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Freedom Summer: How Civil Rights Activists Braved Violence to Challenge Racism in 1964 Mississippi

Source: http://www.democracynow.org/2014/1/23/freedom_summer_how_civil_rights_activists

Hundreds of people marched in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on Wednesday to mark the 50th anniversary of Freedom Day. On Jan. 22, 1964, Fannie Lou Hamer and other civil rights activists marched around the Forrest County Courthouse in support of black voting rights. The rally was the beginning of a historic year in Mississippi. Months later civil rights groups launched Freedom Summer. More than 1,000 out-of-state volunteers traveled to Mississippi to help register voters and set up what they called, “Freedom Schools.” Out of Freedom Summer grew the formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party that challenged the legitimacy of the white-only Mississippi Democratic Party at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. The period also saw the murders of three civil rights activists — Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney. Events are being held across Mississippi in 2014 to mark the 50th anniversary of this historic year. Stanley Nelson, director of the new documentary, “Freedom Summer.” An Emmy Award-winning MacArthur Genius fellow, Nelson’s past films include “Freedom Riders” and “The Murder of Emmett Till.”

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Emmett Till’s family responds to LiL Wayne disrespectful lyrric

Emmett Till's family responds to LiL Wayne disrespectful lyrric

In August 1955, a fourteen-year-old black boy whistled at a white woman in a grocery store in Money, Mississippi. Emmett Till, a teen from Chicago, didn’t understand that he had broken the unwritten laws of the Jim Crow South until three days later, when two white men dragged him from his bed in the dead of night, beat him brutally and then shot him in the head. Although his killers were arrested and charged with murder, they were both acquitted quickly by an all-white, all-male jury. Shortly afterwards, the defendants sold their story, including a detailed account of how they murdered Till, to a journalist. The murder and the trial horrified the nation and the world. Till’s death was a spark that helped mobilize the civil rights movement. Three months after his body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River, the Montgomery bus boycott began.

Over the weekend, Future dropped a remix to his “Karate Chop” track that features Lil Wayne. During his verse, Weezy dropped a disrespectful punchline that used the name of Emmett Till. The family of the then 14-year-old Black boy that was murdered in 1955 in Mississippi for whistling at a white woman is none too happy about said line.

On the “Karate Chop (Remix),” Weezy raps, “Beat that p-ssy up like Emmett Till.”

Rapper LiL Wayne knows his name, and more than likely knows his story. For a fellow black man knowing our history and the atrocities our people have went through, to be able to make a lax statement in a song such as this is a disgrace to any black civil right movement. It’s the lack of respect and common sense that too many young black men & women that is detrimental to any further progress of equal opportunities for us as a people.

I would hope for more when it comes to hip hop artists to tell our story, inspire great minds and be conscious because of our history.