civil rights

A federal judge says he will rule by Friday on a female prisoner's request for an abortion.

U.S. District Abdul Kallon made the comment after hearing arguments yesterday in a lawsuit filed by the woman.

The unnamed prisoner filed suit against Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton seeking a court order that would let her leave jail to travel to Huntsville for the procedure.

Alabama senators are seeking to rename Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge to the Journey to Freedom Bridge. The historic site in the voting rights movement bears the name of a Ku Klux Klan officer.

The bridge became a symbol of the fight for voting rights after marchers were beaten by state troopers in 1965.

It is Selma's most notable landmark, but its KKK association has drawn the anger of some in the majority black city. Pettus was a U.S senator, a Confederate general and a KKK grand dragon.

“At that time, we’d been singing songs, we shall overcome, and before I’d be a slave…be dead and buried in my grave,” says Bennie Lee Tucker. He’s seventy four years old, and he spent the last fifty five of those years here in Selma. “And we gonna let nobody turn us around, no more Governor Wallace…no more white folk,” he says.

On the front porch of his home on Eugene Avenue, Tucker recalls March 7th, 1965. It was the height of the voting rights movement. Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior wasn’t the name on everyone’s mind that day.

Federal justice official to speak at UAB forum

Mar 14, 2015

The University of Alabama at Birmingham will host a federal Department of Justice official, who will speak on civil rights and on an outreach program.

Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta will discuss federal efforts to protect civil liberties and rights of minorities and immigrants from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts.

UAB officials say Gupta worked for the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP before joining the Department of Justice.

A group retracing the steps of the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights March made it to the Alabama state Capitol.

Martin Luther King III on stood near the place his father addressed marchers 50 years ago and called for fewer restrictions in voting.

Governor Bentley addressed the crowd, but was met with some boos and chants of "Medicaid now," calling for expansion of the health care program. Bentley was also booed by some in the crowd at the 50th anniversary commemoration event in Selma last Saturday.

Vice President Joe Biden says the same human rights that African Americans fought for in Selma, Alabama, are at stake for gay rights activists today.

Biden is drawing parallels between the civil rights and gay rights movements in a speech to the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group.

He says Selma and Stonewall were "basically the same movement." He's referring to 1969 Stonewall Inn riots that marked the symbolic start of the modern gay rights movement.

Title: Seeds of Freedom: The Peaceful Integration of Huntsville, Alabama
Author: Hester Bass
Illustrator:  E. B. Lewis
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 28
Price: $16.99 (Hardcover)

Title:  The Cat's Pajamas
Author & Illustrator:  Daniel Wallace
Publisher: Inkshares: Crowdfunded Publishing
Pages: 28
Price: $18.00 (Hardcover)

Demetrius Newton, a civil rights attorney who represented icons like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. before becoming the first black person to serve as speaker pro tem of the Alabama House, has died. He was 85.

Rep. John Rogers of Birmingham, a longtime friend of Newton, says he was notified by the lawmaker's family that Newton died Wednesday morning.

Newton was former city attorney for Birmingham and had served in the Legislature since 1986.

The board of the Alabama Public Historical Sites and Parks Improvement Corporation has authorized $1.2 million in bond money for a landmark voting rights center in the capitol city.

A new facility at Alabama State University will be home to the last stop on the route memorialized as the Voting Rights Trail, officials said Tuesday.

Finance Director Marquita Davis told Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey and House Speaker Mike Hubbard the center had been funded in 2001, but the project didn't get off the ground.

Stan Ingold

  2013 marks the fiftieth anniversary of a number of key moments in the fight for civil rights. Alabama Public Radio’s Stan Ingold recently began a trek to several spots around the state that are linked to the civil rights struggle. Visitors from around the world are coming to these sites as tourists. Stan recently took us to Selma and this time we look at Montgomery where to voting rights march took place.

Stan Ingold

       There are many reasons people visit Alabama, to see sporting events, the space connection in Huntsville or the beaches along the gulf coast. However, civil rights tourism is often overlooked by the masses. This dark time in the state’s history is drawing visitors from all over.

Visitors like Betty and Phil Histon from Corvallis Oregon. They’re in Alabama, like many tourists, to try the local barbecue and the see the sites. When we met them they were in the Civil Rights Interpretive Center is Selma…

Southern Poverty Law Center

A civil rights group that tracks extremist groups warns that President Obama's tenure and the gun control debate after the Connecticut school shooting have led to surging numbers of anti-government "patriot" groups.

The Southern Poverty Law Center on Tuesday reported the rising numbers as it released its annual report on extremist groups.

The number of patriot groups, one category of extremist organizations tracked by the center, has risen dramatically over the past four years, from 149 groups in 2008 to 1,360 today.

Justice Dept. Opens Civil Rights Unit In Alabama

Aug 21, 2012 / Wikimedia Commons

The Justice Department is establishing a civil rights unit in Alabama after the state's crackdown on illegal immigration raised broader concerns about compliance with federal laws. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Perez said Tuesday fewer than 10 such units are located around the country. The nearest is in Memphis, Tennessee. Perez said the move is meant to ensure that the federal government has a continuing eye on civil rights issues in Alabama, which was a hotbed of unrest during the civil rights movement 50 years ago. The U.S. / Southern Poverty Law Center

The United States Commission on Civil Rights is in Birmingham today (August 17, 2012) to discuss the effects of the state's recently enacted immigration laws on the civil rights of individuals. The commission will mainly focus on the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Arizona's immigration law on other state's with similar legislation. Mary Bauer is the legal director at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery and is one of the speakers at the hearing. She says the impact of Alabama's law has been far reaching.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The victims slain by a gunman in a Wisconsin temple will be honored during a memorial in Alabama. The Civil Rights Memorial Center will join churches and other organizations Sunday to mark the attack the killed six people at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. The gunman, Wade Michael Page, took his own life after shooting at police responding to the scene. In Alabama, the event will be held in front of the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, which honors those who died during the Civil Rights movement. The memorial is scheduled for 6 p.m.



This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.


And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The civil rights organization co-founded by Martin Luther King Junior meets in Sanford, Florida today for its annual convention. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference has struggled in recent years with leadership battles and declining membership. Now members want to rebrand the SCLC. Here's NPR's Kathy Lohr.