Old build in Olde Towne East, Columbus, OH, an overpopulated, rundown area a decade or two back
The renovation or removal-and-replacement of older structures is a worldwide phenomenon. This report focuses on gentrification in the US, with local examples drawn mainly from Columbus, OH.
At its most innocent, gentrification means ‘fixing up neighborhoods and making them attractive,’ the kind of place ‘the gentry’ would like to live. Who can argue with that?
Certainly, not the developers rebuilding whole neighborhoods, often with tax rebates as incentives. Nor the bankers. Nor can the architects, construction workers, materials suppliers and truckers needed for the job. Nor the handymen who rehab older homes. The landscapers. The furniture and appliance merchants. The nearby eateries that feed all this activity. Not the passing motorists who note how satisfying it is to see that run-down area get a new lease on life. And certainly not the politicians who approve the plans and whose campaigns benefit from grateful donors.
In fact, not too many people object to gentrification, even the development-driven kind, apart from the original residents who are uprooted from familiar homes or who, if they manage to stay on, have to adjust to change and new neighbors. The folks who appreciate heirloom architecture, about to be razed for that new condo array, aren’t too happy. And then there those activists who connect the dots.
Credit: Spider Martin/Courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery
The three marches in Alabama from Selma to Montgomery in March 1965 (only the third march actually made it to Montgomery) were the culmination of years of grassroots and national struggles for the right to vote for African Americans in the South. This was finally achieved by the Voting Rights Act of 1965 signed by President Johnson on August 6, 1965. One of the greatest moments in American history was when the third march reached the Alabama state capitol in Montgomery with about 25,000 people and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made his “How long? Not long.” speech to the nation and world.
The struggles were led by:
- SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) led by John Lewis, and others
- DCVL (Dallas County Voters League) led by Amelia Boynton Robinson, Samuel William Boynton, and others
- SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Hosea Williams, James Bevel, Andrew Young, Ralph Abernathy, and others
- NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
- CORE (Congress of Racial Equality)
These were the three marches in March 1965 to go from Selma to Montgomery, the state capital of Alabama, to demand voting rights for African Americans and for all citizens:
- The first march “Bloody Sunday” on March 7 was stopped by violent state troopers and local police at the Edmund Pettis Bridge.
- The second march “Turnaround Tuesday” on March 9 only went as far as the Edmund Pettis Bridge where it turned around when met by state troopers and local police.
- The third march on March 21 had the support of federal troops. It crossed the Edmund Pettis Bridge and reached its final destination on March 25 at the Alabama state capitol in Montgomery.
"In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma" by Bernard LaFayette Jr. and Kathryn Lee Johnson
"From Selma to Montgomery: The Long March to Freedom" by Barbara Harris Combs
"Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years 1963-65" by Taylor Branch
"Walking with the Wind" by John Lewis with Michael D’Orso
"An Easy Burden: The Civil Rights Movement and the Transformation of America" by Andrew Young
"Beware of Limbo Dancers: A Correspondent’s Adventures with the New York Times" by Roy Reed
"Bending Toward Justice" by Gary May
"My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr." by Coretta Scott King
Selma (2014) Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for blacks to register to vote. In 1965, an Alabama city became the battleground in the fight for suffrage. Despite violent opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, and their efforts culminated in President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Available on Amazon Video, iTunes.
Selma Lord Selma (1999) A Disney film telling the story of a young school girl who is inspired by Dr. King, and how she and a white friend get involved in the movement. Available on DVD.
Articles on the March
Information on SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee)
Information on DCVL (Dallas County Voters League)
Information on Literacy Tests
Information on the Voting Rights Act of 1965
Below are the post webinar discussion material and articles for further reading on the topic of Black Women and Activism. If you have an article to recommend on this topic, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Post Webinar Discussion Materials
Purpose: These questions and exercises are designed to help you turn this information into strategic, organizing tools.
- Have each participant answer each question in turn.
- Have a scribe capture the information.
- Review the answers to each question, take time to see where you agree/disagree/need clarity, etc. Can you create a statement from the information? Are there objectives or goals you can tease out? They don´t have to be definitive (not likely in the first round) but should be a clear starting point.
Think about these questions beforehand, answer as a group after the presentation.
- What is activism? What does it mean to you?
- What is its goal or objective?
- What can it accomplish?
- Is activism connected to mainstream politics? If so, how? If not, why? And what might we do to connect them?.
- Why do you think you've never heard this history before?
- How has this information changed your understanding of activism?
- How will the information inform what you do politically?
- What next steps can you take as an individual? As a group?
I would recommend reading through this thorough middle school Civil Rights simulation to find some exercises to do with your group
The Montgomery Bus Boycott: Organizing Strategies and Challenges
Ella Baker, A Political Organizers Organizer
Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement
DREAM Act Organizing
Repairers of the Breach
Moral Mondays Campaign
“You can't negotiate until you fight”, Rev. William Barber a leader of the Moral Mondays Movement
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
Zinn Education Project
Know-Want to Learn-Learned Charts
Paula A. Johnson, born in 1959, Brooklyn, N.Y. native, is a cardiologist, researcher, professor and public-health expert. She is a product of the New York public school system and a graduate of Radcliffe College at Harvard University. Johnson continued her studies at Harvard, successfully completing her studies with an M.D. and M.P.H (Master of Public Health) in 1985.  Her entire career reflects these two pursuits.
