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Issue No. 6
August 20, 2013
Two Sides

Rodney Reynolds Publisher

The writer Ralph Ellison wrote that "it is well that we keep in mind the fact that not all American history is recorded" and that "we possess two basic versions of American history: one which is written and as neatly stylized as ancient myth, and the other unwritten and as chaotic and full of contradictions, changes of pace and surprises as life itself. In other words, there are two sides to our history, hence the name of our newsletter. Here we will attempt to leave that second, obscure history unwritten no longer.

A Time to Be Proactive

In this edition of our E-Newsletter we celebrate and commemorate the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs And Freedom. On August 24, thousands of Americans from across the country will gather once again
in our nation's capital to advocate for jobs, justice, and freedom. While this marks the 50th anniversary of the original march, many of the
issues behind it remain the same. Today we are still fighting to defend
the voting rights act. We are still fighting for our children and youth to receive a good education (something that they deserve) and for enhanced job opportunities.
We are even fighting for our youth to be treated equally in the eyes of the law and not profiled because of their race.
      It is my hope that today's marchers will return to their individual communities and respond to the call to do what they can to enrich them. To make our communities safe havens for our children. To build up our communities and strengthen them economically. To educate our children so that they can come back, give back, and maintain the cycle of nurturing and
success. It's now the job of all of us today to add to the foundation that was started in 1963. 
Are you prepared to respond? For the sake of all Americans now and in generations to come,
I certainly hope so.


History Keepers

Velma and Norman Hill
at their home in
New York City.

With the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington just a week away, it's a good time to think about the folks who dedicated and sometimes sacrificed their lives to the
civil rights movement. Too often, though, we remember those individuals who have become icons, MLK, Rosa Parks,
Malcolm X, a few names come easily to mind. We dig deeper: A. Philip Randolph, Medgar Evers, Ida B. Wells, Fannie Lou Hamer, John Lewis, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth-there are many more, of course, all key players, (almost all since passed on). Still, there are people those who worked behind the scenes; those whose actions although effective, did not make national news; those without whose sacrifice and sustained dedication, the civil rights movement would not have succeeded.
     Five years ago American Legacy featured a story
about Norman and Velma Hill, longtime activists who in 1960 began their career fighting for civil and workers' rights on a beach on the south shore of Chicago's Lake Michigan. It ended in a vicious attack that had serious consequences for the Hills. Velma lost a baby as a direct result of her head injury, and was tragically never able to have a child. But this did not stop her or Norman from steaming ahead full force into lives of activism. For years they worked closely with civil rights and labor leaders

A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin on campaigns such as the 1963 March on Washington
for Jobs and Freedom. The last part of the march's name was
 deliberate-"for us, along with Randolph and Bayard, the economic component was essential in obtaining freedom and
equality for black people," says Norman
 Hill in a forthcoming memoir about his and Velma's life together ...



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The (Back) Story 
A. Philip Randolph at Lincoln Memorial during March on Washington, 1963. To Randolph's left is civil rights leader and future U.S. Representative John Lewis.
At 74, A. (Asa) Philip Randolph (1889-1979), the founder and president of the powerful union the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, approached the planning of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom with the full knowledge of the impact it would have. More than two decades earlier, in 1941, Randolph had threatened President Franklin D. Roosevelt with a similar peaceful demonstration, "A Call to Negro America to March on Washington for Jobs and Equal Participation in National Defense." Hundreds of thousands of African-Americans had come up against roadblocks that prevented them for getting jobs in the defense industries in advance of helping U.S. allies in the approaching world war. Randolph wanted the obstacles-Jim Crow laws-rendered obsolete by an executive order from the President that was not forthcoming. The march, to be held July 1,1941, promised to be quite a spectacle with 100,000 people predicted to descend on the nation's capital-a nightmare for the Roosevelt Administration that feared racial ...


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From The Archives
American Legacy honors Earl Graves, David Dinkins and Bill Russell at its Men of Honor & Distinction reception. Honorees participating in forum with youth from area high schools. (November 2006).

Back(Story) Extra
Bayard Rustin (1912-1987) the American civil rights activist whose brilliant strategizing brought about the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom will be posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom this year. Over a 60-year career Rustin brought his brand of activism, fueled by his deep belief in Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence to the American civil rights movement, inspiring Martin Luther King, Jr. and

and other leaders to his way of thinking. Labeled a "troublemaker" for his skills at galvanizing citizens around successful protests and other actions, Rustin also caught the attention of the FBI and segregationist politicians such as Sen. Strom Thurmond, who attempted to use his homosexuality against him in an effort to derail the march. The harassment and unwanted spotlight on Rustin forced him to remain the power behind the scenes of what was inarguably one of the crowning achievements of his civil rights career, but it did not erase his pivotal role in American history. In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the ...



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In This Issue
Rainbow Beach
In August of 1960 Velma Murphy and her then fiancé Norman Hill led 30
members of the South Side NAACP Youth Council and students at the University of Chicago to Rainbow Beach
See Full Article
Black History Fact
John Henry Merrick founded the oldest and largest African American life insurance company in the US - North Carolina Mutual Insurance Co. For more info on Dr. John Merrick Click Here!

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"The preservation of African-American history is our responsibility.
 We must strive everyday to hold our history in trust for the unborn."
Rodney J. Reynolds
Founder & Publisher
American Legacy Magazine

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