and was inducted into eight athletic Halls of Fame. Later that year, the Amateur Athletic Union announced that Audrey Patterson had been named Woman Athlete of the Year

Russell Stockard Sr., Eddie Robinson,
Olympic track star Audrey Patterson Tyler
and her husband, circa 1980s.
In 1965, Audrey Patterson founded Mickey's Missiles track club for girls six to 18, and produced Olympic track star, sprinter Jackie Thompson, who competed in the 200-meter Olympics in 1972. In 1982, Patterson founded the Martin Luther King Freedom Run in San Diego and was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Audrey Patterson died in 1996.



© 2012 Sunny Nash. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
~Thank You~

Join Sunny Nash on Face Book
Join Sunny Nash on Face Book

Sunny Nash Author Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's
Sunny Nash

Sunny Nash is a writer, producer, photographer and leading author on race relations in America. 



Sunny Nash produces blogs, media, books, articles and images on history and contemporary topics, from slavery, the Civil War, Jim Crow and civil rights to post racism, social media, entertainment and technology using her book, Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s, as a basis for commentary and research.

Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s by Sunny Nash on Amazon

by Sunny Nash
Sunny Nash's book was selected by the Association of American University Press as a resource for understanding U.S. race relations and recommended for Native American Collections by the Miami-Dade Public Library System.

"My book, 'Bigmama Didn't Shop At Woolworth's,' began in the 1990s. I was writing for Hearst and Knight-Ridder newspapers. The stories are about my childhood with my part-Comanche grandmother, Bigmama, my parents, relatives, friends, and others; and my interpretation of the events surrounding the Jim Crow South before and during the Civil Rights Movement.

Robin Fruble of Southern California said, "Every white person in America should read this book! Sunny Nash writes the story of her childhood without preaching or ranting but she made me realize for the first time just how much skin color changes how one experiences the world. But if your skin color is brown, it matters a great deal to a great number of people. I needed to learn that. Sunny Nash is a great teacher," Fruble said.