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Passion for Justice

February 18, 2013 in 1940s-1950s

Audrey Grevious

Audrey Grevious

Two of the most prominent women during the era of desegregation in Kentucky were Audrey Grevious and Mae Street Kidd. Grevious pushed for integration in the educational system, while Kidd seemed to defy the boundaries of color everywhere she went.

Grevious was inspired to be a teacher while attending segregated schools as a child. Initially, she wasn’t aware of the segregation, saying, “things were different, but not so unpleasant.” It wasn’t until she reached adulthood and attended a convention in New York that Grevious realized how different things were in Lexington, KY.

As a teacher, Grevious worked to integrate the Kentucky Village, a school for delinquent boys and girls across the state. Around this time, Grevious was also involved with the NAACP, who asked her to try an experiment. She and another NAACP member were to make stops along the way to Lexington from New York in order to see if they could be served. Not surprisingly, they were denied service at every stop except for one. On the way back up to New York, Grevious and her companion dressed nicely, wearing furs, diamonds, and a suit, respectively.  Though they were served at every place this time, the incident made her angry: “Here I am, an American, and they would not serve me.”

Mae Street Kidd

Mae Street Kidd

Similarly, Kidd also identified herself as an American first before anything else. In Passing for Black, Kidd never distinguished between whites and blacks when it came to their character. Though she had fair skin and blonde hair, she did not try to pass for white even though she easily could. She “never made an issue of [her] race.”

Passing for BlackKidd was successful in every career and job pursuit she immersed herself in. She began in sales at Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company based in Louisville. Kidd didn’t finish college, but she was a skilled salesman and was even able to open her own bank account at the young age of seventeen. She worked her way up in Mammoth, eventually becoming the director of a program she created, which concentrated on public relations. In addition, Kidd organized the Business and Professional club for black women and was a successful saleswoman for Fuller products, a cosmetics company with branches in Chicago and Detroit. Because Kidd seemed to “present a certain image of success” with the way she dressed and carried herself, it was really no surprise that she was able to excel in every endeavor she pursued; however, her quest for success was not an easy one. Many people were jealous of her and she was often mistreated and did not always receive credit for her achievements.

Though these women probably faced many trials in their pursuit for a better quality of life for themselves and others, both were still able to make an impact on society through their hard-earned accomplishments. I don’t believe that these women are the only ones with such extraordinary passion for justice. There are women who are working hard daily in their jobs to defy the boundaries of race and gender, but don’t receive recognition for their efforts. To an extent, this passion is burning within each of us, pushing us to reach our dreams and ambitions of making the world a better place—no matter the color of our skin.

Sources

“Audrey Grevious.” The HistoryMakers. 11 Dec. 2002. <http://www.thehistorymakers.com/biography/audrey-grevious-39>. 18 Feb. 2013.

“Audrey Grevious.” Wikipedia. 17 Feb. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audrey_Grevious>. 18 Feb. 2013.

Hall, Wade H. Passing for Black: The Life and Careers of Mae Street Kidd. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1997.

“Mae Street Kidd.” Wikipedia. 16 Feb. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mae_Street_Kidd>. 18 Feb. 2013.

The Foundation of Change: Influence of Women in the Civil Rights Era

February 17, 2013 in 1960s-1970s, Oral history, Primary source, Social history

“They realized that they needed to prepare us for a changing time even though they had no idea when the change was going to come, if it was going to come. They just knew that it was, and they did everything to make us ready.” – Audrey Grevious

Audrey Grevious: A Pillar for Change

Women like Audrey Grevious were raised as our nation prepared itself for a complete change in the foundation of the nation as a whole. This tumultuous time in our history is one that we study today, in awe of the men, and especially the women, who perpetuated it. Women such as Audrey Grevious and Mae Street Kidd, along with many others were exceptionally influential not only to those immediately surrounding them, but to the world as a whole. They were exemplary pillars of strength and dignity in a time when women of color were not dignified by the world itself, but they instead had to forge their own way and demand for themselves the respect they deserved.

Audrey Grevious, in her interview for the Kentucky Historical Society’s Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky, speaks of the hardships she faced as a child in segregated schools. She speaks out against the preposterous notion of “Separate but Equal,”  describing her outrage at the fact that as soon as integration was mandated by law, the neighborhood black schools were all closed to prevent white children from being forced to attend them.

