Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Black History Month 2012
BLACK WOMEN IN CULTURE AND HISTORY IS THIS YEARS THEME. ( Click here to download a pdf of the summary for this year's theme. ) This year's theme honors African American women and the myriad of roles they played in the shaping of our nation. The theme, chosen by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History urges all Americans to study and reflect on the value of their contribution to the nation. http://www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/index.html
Who founded Black History Month? The answer: http://www.asalh.org/aboutasalhmain.html
UPDATE: Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center Black History Month Celebration. From The Daily Sentinel, Feb 1, 2012 - "The guest speaker for the event was Joanne Bland, the co-founder and former director of the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute in Selma. Bland was a witness and participant in the Bloody Sunday march in 1965 and the first leg of the March from Selma to Montgomery. Along the way she witnessed brutal beatings and the shootings of fellow marchers by police. "'Bloody Sunday' was by far the worst," said Bland. "I've never forgotten that day."" Daily Sentinel Link: http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_123e0352-4d2a-11e1-9ef3-0019bb2963f4.html
(See bottom of this post for more on the "Scottsboro Boys Case.")
(Per news reports) Scottsboro Mayor Melton Potter attended as did the Chairperson of the Jackson County Commission - Ms. Sadie Bias. Scottsboro High School Choir and the Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church Choir presented the musical program for the event.
"SO MANY STARS"
"IT IS WELL"
More about the "Scottsboro Boys Case;" the case that changed American Jurisprudence. An accurate and extensive accounting of the Scottsboro Defendents case history may be found at this link: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/FTrials/scottsboro/SB_acct.html
14th amendment Section 1 in Part, "...nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxiv At that link one may find the rest of the 14th Amendment.
The "Scottsboro Boys Case" was a travesty of justice which must not be forgotten and which an accurate accounting of the case must be told.
The story is also one of bravery at great risk. Demonstrating a belief that American Justice can work. Such are the stories of Judge James Horton and Samuel Liebowitz.
Another part of the case involves Jackson County Sheriff Matt Wann. It is a story of an unsolved murder. Sheriff Wann stood in the door of the jail the night of the defendants arrest with a shotgun and prevented an angry mob of Klan and hate filled citizens from what some described committing "a lynching on the square." Early the next morning the National Guard arrived to provide enhanced security. Information concerning the Matt Wann case may be found at : http://scottsborostories.blogspot.com/2010/10/sheriff-matt-wann-brave-man-and-untold.html
The Supreme Court of the United States reversed 2 decisions of the Alabama Courts related to the "Scottsboro Boys" case as described below.
On Nov 7, 1932 the U.S. Supreme Court in a 7 - 2 decision ruled that the right of the defendants under the Fourteenth Amendment's due process clause to competent legal counsel had been denied by the State of Alabama, Powell vs Alabama. http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/FTrials/scottsboro/SB_powus.html
On February 15, 1935, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments in the Patterson and Norris cases. Samuel Leibowitz argued that the convictions should be overturned because Alabama excluded blacks from its jury rolls in violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution. (Equal Protection Clause, 14th Amendment: http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/Equal_protection
The second U.S. Supreme Court decision, April 1, 1935 - Norris vs Alabama, unanimously held that the Alabama system of jury selection was unconstitutional and reversed the convictions of Norris and Patterson. http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/FTrials/scottsboro/SB_norus.html
More information about the case may be found at the University of Missouri at Kansas City web site where Professor Douglas O. Linder and students have compiled one of the most definitive and extensive data bases on the "Scottsboro Boys" Trials. http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/scottsboro/scottsb.htm