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civil rights movement

Courtesy of American Girl

This weekend, American Girl unveils its newest doll. Her name is Melody Ellison., and she’s from 1960's Detroit.

 A mural by Louis Delsarte at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic site.
Flickr user yooperann/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

This week, violence and race have hit us in a way many of us have never seen.

Violence and race, though, are not new. The Detroit Journalism Cooperative has been looking at the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Some of the core issues then are some of the issues we're still struggling with today.

You've got to understand the history to really understand what's happened this week.

Iggy Pop at the Grande Ballroom, 1968
Leni Sinclair

Leni Sinclair’s camera captured the music scene of Detroit in the ‘60s and ‘70s even as she played a seminal role in the growing countercultural movement in Southeast Michigan.

Sinclair was born in Königsberg,  East Germany, and escaped to West Germany three years before the Berlin Wall was erected. She was 18 when she emigrated to America in 1959, settling with relatives in Detroit. 

Sinclair photographed musicians from John Coltrane and the MC5 to Iggy Pop, Janis Joplin, Bob Marley and many, many more.

She and her then-husband, John Sinclair, helped to found the White Panther Party, later the Rainbow People’s Party. They fought against the Vietnam War and racism, and worked to legalize marijuana and reform the prison system.

Now Sinclair has been named the 2016 Kresge Eminent Artist. She becomes the eighth artist to receive the $50,000 award in recognition of her contributions to the art, culture, and people of Detroit.

Flickr user Penn State Special Collections / Flickr

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the confrontation between civil rights marchers and Alabama State Troopers known as Bloody Sunday.

Retired teacher and librarian with Detroit Public Schools Gloria Mills has organized a bus trip to Selma for this weekend's commemoration.

via Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University

Wayne State University plans to issue its first-ever posthumous honorary degree to slain Detroit civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo.

Liuzzo was murdered by Ku Klux Klan members near Selma, Alabama in 1965. The 39-year-old mother of five was a Wayne State nursing student when she died.

“I think that Mrs. Liuzzo could not be a better spokesperson or symbol for Wayne State,” says Kim Trent, who sits on Wayne State’s Board of Governors. “She was a non-traditional student, someone who was really trying to use her life to change America.”

Rosa Parks is widely known as a civil rights icon. Many of us can pull up that image of her sitting on a bus gazing out the window, her eyes fixed on something just beyond our sight.

A new book, Our Auntie Rosa: The Family of Rosa Parks Remembers Her Life and Lessons, shares stories that help us understand the woman beyond the historical figure. It was written by her niece, Sheila McCauley Keys, with Eddie B. Allen, Jr.

You know by now that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act yesterday. But what you may not know is this: That act was passed by Congress back in 1965 because a white woman from Detroit gave her life in the struggle for civil rights.

Sarah Kerson / Michigan Radio

Fifty years ago this weekend in Detroit, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. previewed his “I Have a Dream” speech before the historic March on Washington.  This morning, Detroiters honored the occasion with a modern civil rights march.

Detroit's Martin Luther King Jr. High School's band led thousands of marchers down Woodward Avenue to Hart Plaza where scheduled speakers included King's son and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.