“My argument always was: if you’re saying that the schools were equal then why all of a sudden when there is the possibility that the white students will have to come to the school that they are not equal anymore.” – Audrey Grevious

Audrey Grevious went on to be a pillar of the Civil Rights Movement, as an active member of the NAACP, working closely with CORE (Congress on Racial Equality) chapter in Lexington. She, through peaceful protest, created ways for Blacks to work their way up the social ladder and gain access to positions higher than they had previously been offered. She is a shining example of a woman recognizing the job that needed to be done and stepping up to complete it. She is one of many women who helped to create a new foundation for the American people, whites and blacks alike, to build their dreams upon.

Mae Street Kidd: Beauty with a Purpose

Another of these women is Mae Street Kidd; in her memoir, Passing for Black, Kidd discusses her influence as a member of Kentucky’s General Assembly, as well as her influence as an individual. A striking business woman, Kidd reflects upon her years spent as a sales representative and Public Relations manager for many different companies around Kentucky. Her influence in the business world was unparalleled by any other black woman of the time. Her influence, however, extends far beyond the realm of business. She volunteered in World War II in the Red Cross, impacting the lives of soldiers on their way into battle. On many occasions, in the business world and in other aspects of her career, Kidd was forced to stand up for herself and demand the respect she deserved.

In one instance, detailed on page 100 of Passing for Black, while in the Red Cross overseas, she kicked a white officer out of their black club as he instructed a young black man on “how to wear his tie and uniform and how to behave properly”  Kidd repsonded with:

“You have your own clubs and your own men to worry about. Would you mind leaving ours? You don’t allow blacks in your club, so we don’t want you in ours.”

Mae Street Kidd knew she was better than the society of her time allowed her to be, but she would never take no for an answer. She never allowed herself to be limited by those around her, and she stood for what she believed day after day. She was a powerhouse of will and determination, and her book is a testament to all she did for Kentucky and the United States. She influenced her world socially, politically, and economically. She was a force to be reckoned with when she put her mind to something, and she, like Grevious, was not one to back down. She helped to change her world, though she began at the bottom of the ladder, a black woman in a white man’s world. She never let the fact that she was a woman slow her down, and she always fought for the rights of her race.

Women throughout history have been limited by their societies. But around the time period of the Civil Rights Movement, women like these were vastly important instruments in the changing of the foundation of America as a whole. Their influence echoes today, not only in Kentucky, but throughout the nation.

****

References:

“Audrey Grevious.” The History Makers. <http://www.thehistorymakers.com/biography/audrey-grevious-39>. 18 Feb. 2013.

“Mae Street Kidd.” Living the Story: The Rest of the Story. Kentucky Educational Television. <http://www.ket.org/civilrights/bio_kidd.htm>. 18 Feb. 2013.

“Audrey Grevious.” The Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky. Kentucky Historical Society. 13 April 1999. <http://205.204.134.47/civil_rights_mvt/util.aspx?p=1&pid=14984>. 18 Feb. 2013.

“Mae Street Kidd.” Wikipedia. 16 Feb. 2013.<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mae_Street_Kidd>. 18 Feb. 2013.

“Audrey Grevious.” Wikipedia. 17 Feb. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audrey_Grevious>. 18 Feb. 2013.

 

 

Integrating Education in Kentucky

February 10, 2013 in 1950s-1960s

Integration in Kentucky was a diverse affair.  Sentiments for integration varied both due to unique regional ideals and the manner in which different counties went about integration.  Some areas, like Louisville saw easier transitions than places like Sturgis.  Integration in higher education was generally accepted with less violence, although individuals faced harsh discrimination.

Louisville was a remarkable city in its ability to transition to integrated school smoothly.  As described in Freedom on the Border, much of this was due to the hard work of the superintended Mr. Carmichael, who went to lengths in order to understand the ideals of his community. The system eventually integrated successfully by offering families a say in whether or not they wanted to send their child to one school over another. As explained by Louisville resident Ruth Higgins in Freedom on the Border, “I think it gave parents more of a feeling of integrating because we wanted to rather than because we had to.”  In regards to the “fight” to  desegregate education, much of this was stalled by Mr. Carmichael’s firm insistence to “stick to the law of the land.”

Unfortunately, the same passive transition was not true for all of Kentucky.  When integration came to Sturgis, genuine hatred arose from anti-integration groups. The immense hatred exploded, as was described by James Howard in FotB. Angry whites took over a local park, where they donned Klan insignia and burned a cross. Howard described a night spent in fear in which he laid on the floor with his family in hopes that if bullets were shot through their windows, they would avoid being hit. Eventually, the integration that had begun was halted by the violent opposition shown.

