A History of Challenging Jim Crow

The first real challenge to the constitutionality of state segregation laws came in 1938. Brown v. Board of Education In 1896, the Supreme Court upheld state racial segregation laws based on the “separate but equal” doctrine in Plessy v. Ferguson. The Court ruled that making a legal distinction between races did not violate the Thirteenth[…]

A History of the Red Scare – Again and Again

National and state officials initiated loyalty checks to identify and remove from office suspect government workers. “Un-American” Activities As fighting during World War II raged on, Allied leaders Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill grew suspicious of Joseph Stalin’s postwar plans for the Soviet Union. They came to realize that the Russian dictator could not be[…]

The Nudge and Tie Breaker That Took Women’s Suffrage from Nay to Yea in 1920

The final step toward ratification hinged on the decision of one young man in Tennessee: State Rep. Harry T. Burn. Introduction The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified 100 years ago this week, and it comprises just 39 words: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied[…]

Suffragists and Hunger Strikes in the Early 20th Century

How suffragists first used hunger strikes as a form of resistance and protest. Introduction Asylum seekers held in detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in California have launched a series of hunger strikes to demand personal protective equipment, medical care and provisional release as COVID-19 cases surge among incarcerated populations. In Kentucky, four activists went[…]