In a dusty old attic in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Stephon Tull was rummaging through dilapidated boxes left there by his father many years before, when he came across an interesting find.
Martin Luther King III and Amb. Andrew Young discuss their efforts to make voting more accessible to Americans.
Viviette Applewhite, a 93-year-old African-American woman from Philadelphia, suddenly cannot vote. Although she once marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. for the right to do so, and has dutifully cast a ballot for five decades, in this election year she may be denied this basic right. Under Pennsylvania's new voter ID law, Applewhite is no longer considered eligible.
Congressional Republicans told a top Justice official Thursday his department is wrong to fight state voter ID laws and that the government needs to do more to ensure people serving abroad in the military are able to vote.
Vice President Joe Biden delivered a rousing address to the NAACP in Houston on Thursday, bolstering support for President Barack Obama and drawing sharp contrasts with the Republican Party on civil rights issues.
Texas state officials went to federal court Monday to defend a controversial new voter identification law, dismissing suggestions the requirement would deny hundreds of thousands of people -- many of them minorities -- access to the ballot.
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) on Texas looking to require voters to present photo ID at polls.
Attorney General Eric Holder promised Saturday to do all in his power to protect Americans' right to vote.
CNN's Carol Costello speaks with Tavis Smiley and Cornel West on the strict new ID rules that could keep many from polls.
It wouldn't be an election year without Florida exhibiting its usual despicable efforts to keep residents from voting.
A divided federal appeals court in Washington has upheld a key enforcement provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965.
As election 2012 heats up, the question of how corporations will figure into the first presidential election post-Citizens United is a hot topic.
George Zimmerman's brother tells Piers Morgan his brother had no choice but to shoot and kill Trayvon Martin.
The February 26 shooting of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager, by George Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, has in less than a month gone from a local story to a huge national story.
A controversial new Texas law requiring voters to present personal identification before going to the polls has been blocked by the Obama administration.
CNN's David Mattingly talks to Ben Jealous on the anniversary of the march on Selma.
Civil rights activists reenacting a 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, are doing more than just reliving an important part of American history -- they are bringing a new message to an old fight.
Civil rights leader Dr. Patricia Stephens Due died Tuesday at age 72, nearly 52 years after she played a leading role in student sit-ins in Tallahassee, Florida, her family said.
The state of South Carolina told a federal court in the nation's capital Tuesday it has a right to require voters to present a photo ID at the polls, despite opposition from the Obama administration's civil rights lawyers.
Every third Monday in January we gather as Americans to commemorate the values and beliefs -- as well as the ultimate sacrifice -- of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder delivers a major speech on voting rights at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas. The location is significant: In 1965, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law, a landmark piece of civil rights legislation that banned the worst forms of racial discrimination in American elections.
Dorothy Cooper is a 96-year-old African-American resident of Chattanooga, Tennessee. She was born in a small town in northern Georgia before women could vote and when Jim Crow laws mandated racial segregation. Her life has spanned nearly a century of progress: The 19th Amendment extended suffrage to women, the Civil Rights movement led to the dismantling of segregation laws, and the Voting Rights Act outlawed overt racial discrimination in elections.
Today millions of people will go to the polls to vote in state and local elections. As they cast their ballot, they cast a vote for the most treasured aspect of our democracy. The voting booth is the one place where we are all equal -- all Americans are able to have an equal voice in determining the shape of our government.
Federal civil rights officials announced Monday they have sent election observers to locations in five states to keep an eye out for potential trouble at the polls Tuesday.
The Justice Department sent a letter to the Alabama's attorney general Friday asserting that federal civil rights lawyers have the authority to investigate Alabama schools for discrimination based on immigration status -- and will continue to do so.
The Cherokee Nation had difficulty electing its principal chief, so much so that members called in the Carter Center to observe the most recent vote and judge whether it was free and fair. We normally observe elections only in politically troubled countries abroad but believe that the contentiousness and fundamental voting rights issues at stake -- and not just for the Cherokees -- justified this exceptional mission.
Program Overview Through rare access to the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection, CNN's Soledad O'Brien examines the personal determination and private courage and concerns of the preacher and civil rights leader.
Civil rights icon Andrew Young speaks about the late Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, urging people to celebrate his life.
The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, who helped lead the civil rights movement, has died, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute said Wednesday. He was 89.
Arizona has become the latest jurisdiction to challenge continuing federal oversight over a key provision of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1965. Officials in Phoenix filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday, saying requirements to preclear all local voting changes with the U.S. Justice Department are unconstitutional.
Several prominent civil rights groups filed a class action lawsuit Friday challenging Alabama's new anti-illegal immigration law, the latest such legal effort aimed at similar bills passed in various states.
Rousing speeches by gifted orators such as Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were crucial to the struggle for civil rights in America.
Republican Michele Bachmann officially announces her bid for the presidency in her hometown, Waterloo, Iowa.
On Monday morning, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann formally announced her candidacy for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.
Joan Mulholland was watching television one day when something flashed across the screen that gave her chills.