Students integrate

Higher education was a different affair; however it also varied from school to school. At Western Kentucky University, students were allowed to integrate, however a sense of segregation was maintained. Black students were placed in separate dorms so that staff would know which rooms housed them. Howard Bailey, a student attending the Bowling Green college noted that, “There were people who were very nice to us, but there were other people that made it clear that they tolerated us.”

Black females entering into higher education faced unique challenges. Jesse Zander Berea in 1951 with the first group of African American students able to attend since the appearance of the day law spoke. In FotB she spoke of the unique challenges, such as dating and finding someone capable of doing her hair. Mattie Jones of Louisville explained the difficulties in an integrated college but segregated society through her inability to take a bowling classs at the school because the local bowling alley would not allow her to enter.

 

Fosl, Catherine, and Tracy Elaine Meyer.Freedom on the border an oral history of the civil rights movement in Kentucky. Lexington, Ky.: Univ. Press of Kentucky, 2009.

by mookygc

Segregation in Kentucky

February 5, 2013 in 1920s-30s, 1940s-1950s, Social history

There is a “myth” of sorts in Kentucky that suggests segregation in Kentucky was not as bad as it was in parts of our country further South. Mainly, the example used to support this fact is that buses in most local communities were not segregated, and African Americans never lost the right to vote. Historian George C. Wright called the segregation in Louisville “Polite Racism”. Regardless of these examples, most things about day to day life for African Americans in Kentucky were segregated. For example, most public facilities, such as libraries, bathrooms, water fountains, swimming pools, amusement parks, stores and restaurants were segregated. It was even specified which door of a house you were to use depending on the color of your skin. Anne Butler of Stanford spoke in Freedom on the Border: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky about a time when she went to get something from her father at a house he was wallpapering, and was told “The next time you come here, you go to the back door.”

Many of the voices in both The Maid Narratives: Black Domestics and White Families in the Jim Crow South and Freedom on the Border suggest similar notions that often people on both sides of segregation didn’t know what was going on, or how big of an issue it was. In the Introduction of The Maid Narratives, a white narrator is quoted in saying “That’s just the way things were done; we didn’t really stop to think about it.” Similarly, in Freedom on the Border, Joyce Hamilton Berry explains that she “never knew that they had black and white bathrooms in Kentucky, because I had never been to one.” Parents often shielded their children from the harsh realities of the world, and many African American and White children alike can remember specific moments when they realized something was going on.

Like many things, when you are in the middle of an issue such as the implementation of segregation or the concept of “Separate But Equal” Policy, it is nearly impossible to see the forest for the trees. One might see specific instances of injustice, but not question it or even be able to because that was “Just the way  things were done.”

_______________________________

Van, Wormer Katherine S., David W. Jackson, and Charletta Sudduth. The Maid Narratives: Black Domestics and White Families in the Jim Crow South. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2012. Print.

Fosl, Catherine, and Tracy Elaine. K’Meyer. Freedom on the Border: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky, 2009. Print.

Segregation in KY

February 4, 2013 in 1920s-30s, 1940s-1950s, Social history

Segregation in the first half of the 20th century in Kentucky was a tricky concept because it was not the same picture as many people hold within their minds. Although there were plenty of instances of domestic servants or “help” as expressed in The Maid Narratives in this time frame, not all classism was so obvious. Porter Peeples of Lynch, Kentucky remembers, “[Segregation] wasn’t visibly noticable, [because] the town was small and even though we didn’t attend the same schools, all the kids played together,” (Fosl and K’Meyer,31). This certainly doesn’t make segregation in Kentucky seem as aggressive as it may have been in say, Mississippi, but does not imply equality by a long shot. For example, public transportation in Kentucky still had segregated public transportation, theaters and restaurants, even to those blacks that were biracial, meaning they had one white parent and one black parent.  In many cases, blacks were made to walk around to the backs of establishments in order to be served or, in the case of schools, be given second-rate materials and hand-me-downs from white schools. Mentioned further in Freedom the Border, some small, individualized ways people would battle this segregation would be not going to certain establishments to avoid the embarrassment of entering through back doors and quitting jobs in which they were being treated unjustly.

