As 1964 came to a close this venom-packed column was read by many in the white American middle-class and it must have seemed very clear to many among them that matters between the races would not be righted for decades to come. Written by the Harlem-born writer James Baldwin (1924 – 1987) on the occasion of the 1964 Harlem Race Riot, Baldwin did not simply denigrate the NYC Police Department but the culture, government and sacred documents of the entire nation.
This article recalls the story behind the landmark Supreme Court case Brown vs. the Board of Education.
By citing numerous examples of American jurisprudence spanning the early to mid-Fifties, this uncredited journalist illustrates that the era of Jim Crow was being disassembled brick-by-bigoted-brick:
"All across the South, the segregation wall is cracking. The hammer is being wielded by the courts... The executive branch is also moving into the civil rights field."
In this 1959 article Alabama wordsmith Wyatt Blasingame did his level-headed best to explain the sluggish reasoning that made up the opinions of his friends and neighbors as to why racial integration of the nation's schools was a poor idea. He observed that even the proudest Southerner could freely recognize that African-Americans were ill-served by the existing school system and that they were due for some sort of an upgrade - they simply wished it wouldn't happen quite so quickly. The journalist spent a good deal of column space explaining that there existed among the Whites of Dixie a deep and abiding paranoia over interracial marriage.
The attached is an historic article that explains the lesson that so many white Americans had to learn in order that America become one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
There can be no doubt that many ragged, dog-eared copies of this middle class magazine must have been passed from seat to seat in the backs of many buses; perhaps one of the readers was a nineteen year-old divinity student named Martin Luther King?
In the attached article Count Hermann Alexander Keyserling (1880 – 1946), German philosopher and social critic, wrote about those uncommon cultural elements within the African-American culture that renders American blacks as an unprecedented, unique cultural force in the world:
"There has never been anything like the American Negro in Africa, nor is there anything like him in the West Indies or in South America."