Voices of our Community

Jul032014 2

Honoring the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

by M. Alexis Scott, Former Publish of the Atlanta Daily World

Yesterday, as we marked the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, signed by President Lyndon Johnson, I attended the opening session of The Links, Incorporated 39th National Assembly. The Links was organized by a group of women in 1946 to work to improve life in African American communities at a time when Blacks were considered second class citizens.

It was remarkable to think about how far we've come. Fifty years ago we would not have been welcomed at a hotel like the Gaylord at National Harbor, MD. For "Whites Only," a sign would have read. Yet, the 3,300 attendees of the National Assembly were not only welcomed in the hotel, but the Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson joined us and extended a personal greeting of welcome.

Yes, we've come a long way, and yet, the struggle is not over. The 2014 Links Medal was presented to Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, an organization founded in 1910 in New York City to assist Blacks as they left the rural South to find jobs and greater opportunities.

In accepting the award, Morial noted that "significant change" has taken place over the last 50 years. However, he went on to say that "we have unfinished business." He said there is still voter suppression, schools are more racially and economically segregated then before, health disparities continue, and the income gap between the rich and the poor is bigger.

"I accept this award on behalf of all the unsung heroes and leaders who helped us get this far," Morial said. "But we need you now more than ever. We need you to serve and ensure the next generation is better off."

I agree. We still have work to do. Join me here, at The Center. Get involved and make a difference!

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  • Russell Simmons's gravatar Russell Simmons says:

    Alexis I’d say we are recognized as first class citizens! And we have demonstrated that this recognition is well earned! Thanks to originations such as the Links!

  • Jack Schimmelman's gravatar Jack Schimmelman says:

    Embedded below is a link to an article I blogged on the Huffington Post four years ago. 

    Would you be interested in posting it here on this site?  I would be honored if you did so.  I have been invited and am attending the 50th Anniversary commemoration of the voting rights act here where I live on the Vineyard.  I live in elderly housing and am presently developing an opera entitled 1854, which is an original opera based on an abolitionist movement that existed on the Vineyard in the mid-19th century.  It’s in the form of a town meeting.  We hope to have it ready by September 2015.  Thank you for the excellent work you and your colleagues are doing.

    Yours truly,

    Jack Schimmelman


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