civil rights

On the grounds of Whitney Plantation. Former slave quarters are on the right with Allées Gwendolyn Midlo Hall visible in the background.
Sarah Holtz

In this special edition of Louisiana Eats, we celebrate the 151st anniversary of Juneteenth — the day that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

A New Orleans civil rights law firm has put the Caddo Parish District Attorney's Office on notice of a possible lawsuit over allegations it excludes black people from juries based on race.

The MacArthur Justice Center released a copy of a letter Monday it sent to Caddo Parish Acting District Attorney Dale Cox, demanding his office preserve documents that might be used as evidence in such a suit, according to MacArthur Justice Center co-director Jim Craig.

The Owl at the University of Pittsburgh

Bobby Grier was the first African-American to play in the Sugar Bowl. As a member of the Pittsburgh Panthers, Grier played against Georgia Tech on January 2, 1956 — only months after Emmett Till was lynched in Mississippi and weeks after Rosa Parks was arrested in Alabama.

Perhaps as expected, his participation was met with opposition: the governor of Georgia insisted that Georgia Tech boycott the Sugar Bowl that year. But the game was played, Grier was its leading rusher, and the Civil Rights Movement continued to gain momentum.

Former New Orleans civil rights activist Rudy Lombard has died.

He was 75.

The one-time mayoral candidate’s conviction for a sit-in at a Canal Street store was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

He died Saturday of complications from pancreatic cancer.

The New Orleans Advocate reports Lombard spent the past 20 years or so in Evanston, Illinois, where he worked as a research scientist for NorthShore University HealthSystem, focusing on prostate cancer. He was diagnosed with the disease a decade ago.

frwl / Wikimedia

A coalition of groups opposed to charter schools says it is filing federal civil rights complaints claiming discrimination by officials running school systems in New Orleans, Chicago and Newark, New Jersey.

Copies of the complaints were released today by the Journey for Justice Alliance. They say black students in the three cities suffer because of the closure of traditional public schools or the conversion of them into charter schools — run by independent organizations under charters approved by state or local education officials.

Eric E Castro / Flickr

This story has been updated.

A group of lawyers, students and parents have filed a civil rights complaint against three local charter schools. They're asking state and federal officials to investigate the discipline policies at Carver Preparatory, Carver Collegiate Academy and Sci Academy, all operated by Collegiate Academies. These schools have the highest suspension rates in the city.

Wiki Commons

On Friday NOCCA, the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, celebrates with music, guest speakers, a second line and more. The occasion? Plessy Day.

That name should bring to mind history class, and the landmark 1890s Supreme Court case Plessy versus Ferguson, in which the court upheld racial segregation and "separate but equal" as a legal standard.

Stakeholders on all sides of the Chicago teachers’ strike trumpeted the phrase “civil rights” so much that it became hard to see who’s fighting for what. Beyond the strike, how many times do you hear advocates start a petition with, “The civil rights issue of the 21stcentury is [insert concern here]?"

It’s downright trendy to root for civil rights. But since we apparently solved for racism, what exactly is the most pivotal injustice that keeps citizens from realizing their full potential?

Civil rights advocates are pushing the Obama Administration to stop deporting labor organizers. Several facing deportation hearings attended a rally outside New Orleans City Hall.

At a press conference in Tulsa, Okla., following the targeted shootings of five African-Americans last week, the optics were as important as the substance of the news.

The mayor and police chief pleaded for the public's help in capturing the suspects, while behind those two white men stood a pair of Tulsa's most influential black leaders — the lone African-American member of the City Council and the president of the local NAACP.

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