In the Spring of 1944, the town of New Iberia, Louisiana, threatened, beat, and expelled key leaders of the town’s black community – leaders who had recently formed a new NAACP branch and were in danger of getting, by some accounts, the “upper hand.” Among the expelled were the town’s only black physicians, and their removal left the town without a black doctor – or strong black community leadership – until the civil rights movement.
The Accident on a Garbage Truck That Led to the Death of Martin Luther King, Jr.
On a cold, rainy afternoon in 1968 a Memphis garbage truck malfunctioned and killed the two "garbage packers" riding inside. It was the last straw for the city's more than 1,000 sanitation workers, who walked off the job in protest of the conditions. But they ran head-on into an immovable Mayor, and the ensuing battle brought Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to town for what was to be his last march.
A 1905 Silent Movie Revolutionizes American Film—and Radicalizes American Nationalists
When filmmaker D.W. Griffith released Birth of a Nation in 1915, the revolutionary film changed the way America thought about the movies and in many respects launched the modern film industry. But lesser known is the role Birth of a Nation had in the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan.
A Little Louisiana Town Becomes a Battlefield — Years after the Civil War is Over
The short-lived period of Reconstruction in the former Confederacy was met with defiance, violence, and a growing sense of chaos and danger — and that powder keg exploded on Easter Sunday in 1873, when the residents of tiny Colfax, Louisiana went to war with each other.
A Struggling Plantation Owner Reaches Out to a Freed Slave with an Offer He Can, Quite Easily, Refuse
After emancipation decimated the labor supply of a Nashville-area plantation, its struggling master offers a former slave the chance to return. The response he received is one for the history books.
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