In September 2016, Doctor Johnson became the 14th President of Wellesley College and the first African American to hold this position. The appointment is a testament to her qualifications, international reputation and commitment to improving the lives of women. Wellesley chose her to empower and lead the next generation of Wellesley graduates and those beyond. This achievement is of note when one considers the history of Black Americans having been denied education. Reading and writing were punishable with death, yet African American women like Paula Johnson have led by achieving academic excellence, indeed teaching. Johnson also notes that she has been successful by taking “less traditional routes”.Read more
Ruby Nell Bridges Hall (born September 8, 1954) is an American civil rights activist. She was the first African-American child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis in 1960.
Ruby Bridges grew up on the farm that her parents and grandparents sharecropped in Mississippi. She came into the public view at age 6, in 1960. Her parents responded to a request from the NAACP and volunteered her to participate in the integration of the New Orleans school system. They was so much difficulty surrounding her admission that a child psychiatrist, Robert Coles, volunteered to provide counseling to Bridges during her first year. The Bridges family also suffered for their decision to send her to William Frantz Elementary. Her father lost his job, the grocery shop would no longer let them shop there. Her grandparents, who were sharecroppers in Mississippi, were turned off their land. However, it was noted that many others in the community, both black and white, showed support in a variety of ways. Some white families continued to send their children to Frantz despite the protests and boycott. A neighbor provided her father with a new job, and local people walked in support behind the federal marshals' car on the trips to school.
Ruby Bridges Hall, lives in New Orleans with her husband, Malcolm Hall. They have four sons. She is now chair of the Ruby Bridges Foundation, which she formed in 1999 to promote "the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences". Describing the mission of the group, she says, "racism is a grown-up disease and we must stop using our children to spread it.”
In October 2006, the Alameda Unified School District in California dedicated a new elementary school to Ruby Bridges, and issued a proclamation in her honor, and in November that year she was honored in the Anti-Defamation League's Concert Against Hate. On July 15, 2011, Bridges met with President Barack Obama at the White House, and while viewing the Norman Rockwell painting on display he told her, "I think it's fair to say that if it hadn't been for you guys, I might not be here and we wouldn't be looking at this together.” In 2014, a statue of Bridges was unveiled in the courtyard of William Frantz Elementary School.Read more
Black Americans mostly left behind by progress since Dr. King's death
On Apr. 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, while assisting striking sanitation workers.
That was almost 50 years ago. Back then, the wholesale racial integration required by the 1964 Civil Rights Act was just beginning to chip away at discrimination in education, jobs and public facilities. Black voters had only obtained legal protections two years earlier, and the 1968 Fair Housing Act was about to become law.
African-Americans were only beginning to move into neighborhoods, colleges and careers once reserved for whites only.
I’m too young to remember those days. But hearing my parents talk about the late 1960s, it sounds in some ways like another world. Numerous African-Americans now hold positions of power, from mayor to governor to corporate chief executive – and, yes, once upon a time, president. The U.S. is a very different place than it was 50 years ago.
Or is it? As a scholar of minority politics, I know that while some things have improved markedly for black Americans since 1968, today we are still fighting many of the same battles as Dr. King did in his day.Read more
Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of blacks in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” which was started by the noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. It is celebrated annually in the United States and Canada in February, as well as in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands in October.
This year, Black History Month is more important than ever. We have an overtly racist, sexist, homophobic government that wants to take America back to a time that never existed. Black history is American history, not a footnote. In 2018 it is still important to highlight this information because many people still don’t realize how much Black Americans have done to move America forward and make life better. Black people have slaved, created, invented, and entertained, making the America we know and remember. At the same time white supremacy has worked very diligently to keep black people from getting the credit and lives we deserve.Read more
The GBC will be highlighting our issues on social media and our blog. The schedule below is a when to see these issues online.
|Black History Month 2018*||February 1, 2018|
|Women's History Month 2018*||March 1, 2018|
|Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee||March 4, 2018|
|Gentrification||March 18, 2018|
|Stereotypes||March 25, 2018|
|Human Rights and Anti-Racism||April 1, 2018|
|Easter||April 1, 2018|
|Anniversary of MLK's Assassination||April 3, 2018|
|Environmental Justice and Climate Change||April 22, 2018|
|Environmental Racism||April 15, 2018|
|Unconscious and Conscious Bias||April 29, 2018|
|Voting Rights||May 6, 2018|
|Mothers Day||May 13, 2018|
|Mass Incarceration||May 13, 2018|
|Technology Industry Diversity & Inclusion||May 20, 2018|
|Memorial Day||May 28, 2018|
|Prisoner Rights||June 3, 2018|
|Criminal Justice||June 10, 2018|
|LGBT History Month||June 1, 2018|
|Black Lives Matter||June 17, 2018|
|Juneteenth||June 19, 2018|
|Independence Day||July 4, 2018|
|Healthcare||July 8, 2018|
|Police Militarization||July 15, 2018|
|Courts||August 22, 2018|
|Police Brutality||August 29, 2018|
|Education||September 2, 2018|
|Government Participation||September 9, 2018|
|National Hispanic Heritage Month*||September 15, 2018|
|Economic Inequality||October 14, 2018|
|Veterans Day||November 11, 2018|
|Thanksgiving 2018||November 22, 2018|
|Human Trafficking||December 2, 2018|
|Christmas||December 25, 2018|
|Kwanzaa||December 26, 2018|
|New Years Day||January 1, 2019|
|MLK Day 2019*||January 21, 2019|
|Black History Month 2019*||February 1, 2019|
|Women's History Month 2019*||March 1, 2019|
|Selma Bridge Crossing Anniversary 2019||March 4, 2019|
Black History Documentary Films
The PBS Series: The African Americans Many Rivers to Cross
This series chronicles the full sweep of African American history, from the origins of slavery on the African continent right up to today�when America has a black president, yet remains a nation deeply divided by race.
