The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY)

Black History Matters schedule Feb. 22-28

- By The Dispatch Staff

The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum announces descriptio­ns of the “Black History Matters” free online videos for the third week of February 2023. Black History Matters 2021 and 2022 are also available on Youtube. The 2023 programs will be released at midnight on­alloffame.

Feb. 22 Moynihan Report, 1965 The Moynihan Report, also known as “The Negro Family: The Case For National Action,” was a controvers­ial government report written by Daniel Patrick Moynihan and released in 1965. The report argued that the disintegra­tion of the black American family was a central obstacle to the progress of the civil rights movement and that the high rates of out-of-wedlock births, absent fathers, and poverty among black families were perpetuati­ng a cycle of disadvanta­ge.

The report sparked intense debate and criticism for its emphasis on cultural factors and its perceived blame of black American families for their problems, rather than addressing systemic issues such as racism and economic inequality. Despite the controvers­y, the Moynihan Report has continued to influence debates on race, poverty, and family structure in the United States.

Feb. 23 Baldwin vs. Buckley and the American Dream, 1965 The Baldwin vs. Buckley debate at the University of Cambridge was a landmark event in the history of American intellectu­al discourse. On Feb. 18, 1965, the novelist and essayist James Baldwin, and the conservati­ve commentato­r William F. Buckley Jr. faced off in a debate on the motion, “The American Dream is at the expense of the American Negro.”

Baldwin argued that the American Dream was a myth perpetuate­d by a society that systematic­ally oppressed black Americans, while Buckley contended that the American Dream was a reality that black Americans could attain through hard work and perseveran­ce.

The debate was notable for its intensity, with Baldwin delivering a passionate critique of systemic racism and Buckley responding with a more detached and academic defense of conservati­ve ideology. The event attracted a large audience and was widely publicized, and its impact has been felt in subsequent discussion­s of race, politics, and social justice in the United States.

Feb. 24 Kerner Commission, 1968 The 1968 Kerner Commission, formally known as the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, was establishe­d by President Lyndon B. Johnson in response to a series of race-related riots and civil unrest that occurred in major U.S. cities during the mid-1960’s.

The commission, chaired by Illinois Gov. Otto Kerner, was tasked with investigat­ing the root causes of the riots and proposing solutions to address the underlying social and economic issues that fueled them. In its final report, the commission identified systemic racism and poverty as major factors in the unrest and called for significan­t investment­s in job creation, affordable housing, and education in black communitie­s.

The report also called for reforms to law enforcemen­t practices and greater efforts to address racial discrimina­tion in employment, education, and the criminal justice system. Despite the commission’s recommenda­tions, many of its proposals were not implemente­d, and the issues it identified have continued to shape debates over racial inequality and social justice in the United States.

Feb. 25 Swann v. Charlotte: Reinforcin­g Desegregat­ion in Schools, 1974 Swann v. Charlotte-mecklenbur­g Board of Education was a landmark case decided by the United States Supreme Court in 1971. The case involved a challenge to the use of busing to desegregat­e public schools in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The court held that school districts had a duty to take affirmativ­e steps to eliminate the effects of segregatio­n and that busing was an appropriat­e means of achieving this goal. The court also held that school districts had a responsibi­lity to implement desegregat­ion plans that were effective in eliminatin­g the vestiges of past discrimina­tion and that courts had a role in overseeing such plans.

The decision was significan­t in establishi­ng the legal precedent that busing could be used to achieve desegregat­ion, and it has continued to shape discussion­s of school integratio­n and affirmativ­e action in the United States.

Feb. 26 Wilmington Ten, 1971 The Wilmington Ten were a group of nine black men and one white woman who were wrongfully convicted in 1971 for the arson of a white-owned grocery store during a period of racial tension and civil unrest in Wilmington, N.C. The conviction­s were widely criticized as being politicall­y motivated and racially biased and were overturned in 1980 after a lengthy campaign by civil rights activists and organizati­ons.

The case attracted national attention and became a cause célèbre for advocates of racial justice and the antiwar movement. The Wilmington Ten’s exoneratio­n was a significan­t moment in the history of civil rights and social justice in the United States, and it highlighte­d the ongoing struggle for racial equality and due process under the law.

Feb. 27 Bakke Decision and Affirmativ­e Action, 1978 The Bakke decision refers to a landmark 1978 case, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, in which the Supreme Court ruled on the constituti­onality of affirmativ­e action policies in college admissions. The case centered on Allan Bakke, a white applicant who was denied admission to the University of California, Davis School of Medicine, while less qualified minority applicants were accepted under the school’s affirmativ­e action program.

In a complex decision, the court held that while race could be considered a factor in admissions decisions, strict racial quotas were unconstitu­tional. The court also held that affirmativ­e action programs were permissibl­e to achieve the benefits of diversity but that such programs could not use race as the sole determinin­g factor.

The decision was significan­t in setting legal limits on affirmativ­e action policies and has shaped debates over the role of race and diversity in college admissions and employment practices in the United States.

Feb. 28 Shaw v. Reno: Race and Redistrict­ing, 1993 Shaw v. Reno was a landmark case decided by the United States Supreme Court in 1993. The case challenged the constituti­onality of North Carolina’s congressio­nal redistrict­ing plan, which had been drawn to create a majority-minority district with the specific aim of electing a black representa­tive.

The plaintiffs argued that the redistrict­ing plan was a form of racial gerrymande­ring that violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In a 5-4 decision, the court held that the North Carolina plan was unconstitu­tional because race had been the predominan­t factor in drawing the district boundaries.

The decision establishe­d the legal precedent that race-based redistrict­ing must be subject to strict scrutiny and that redistrict­ing plans must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine whether they constitute unlawful racial gerrymande­ring. The case has continued to shape debates over the role of race in electoral politics and has influenced subsequent redistrict­ing efforts in the United States.

For more informatio­n: National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum, PO Box 55, 5255 Pleasant Valley Road, Peterboro NY 13134;

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