Program Description: "Pictures Don't Lie: A Black in America Special" examines the hazy legacy of legendary photographer Ernest Withers, who helped advance the civil rights movement with his stunningly intimate black-and-white images. Withers was everywhere: in Dr. King's hotel room for strategy sessions, in the courtroom of the Emmett Till lynching murder trial, behind the scenes at the Memphis sanitation strike before Dr. King was assassinated. Now, just three years after his death, the reputation of the man dubbed "the original civil rights photographer" is in question. Withers may have led a double life as a paid FBI "racial informant." Caught in the middle of the firestorm are the children of Ernest Withers, who are disputing the charges and fighting to open the namesake museum that will display his historic images. The Withers children are speaking out for the first time with CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O'Brien. We will also speak to leaders of the civil rights
Long before today's antiterrorism efforts, the FBI spied on Americans, including those in the civil rights movement.
The hard-won fight for civil rights could go down as one of the most thoroughly archived periods in American history, largely because participants kept photos and objects that would later tell their stories.
Those who were not there in the 60s and 70s, when Sargent Shriver was well known as an extraordinary member of an extraordinary family, should be duly impressed by the stories they are now hearing about his dynamic role in launching and leading both the Peace Corps, proposed by President Kennedy, and then President Johnson's War on Poverty.
Sargent Shriver, who launched the U.S. Peace Corps after marrying into the Kennedy family, has died.
Casey Hayden knows something about hate.
Most would not consider civil rights the top concern of the nation's spies, but it was standing room only this week as hundreds gathered in the Central Intelligence Agency auditorium attentively listening to speeches on the civil rights movement.
Former Alabama state trooper James Bonard Fowler, 77, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor manslaughter Monday in a civil rights-era murder case that was a catalyst for the 1965 Selma-Montgomery march, District Attorney Michael Jackson told CNN.
A member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission walked out of a meeting Friday saying he and two other panelists have been denied a chance to fully discuss whether the Obama administration has been race-neutral in an investigation of alleged voter intimidation.
Bullying and harassment in schools often includes violations of federally protected civil rights, the federal government warned Tuesday in new guidelines for educators on how to address the problem.
Supreme Court justices cast a skeptical eye at a Texas death row inmate's novel efforts to have new DNA testing on old crime scene evidence in an effort to prove his innocence.
My faith tradition has always been inextricably bound with the tradition of the civil rights movement. The blood, sweat and tears of "the movement" have run through my life; they touched and entangled me with an indelible spirit of never giving up, always trying to serve.
Attorney General Eric Holder emphatically rejected Monday the charge that his Justice Department's Civil Rights Division considers the race of an alleged victim when deciding which cases to pursue.
A Justice Department official says the Voting Rights Act is selectively enforced. CNN's Jeanne Meserve reports.
A Justice Department lawyer testified Friday the department does not enforce certain voting law cases when the victims are white, and called the decision to drop a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party "a travesty of justice."
A former Justice Department attorney who testified the department dropped charges of voter intimidation against the New Black Panther Party for political reasons says he expects his former boss to corroborate his claim in a hearing Friday.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown files a motion for resumption of same-sex weddings in the state.
The institution of marriage is unique. It is the one institution that binds women and men together to form a family, and this serves broad societal purposes.
Civil rights leaders marking the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech Saturday scorned a nearby Glenn Beck-led rally, saying it came with no message and with a presumption that King's famous discourse can be used as a conservative platform.
Rev. Al Sharpton speaks at his "Reclaim the Dream" event on the 47th anniversary of MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech.
CNN's Don Lemon speaks with Rev. Al Sharpton about the competing rallies between himself and Glenn Beck.
Conservative commentator Glenn Beck says his weekend revival-style rally at the Lincoln Memorial was meant to reclaim the U.S. civil rights movement "from politics," arguing that the movement was about "people of faith."
On the 47th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington on Saturday, the first sight on the National Mall for thousands of marchers was a four-story art installation that displayed four images and quotations of Martin Luther King Jr..
CNN's Brian Todd takes a look at talk show host Glenn Beck and his increasing clout in conservative circles.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s niece is slated to speak Saturday at a controversial rally by radio talk show host Glenn Beck scheduled to take place in the same location as her uncle's "I Have a Dream" speech.
Very few things will make my skin crawl more than listening to someone totally misrepresent the famous "I Have A Dream" speech the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave on August 28, 1963.
"We are on the right side of history! We are on the side of individual freedoms and liberties and, dammit, we will reclaim the civil rights moment. We will take that movement -- because we were the people who did it in the first place." -- Glenn Beck, on his nationally syndicated radio program, May 26.
Justice Department lawyers investigating controversial Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio for alleged civil rights violations have extended for another week their demand for his lawyers to turn over documents and cooperate with their inquiry.
Members of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission shouted at each other Friday over a controversial voting rights case.
Members of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission shouted at each other Friday over the Justice Department's decision to drop most of the charges in a 2008 incident in which black militants confronted voters at a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, polling place, leading to charges of voter intimidation.
