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Slide Show: Civil Rights in The Nation | The Nation

Slide Show: Civil Rights in The Nation

In honor of Black History Month, The Nation has assembled a
collection of articles from the magazine's archive dating back to 1865. We present them here with an accompanying slide show featuring some of the most important benchmarks in African-American history.

  • Slide Show: Civil Rights in The Nation (1 of 11)

    In honor of Black History Month, The Nation has assembled a collection of articles from the magazine's archive dating back to 1865. We present them here with an accompanying slide show featuring some of the most important benchmarks in African-American history.

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  • Slide Show: Civil Rights in The Nation (2 of 11)

    Abolitionists themselves, the first editors of The Nation took President Andrew Johnson firmly to task for his policy of Reconstruction. "What we fear from the President's policy is, not a renewal of the war, but the restoration of the state of things which led to the war. We, of course, do not anticipate a revival of slavery 'pure and simple'; but it was not the fact of slavery in itself which led to the revolt, but the state of feeling and of manners which slavery bred--the hatred of democracy, the contempt for human rights, the horror of equality before the law, the proneness to violence which always results from inequality, the tone which all these things communicated to Southern manners, literature, education, religion, and society."

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  • Slide Show: Civil Rights in The Nation (3 of 11)

    In 1921, the well-known journalist William Pickens spent six months reporting on a new movement led by the charismatic black leader Marcus Garvey to repatriate African-Americans to a new Republic of Africa.

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  • Slide Show: Civil Rights in The Nation (4 of 11)

    In 1926, the Harlem Renaissance was in full flower and the legendary poet Langston Hughes was one of its central figures. In a celebrated Nation essay, Hughes urged black intellectuals and artists to break free of the artifical standards set for them by whites.

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  • Slide Show: Civil Rights in The Nation (5 of 11)

    After the unanimous Supreme Court's 1954 decision Brown v. Board of Ed, which outlawed segregation in American public education, The Nation published a lengthy forum with education and civil rights advocates debating policy prescriptions for how to most quickly and effectively implement the court's ruling.

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  • Slide Show: Civil Rights in The Nation (6 of 11)

    In 1963, the then-youthful historian Howard Zinn reported from the front lines of the civil rights battle -- Greenwood, Mississippi, "a very dangerous place to be" -- where he hailed the young activists of SNCC as the people most likely to ramp up the use of nonviolent direct action, which Zinn argued was critical to prodding the Kennedy administration to pass a voting rights act.

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  • Slide Show: Civil Rights in The Nation (7 of 11)

    From 1961 to 1966, The Nation was extremely fortunate to count the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a regular contributor. Dr. King contributed an annual essay each of these years examining the progress of civil rights and race relations in the US. This piece from 1965 is especially powerful.

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  • Slide Show: Civil Rights in The Nation (8 of 11)

    In 1965, The Nation hailed the voting-rights bill which President Lyndon Johnson sent to Congress "as a result of the nation's anger, and his own, over the callous violence of Alabama state troopers at Selma and the murder of the Rev. James Reeb," and called the legislation "a historic step forward--but long overdue and far from enough."

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  • Slide Show: Civil Rights in The Nation (9 of 11)

    Of all the race riots roiling American in the late 1960s none took on more historic resonance than the 1968 Watts riot in Los Angeles. The Nation editor at the time, Carey McWilliams, a seminal scholar of his home state of California, penned a passionate essay arguing that the Watts riot was rooted in contempt--for those who ignore the suffering and squalor of a community.

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  • Slide Show: Civil Rights in The Nation (10 of 11)

    As the 1960s grew darker and more violent, the rise of the Black Panthers terrified elements of White America and the government's efforts to disrupt and sabotage the group crossed over into questionable Constitutional territory -- most notably the killing of the young leader Fred Hampton in Chicago. In The Nation L.F. Palmer, Jr, explained that the government's campaign to get Hampton began long before it finally succeeded in killing him.

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  • Slide Show: Civil Rights in The Nation (11 of 11)

    The 2008 election of President Barack Obama was a watershed moment in African-American history. Writing at the time, Melissa Harris-Lacewell, who noted that "We have a long way to go before we get anywhere near that more perfect union that Obama imagined in Philadelphia, but the work has begun in earnest."

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