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 For three decades, the film canisters sat undisturbed in a cellar beneath the Swedish National Broadcasting Company. Inside was roll after roll of startlingly fresh and candid 16mm footage shot in the 1960s and 1970s in the United States, all of it focused on the anti-war and Black Power movements. When filmmaker Goran Hugo Olsson discovered the footage, he decided he had a responsibility to shepherd this glimpse of history into the world. With contemporary audio interviews from leading African American artists, activists, musicians and scholars, The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 looks at the people, society, culture, and style that fueled an era of convulsive change. Utilizing an innovative format that riffs on the popular 1970s mixtape format, Mixtape is a cinematic and musical journey into the black communities of America.
13TH: A Netflix Original In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom. Available on Netflix
Eyes on the Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads 1965–1985
Season 2, Episode 1:The Time Has Come: 1964-1966 Episode focuses on black militancy and the roots of the black power movement. Also tracks the influence of ideas of black separatism and black nationalism on a new generation of blacks and analyzes the long-term impact they had on whites who supported the freedom movement.
Season 2, Episode 2: Two Societies: 1965-1968 Northern cities served as the backdrop for confrontations on a scale the civil rights movement had never seen before the mid-1960s. Scarred by widespread discrimination, black inner-city neighborhoods became sites of crumbling houses, poverty, and street violence. Although the black-led movement for social change and equality in the North had a long history, it had not received the same media attention the struggle in the South had.
Season 2, Episode 3: Power!: 1966-1968 Exploring the influence of the idea of black power on freedom movement. Follows leaders of three black communities in their efforts to gain political and economic power that would enable advancements in employment, housing and education.
Season 2, Episode 4: The Promised Land: 1967-1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. stakes out new ground for himself and the rapidly fragmenting civil rights movement. He is assassinated in Memphis at the Lorraine Motel.
Season 2, Episode 5: Ain't Gonna Shuffle No More: 1964-1972 Call to pride and push for unity galvanize blacks. Cassius Clay challenges America to accept him as Muhammad Ali, who refuses to fight in Vietnam. Students at Howard University fight to bring the growing black consciousness movement and their African heritage inside the walls of the institution.
Season 2, Episode 6: A Nation of Law?: 1968-1971 Black activism is increasingly met with violent and unethical response from local and federal law enforcement. A five-day inmate takeover at Attica Prison calls the public's attention to conditions there leaves 43 dead: 39 killed by police.
Season 2, Episode 7: The Keys to the Kingdom: 1974-1980 In the 1970s, anti-discrimination rights are put to the test. Boston whites violently resist federal school desegregation order. Atlanta's mayor Jackson proves affirmative action can work, but Bakke decision challenges that policy.
Season 2, Episode 8: Back to the Movement: 1979-Mid 1980s Episode explores new and old challenges that black communities faced 25 years after civil rights struggle began. It follows black communities in Miami and Chicago and chronicles their dramatically different responses to these challenges.
The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela This 2-hour PBS FRONTLINE documentary covers Nelson Mandela's amazing life story, from his radical political activism in Johannesburg as a youth to his over 20-year imprisonment, and then to his remarkable rise as the President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 in which he presided over the dismantling of apartheid. This documentary features excellent footage from all periods in Mandela's life along with interviews of the people closest to him. It's a story that must be heard to be believed.
For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots A two-part, four-hour documentary series honoring African-American servicemen and women.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali (2013) investigates its extraordinary and often complex subject's life outside the boxing ring. From joining the controversial Nation of Islam and changing his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali, to his refusal to serve in the Vietnam War in the name of protesting racial inequality, to his global humanitarian work, Muhammad Ali remains an inspiring and controversial figure. Outspoken and passionate in his beliefs, Ali found himself in the center of America's controversies over race, religion, and war. Available on Amazon Video and iTunes.
Black America Since MLK:And Still I Rise parts 1-4 Henry Louis Gates, Jr. embarks on a deeply personal journey through the last fifty years of African American history. Joined by leading scholars, celebrities, and a dynamic cast of people who shaped these years, Gates travels from the victories of the civil rights movement up to today, asking profound questions about the state of black America—and our nation as a whole.