This month marks the anniversary of many historical milestones in the continuing effort to guarantee equal rights to all Americans.
The thing that is hard to miss in Ted Olson's Washington office are the quills. They're in a mug, all 56 of them, each commemorating an appearance before the Supreme Court. In many of those cases, he was the standard bearer for conservatives. And a successful one; he won 44 times.
Two prominent lawyers, conservative Ted Olson and liberal David Boies, team up to fight for gay marriage in California.
While Glenn Beck continues to pathetically assert that he is a modern day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his listeners and viewers are the rightful heirs to the Civil Rights Movement he spearheaded, it may catch some by surprise that Tea Party leaders claim their movement is also one that is about advancing the civil rights of Americans.
Core supporters of the NAACP and the Tea Party are in a heated battle over race. CNN's Carol Costello reports.
Legalizing marijuana is a civil rights issue, according to one of California's most prominent African-American advocacy groups.
Republican senators this week pressed Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan on the degree to which her views mirror those of her mentor Justice Thurgood Marshall, whom Kagan clerked for in 1987-88.
Rand Paul backed out of his Sunday morning talk show appearance, but that didn't stop people from talking about him.
The caricatures have been flying from left and right since Tea Party Senate candidate Rand Paul started talking about the 1964 Civil Rights Act. That Rand Paul is a racist. That his nomination proves the Republican Party is, too. That MSNBC host Rachel Maddow is a man-eating sorceress. That the liberal media ... you get the idea.
The nomination of Elena Kagan to fill the seat of retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has caused quite a stir on the political left and right, as operatives on both sides try to ascertain exactly where she stands.
He is the leader of "America's most hated family," a gaunt, craggy-faced preacher who displays "God Hates Fags" signs at the funerals of American troops, gay men and AIDS victims.
Some of the most powerful leaders in American politics came together Thursday to remember Dorothy Height, a woman who dedicated her life to civil rights and justice for the least powerful members of society.
President Obama pays tribute to the life of civil rights activist Dr. Dorothy Height.
Benjamin L. Hooks, a civil rights leader who led the NAACP from 1977 to 1992, has died, said the vice president for communication at the NAACP.
Frances Hooks reflects on the life and legacy of her husband. Civil rights icon Dr. Benjamin Hooks died Thursday.
Friends and family mourn the passing of lawyer, judge and NAACP director Dr. Benjamin Hooks, who died last week.
Scores of mourners packed a Memphis, Tennessee, church Wednesday for the funeral of Dr. Benjamin Hooks, a civil rights leader described as deeply inspirational and widely influential.
Dorothy Height, a leading civil rights activist, died Tuesday. CNN's Joe Johns reports.
It has been eight years since people in my state of Virginia got a chance to debate the meaning of the Civil War in front of the nation, and the comments posted on CNN and other news Web sites suggest our passion over the topic has not dimmed.
CNN's Joe Johns looks at the group that got Virginia's governor to issue a proclamation honoring the Confederate legacy.
On Sunday we commemorate the courage and sacrifice of 600 men and women who dared 45 years ago to take the first steps in a 54-mile march from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital, Montgomery, for the right to vote. That day, Sunday, March 7, 1965, would come to be known as "Bloody Sunday."
The new chairwoman for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, one of the oldest civil rights groups in the nation, said Sunday she'll work to bring a new generation into the organization.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, one of the oldest civil rights groups in the nation, will announce the successor to Chairman Julian Bond on Saturday as the organization strives to prove its relevance and influence to a new generation.
Citing insufficient evidence, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday it will not pursue federal civil rights charges against police officers involved in the 2006 shooting death of a man hours before he was to be married.
Civil rights songs were the soundtrack of the movement that helped bring President Obama to the White House. On Tuesday, Obama welcomed an array of artists to celebrate those songs.
Watch the CNN special: MLK Papers - Words That Changed a Nation when it airs on Saturday February 6, 2010, from 8:00 - 9:00 p.m. ET on CNN.
One thing about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: the man understood sports.
The nation's capital city took a major step Friday toward legalizing same-sex marriage.
Don't look now, but Pennsylvania might be the new Mississippi.
The Obama administration's new civil rights chief said Thursday that he was "shocked" to learn of the steep decline in hate-crime prosecutions during the Bush presidency and vowed to combat violence stemming from hatred and bias.
The legacy of the past is an unavoidable presence as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference considers who will be its next president.
In their latest communique regarding the fate of seven arrested members of the Baha'i religious minority in Iran, Amnesty International has expressed grave concern they may face the death penalty if they are found guilty of the charges of "espionage for Israel," "insulting religious sanctities," and "propaganda against the system."
On Wednesday, President Obama will make the most important speech of his presidency. We hear this phrase so much that it has become a cliché. But, in this case, the cliché is accurate.
For half a century, Ted Kennedy was the most prolific senator on the political scene, making major strides in civil rights, civil liberties, education, human rights abroad, arms control, good government and of course health care.
One year before the day of his death, an ailing Sen. Ted Kennedy electrified a crowd of thousands at the Democratic National Convention.
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