Although not exactly beginning in Kentucky due to the same size of the movements, this environment of segregation was the perfect catalyst of the start of many progressive equality movements, namely the NAACP. This organization worked towards the equality of blacks in schools, restaurants, etc, but also was key in encouraging women’s groups to work towards their own suffrage in later decades. The NAACP worked with the black vote, integrating schools, (who can forget the famous Brown v. Board Supreme court case) and in more modern times has worked to recognize black talent across the country. Because this time period was a hot bed for racial inequality, people like Mary McLeod Bethune, were trailblazers in creating black schools to not only educate black youth, but work towards a more equal education between black and white children. Overall, segregation in the early 20th century in Kentucky was a complex beast, transcending the common ideas of segregation while also creating the beginnings of civil rights movements in Kentucky and across the nation.

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Van, Wormer Katherine S., David W. Jackson, and Charletta Sudduth. The Maid Narratives: Black Domestics and White Families in the Jim Crow South. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 2012. Print.

Fosl, Catherine, and Tracy Elaine. K’Meyer. Freedom on the Border: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky, 2009. Print.
“LSU Press :: Books – The Maid Narratives.” LSU Press :: Books – The Maid Narratives. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2013.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class_discrimination
“NAACP | National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.” NAACP | National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. NAACP, 2009. Web. 04 Feb. 2013.
“Brown v. Board of Education.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 27 Jan. 2013. Web. 04 Feb. 2013.

Jennie Hopkins Wilson Interview

January 28, 2013 in 1920s-30s, 1940s-1950s, 1950s-1960s, Oral history

After watching the Jennie Hopkins Wilson interview by KET, reading the first four chapters of The Maid Narratives, and other research, I have found many overlaps.  The culture throughout the southern states was similar although states and parts of states were better or worse to blacks than other parts.  After the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the civil war conditions were not improved in most places. Blacks were chained to the same jobs and people as they were in slavery.

In Jennie Hopkins Wilson’s interview, watchers learn that both her parents were slaves.  Her father ran to freedom in Paducah, Kentucky from Mayfield, Kentucky.  He made the twenty five mile trek so he could join the Union army.  Paducah was supposed to be a free city but when Wilson’s father reached the city he found a great deal of discrimination.  One of Wilson’s most feared moments was on third Mondays of each month.  Those were the days that some of the men in the got drunk and harassed the colored people in city.  Wilson recalls one occasion when some of the men came to her house.  Her parents knew their intent was to kill all of them so when the men called her father out of the house he would not go.  According to Wilson, harassment like this was not uncommon.  Wilson also recalled a story she had heard about lynchings in Paducah.  She said that before she was born (1900) lynchings had become so common in Paducah that the state threatened to take away their courthouse if they hung anyone else.  (After further research into this I did not find an official threat.)

Similar to Jennie Hopkins Wilson and her mother, women from The Maid Narratives held jobs similar to the ones they and their mothers had as slaves.  Many black women cooked and cleaned and took care of children for the white families.  Their role went further than that though.  The families the black maids, also referred to as mammies, worked for often formed special bonds with them.  The children felt especially attached to their maid and the adults of the household would ask for advice from the maids because of their greater amount of life experiences.  Besides their physical and emotional roles to the family, colored maids also had a larger societal meaning for the families they worked for.  The man of the household could prove how wealthy and useful he was by the amount of money he brought in.  Women, on the other hand, used household affairs to prove themselves.  This meant that the better, or larger number of maids you had, the richer you were.  Having a maid became an imperative sign of social status.

Through watching Jennie Hopkins Wilson’s interview, reading parts of The Maid Narratives, and other research, I have learned that stories from across the south are quite similar.  Commonalities include harassment, social status of both whites and blacks, and discrimination of all kinds.

 

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http://www.ket.org/civilrights/bio_jwilson.htm

http://www.litlovers.com/reading-guides/14-non-fiction/9004-maid-narratives-van-wormer

http://www.ci.paducah.ky.us/

http://www.cityofmayfield.org/

 

Patterns of Violence

January 27, 2013 in 1920s-30s, 1940s-1950s, Primary source, Social history

Picture of Jennie Wilson

Jennie Wilson

Listening to Jennie Wilson and her daughter, Alice Wilson, on what they went through while living in Kentucky, a pattern shows up. A pattern of actions that the white population took on the African Americans living there at the time appears. The white Americans had no problem being mean to the black community; anything and everything was okay. Through the stories told by Jennie Wilson and her daughter it is seen that these actions were repetitive and can be seen throughout history and throughout Kentucky.

