Southern History and Civil Rights in the News 10 April 2021

Scout Johnson's picture

Southern History and Civil Rights in the News

10 April 2021


Racial violence against Asian Americans has been surging over the last few months but is nothing new. Kevin Waite wrote in The Atlantic this week about the KKK’s start in California in 1869, where the group’s target was the Chinese immigrant community.


Historian Kate Masur of Northwestern University had a piece this week in the Los Angeles Times about the civil rights battles that were occurring before the Civil War.


The Wilmington News Journal (OH) reported this week on a ceremony to honor the “Lincoln School Marchers,” a group of African American mothers and children who, for over two years after 1954’s Brown v Board decision marched daily to Hillsboro Elementary seeking admittance to the still-segregated school and became plaintiffs in one of the first test cases to ensure that Brown was upheld.


Two pieces on environmental justice this week: Politico reports that the US Department of Transportation has put a major highway project on hold in Houston, based on possible violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Also in Houston, as written by Aman Azhar of Inside Climate News, several flood control projects that were developed after 2017’s devastating Hurricane Harvey have been put on hold. In 2018, voters passed a $2.5b bond measure to finance projects to ameliorate some of the worst flood-prone areas. While typically such funds are spent in what is called the cost-benefit ratio, where the areas with the highest home values see these projects first, the County Commissioner’s Court required that the funds be spent per a new formula called the Equity Prioritization Framework, that would prioritize those areas in low-income neighborhoods that have been subjected to repeated flooding over the decades without seeing any flood relief projects. However, the Flood Control District returned a budget that once again privileged upscale white neighborhoods.


Scalawag reviewed the new podcast series “Seizing Freedom,” that uses first-hand accounts to tell the stories of African Americans who took control of their own lives after emancipation and worked to build lives and communities of meaning out of the ashes of slavery.


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