Southern History and Civil Rights in the News 16 October 2020

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Southern History and Civil Rights in the News

16 October 2020


We wrote two weeks ago about a ruling by US District Court for the District of Northern California that blocked the Administration’s attempt at shutting down the census count early, and how that was a victory for those wanting a more accurate count of our country’s population. However, the Supreme Court issued an order this week that allows the count to stop as of today. While this is ostensibly a temporary order during the resolution of numerous other court cases involving the census, as Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Adam Liptak, and Michael Wines wrote in The New York Times the result will likely be a permanent end to the count. The piece also outlines what some of the ramifications of cutting the count short could be. You can read their story here.


The University of Dayton News released a story this week that shows the evidence of blatant systemic racism at the school. The letter, written to WEB DuBois in 1930 in a reply to his request for information for a story he was preparing for The Crisis, the national magazine of the NAACP, details the treatment of African American students, as well as the relative paucity of African Americans in classes. You can read about that here.


News on Civil Rights Trails was reported in Michigan and Virginia this week. In Michigan, The Detroit News has a story about a new interactive bike tour throughout many of the city’s historic sites from the Black Power movement and can be accessed by an phone app. Read about the twenty-stop, seventeen mile trail, which makes a loop from the Charles H Wright Museum of African American History, here. The Independent-Messenger, of Emporia, VA, notes that Twin Lakes State Park is one of twelve new sites added to the Virginia’s Crossroads Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail, a project established in 2004 that “focuses on the struggle African Americans, Native Americans, and women faced to receive an education in the commonwealth." You can read about those new sites here.


In other travel news, The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported on a new “passport program” that will allow K-12 students (and one adult) to visit the city’s museums, including the National Civil Rights Museum, for free this year. Read about the program here.


Until next week, stay well,


Michele “Scout” Johnson

Editor, H-South


This series of weekly posts to H-South, “Southern History and Civil Rights in the News,” aims to track informed public discussions of southern history and civil rights. To recommend a reading, please email Dr. Michele Johnson at