A 1963 photo of Martin Luther King Jr. addressing the thousands of people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington.

Campus Protests Are Called Disruptive. So Was the Civil Rights Movement

Like student protesters today, Martin Luther King Jr. and other 1960s civil rights activists were criticized as disruptive and disorderly.
J. Edgar Hoover in front of a stained glass church window

One Bureau Under God

On the white Christian legacy of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI.
A crowd of African Americans watches a group of law enforcement officers.

A Record of Violence

Jim Crow terror, within and outside the law.
Rosa Parks is fingerprinted by police Lt. D.H. Lackey in Montgomery, Ala., on Feb. 22, 1956, two months after refusing to give up her seat in a bus for a White passenger.

Pitting Rosa Parks Against Claudette Colvin Distorts History

A new documentary explores the origins of the Montgomery Bus Boycott — with lessons on how we see movements.
MLK in a police station

Martin Luther King Knew That Fighting Racism Meant Fighting Police Brutality

Critics of Black Lives Matter have held up King as a foil to the movement’s criticisms of law enforcement, but those are views that King himself shared.
A car window with a sign in it that reads "let freedom ring" with an illustration of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Challenge to Liberal Allies — and Why It Resonates Today

King understood the perils of submerged racism.
Julian Bond

What Julian Bond Taught Me About Politics and Power

Lessons about organizing from the SNCC co-founder.
Demonstrators surround a police car during the Watts uprising in 1965

Understanding Today’s Uprisings Requires Understanding What Came Before Them

The media must make the long years of organizing as visible as the eruptions and uprisings.

Martin Luther King and the 'Polite’ Racism of White Liberals

Many of King’s words about allies ring true today.

How School Desegregation Became the Third Rail of Democratic Politics

White liberals opposed segregation in the South, but fought tooth-and-nail to keep it in the North.
Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

“A More Beautiful and Terrible History” Corrects the Fables Told of the Civil Rights Movement

A new book bursts the bubble on what we’ve learned about the Civil Rights era to show a larger movement with layers.

Under Comey's Leadership, the FBI Targeted Black Activists and Muslim Communities

This is the man who has criticized the FBI's surveillance of Martin Luther King as "shameful."
Reagan signing the bill establishing Martin Luther King Day.

The Sanitizing of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks

On the uses and abuses of civil rights heroes.

Rosa Parks’ Detroit Home And Hard Truths About The ‘Northern Promised Land That Wasn’t’

The civil rights activist and her family had to contend with racial discrimination beyond Montgomery.

How New York Became the Capital of the Jim Crow North

Racial injustice is not a regional sickness. It's a national cancer.