Jennie tells of the third Monday of every month being a time of fear. On these Mondays, the whites in the community would get drunk and come around to where Jennie, her family, and other black families lived. They would come drunk and with guns prepared to kill those who they especially didn’t like. Shootings and brutal acts against the black community occurred all over Kentucky. In Corbin county whites have a long history of blaming blacks for events that didn’t happen and in Frankfort alone there were 116 accounts of beatings, shootings, hangings, and tarring and feathering.  Just as these occurrences on the third Monday were repetitive, so were the hangings. As Jennie explains in her interview, the hangings were mostly blacks with only one or two white men being hung. Sometimes black men were even taken to the city limits to be hung there instead of at the court house.

Alice explains the history of violence occurring against black students that began to be integrated into white schools. Her and many other students experienced hatred from the white community because of their actions. While Alice encountered name calling on a daily basis and one or two greater disturbances

from the other children going to school, violence across the state, in varying degrees, was constantly occurring. Lloyd Arnold had rocks thrown at him on his way to school and many students who went to college were harassed by dogs and other students, especially those in fraternities.

The violence that occurred to the African Americans in Kentucky can be traced throughout this time period and all of the state. Many people can tell stories of the violence and fear they experienced on behalf of the white community that wanted no part in integration. Jennie and Alice Wilson’s stories and so many more bring to light the pattern of the kind and intensity of the violence that they experienced.

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“Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky.” Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2013.

“KET | Living the Story | Jennie Hopkins Wilson.” KET | Living the Story | Jennie Hopkins Wilson. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2013.

“Notable Kentucky African Americans Database.” Notable Kentucky African Americans. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2013

 

 

Dr. Grace Marilynn James: Serving the Underserved

April 20, 2011 in 1950s-1960s, Social history

Just this year, on March 16, Dr. Grace Marilynn James was inducted into the Kentucky Women Remembered Exhibit in Frankfort, an honor given to outstanding women in Kentucky history by the Kentucky Commission on Women.  While relatively unknown to many, Dr. James was an important figure in the struggle against both racial and economic injustice.

Grace James was born in Charleston, West Virginia, in 1923. She was a very educated woman, beginning her post-secondary education at West Virginia State College.  After completing her post-graduate work there and at the University of Chicago, she entered Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, and graduated with an M.D. in 1950.  Upon earning her M.D., James moved to New York City and completed an internship and pediatric residency at Harlem Hospital; while there, she also became a clinical fellow at both Babies’ Hospital and the Vanderbilt Clinic.  James further expanded her formal training by studying child psychiatry at Creedmoor State Hospital in Queens Village and by becoming a fellow at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University’s Jacobi Hospital, where she practiced caring for children with disabilities.(1)

In a fellowship application addressed to the National Urban League, James explained that she had wanted to go to medical school because she had an “interest in human suffering,” that of African Americans in particular.  She further noted that she had been inspired by a visit to Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx to help “the ones who needed to be taught, educated and given a chance to learn sound principles of health.”(2)

James moved to Louisville in 1953, where she began teaching at the University of Louisville in a non-paying, part-time post; she was the first African American woman on the faculty at Louisville’s School of Medicine, and she continued teaching at the university for twenty-five years.(2)  When James moved to Louisville, the city hospitals were segregated by law.  Although James became the first African American woman to be granted membership in the Jefferson County Medical Society, she still had to defend her status to the medical community.(3)  Not only did she face discrimination from white practitioners because she was black, she was criticized by both white and black men for being a woman in this field and for choosing to serve the poorest clients.  James realized that there were many people other doctors were hesitant to serve because they were too poor to afford services.  James also saw that many doctors would not serve single mothers and their children.

Soon after moving to Louisville, James opened a private pediatrics practice and a walk-in clinic that would serve the impoverished residents of Louisville’s West End neighborhoods.(4)  She accepted all patients that came through her clinic, regardless of whether they could pay.  James became an advocate for both preventative care and universal health care, and spoke about the growing infant mortality rate among black babies and about the medically underserved black community.  At her own expense, James kept items such as diapers, blankets, clothes, and books on hand for the poor mothers that needed them, all at her own expense.(3)

Dr. James’ career was long and distinguished.  She headed the Council on Urban Education and established the West Louisville Health Education Program.  She founded the Teen Awareness Project, its purpose to reduce the teenage birth rate among blacks.  James also became president of the Louisville chapter for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.(1)  Eventually, she became affiliated with eight Louisville-area hospitals and became the first African American woman on the staff of Louisville Children’s Hospital.(4)

 

 

(1)  Kleber, John.  The Encyclopedia of Louisville.  (Lexington:  University Press of Kentucky, 2001).  Pp. 430-431

