civil rights

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malaga island

from civil rights posted in history by prof_improbable

Although many aspects of its history seem to be obscured, Malaga Island was the site of a mixed-race community from the Civil War until their forced expulsion in 1912.

The black and white settlers had formed a fishing village with a school on the island, and they lived peacefully for 50 years until the state of Maine purchased the island in 1911.

The idea of a mixed community was at odds with the prevailing eugenics theory of the area, and local and state politicians used the Malaga Island community as a wedge issue.

Eight settlers were committed to the Maine School for the Feeble-Minded. The remaining 45 residents were evicted from the island, their school was moved to a different island, and Malaga Island's graveyard was dug up and redeposited on the mainland.

Source: Malaga Island: A Story Best Left Untold radio documentary and Strange Fruit, Volume I graphic novel by Joel Christian Gill

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molton hotel

from civil rights posted in history by donkeyoti

Commissioner of Public Safety for the city of Birmingham, Alabama and über-racist, Eugene "Bull" Connor, liked to spend his mornings at the Molton Hotel, drinking shots of Ol' Grand-Dad bourbon at the bar.

When Martin Luther King and his entourage decided to bring the civil rights struggle to Birmingham, the plan was to get Bull Connor to "tip his hand" as a reaction to peaceful protests.

Bull Connor did. His troops responded to a walk-out of students with fire hoses and snarling German Shepherds. This was captured in photos that landed on the cover the major papers in America the next day. The civil rights movement gained support from the shocked moderates of the country, and within a year a series of civil rights laws were passed.

The Molton was torn down in 1979, replaced by the Financial Center which stands there today.

*source: David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell.

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