By Glynda C. Carr
On October 11, 1991, 35 year-old Professor Anita Hill appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee and testified that then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her. During Professor Hill’s testimony, she proclaimed, “It would have been more comfortable to remain silent. I took no initiative to inform anyone. But, when I was asked by a representative of this committee to report my experience, I felt that I had to tell the truth. I could not keep silent.”
The Hill-Thomas hearings launched an emotionally-charged public debate on race and gender and catapulted the issue of workplace sexual harassment into the public dialogue.
Although there was some blatant opposition from civil rights groups including the NAACP on the appointment of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, there was also a strong belief by some in the African American community that Professor Hill and her allegations (true or not) would stand in the way of ensuring that an African American man would continue serving on the country’s highest court.
By Roslyn M. Brock
On Sunday, our nation dedicated the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial on the National Mall. This momentous occasion was filled with moving tributes and great performances. However, in the wake of this dedication, we cannot help but reflect on the true legacy Dr. King left behind, the faith he had in the next generation, and the dream that we must still strive to achieve.
Without question, few shaped our culture and our nation in the 20th century more than Dr. King. His legacy of social justice and activism has played an integral role in so much of what we take for granted today. Without his advocacy for voting rights, people of color might still be unable to cast a ballot unfettered. If not for his work defending the poor, economic disparity in America would be far more than dire than it is today. And without Dr. King’s call for non-violence, the civil rights movement might be remembered for the bloodshed and not for its message of justice and equality.
L. Joy Williams
It’s time to renew my NAACP membership and without hesitation I will make my annual contribution. I’m not just one of close to 500,000 members nationwide, I also lend my time and energy by serving as first Vice-President of a local branch.
My continued service and commitment to the NAACP doesn’t come without ridicule, especially from my peers. I’ve had numerous conversations about the “relevancy” of the organization, how old the membership and mission is and why it still uses the word “colored” in the organization’s name. A simple Google search will result in a number of blog posts and articles making the same arguments and these arguments will undoubtedly continue as long as the organization exists. So why do I make the choice to lend my time and talent to this historic organization?
No one that engages in the NAACP relevancy conversation can deny the historic accomplishments the organization has garnered in its 102 year history. It is hard to imagine what our lives would be like without the hard work of the NAACP and its millions of members. But the NAACP has more than a historic past, it has a very active present.