(2)  http://louisville.edu/uofltoday/campus-news/kentucky-commission-on-women-honors-former-faculty-member

(3)  http://women.ky.gov/about/kwr.htm

(4)  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/changingthefaceofmedicine/physicians/biography_165.html

Blood Bank Segregation

April 19, 2011 in 1950s-1960s, Primary source, Social history

                Throughout history blood has captivated us because we perceived it as having symbolic and in some cases even a supernatural quality. It would seem logical that with the advancements made in science the misapprehensions commonly associated with blood would be dispelled. Unfortunately, there was a period in our own history when the knowledge provided by science wasn’t enough to dispel certain apprehensions toward blood. Specifically, during the first half of the twenty-first century when blood was believed to carry with it qualities that made it race specific. The notion of blood as being race oriented would become an increasing source of tension between blood donor programs and the black community. Even, when blood was scientifically proven to have no connection to race there were still Red Cross facilities practicing segregation in their donor processes (1).

 Around the same time the segregation of blood in Red Cross facilities was being contested the civil rights movement was emerging nationally. The fight to prevent discrimination in blood processing facilities would be overshadowed by the greater concerns of segregation in more pronounced institutions related to education and politics. But regardless of how seemingly inconsequential the discrimination in blood processing was when compared to more important concerns, it still provided a place where discrimination could exist. The progressive actions taken to prevent discrimination and segregation in blood processing would parallel the much larger civil rights movement that dominated the second half of the twenty-first century.

                In the south were racism remained deeply rooted in society many of their Red Cross facilities would continue to discriminate against the black community. An article in the New York Times on September 23, 1951 ran an article entitled “Blood Bank Bias Scorned”, it reported Birmingham Alabama being one such area in the south where discrimination and segregation in blood processing persisted. According to the article, one method used by the facilities to segregate and thereby discriminate against the black community was by designating certain days when blacks could donate. Members of the N.A.A.C.P. were protesting against the blatantly unnecessary methods used by the Birmingham facilities at the time and it was because of their protesting attention was even drawn to the segregation in blood processing facilities in the south. The protesting done by the N.A.A.C.P. in Birmingham was done in an effort to fulfill the primary goal of the civil rights movement, that being the elimination of all racial discrimination in both public and private institutions (2).

               So why did the Birmingham facilities in the south even after the Red Cross had openly stated that race had no connection to blood continue their discriminatory practices? In the article, the N.A.A.C.P. asked the head of the blood bank the very same question, he responded by saying the bank was only acting in accordance with the segregation laws imposed by the state (2).  Therefore, it would seem the person donating the blood was being discriminated against and not the blood. But the head of the Birmingham blood bank also said the segregation of blood allows the patient the opportunity to choose which blood they would want to use. So, would it be reasonable to say the misapprehensions associated with blood were still lingering in the minds of some white southerners? Did many still consider blood to define a race, and that by being given blood from a different race it would somehow alter their own being. Truly, it is unfortunate we have a point in our own history when life saving substance such as blood was segregated and in some cases rejected on the sole basis of which race it was drawn from. 

Works Cited

(1)”Red Cross to Omit Race Tag on Blood.” New York Times 20 Nov. 1950: Pg.7

(2)”Blood Bank Bias Scorned.” New York Times 23 Sep. 1951: Pg.13

by Measha

The 2nd Wave of Feminism

November 29, 2010 in 1960s-1970s

The 2nd Wave of Feminism occurred in the 1960’s and 70’s. This Women’s Rights Narudžba Lovegre (online) s područja Hrvatske Movement occurred because of gender equality. “Second wave feminism rose out of the Civil Rights and anti-war movements in which women, disillusioned with their second-class status even in the activist environment of student politics, began to band together to contend against discrimination.” [1]  Some women began this second wave of feminism in response to President John F. Kennedy creating of the President’s Commission on Status of Women. Many activists believed the Commission’s findings supported only the nuclear family and emphasized preparing women for parenthood rather than any and all opportunities in life. [2] Women’s rights activists felt that this plan supported employment discrimination and unequal pay. In the 2nd wave of feminism women worked to bring about change and to stand up for themselves.

[1] “What do the terms 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Wave Feminism mean?” Women’s Studies, Georgetown College, http://www.georgetowncollege.edu/Departments/ws/1st,_2nd,_3rd_wave.htm

[2] “The second wave of feminism,” Encyclopedia Britannica (online), http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/724633/feminism/216008/The-second-wave-of-feminism

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