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Charles H. Houston was born in Washington, D.C., on September 3, 1895. After high school, Charles went on to attend Amherst College in 1911. There he was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He was picked to be valedictorian for graduation in 1915. Charles took a job at Howard University as a teacher which took him back to his hometown. After 2 years of teaching Charles joined the racially segregated U.S Army and became a 1st Lieutenant in Fort Meade, Maryland.
In 1919, Charles attended Harvard Law School where he earned a Bachelor of Law and Doctor of Law. He also became the 1st African American to hold the title as editor of the Harvard Law Review. He graduated cum laude and was also a member of the fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter established for African-Americans.
In 1924, Charles was admitted to District of Columbia bar, and he joined forces with his father practicing law. During the 1930s Charles was the first to serves as the 1st special counsel to the NAACP. He serves on a lot of the civil rights cases during that time and continuing forward.
Charles felt that unequal educations was the “Achilles heel of the Jim Crow”. He believed that states failure to try and live up to the 1896 rule of the “separate but equal”. He was seeking to overturn the Plessy v. Ferguson ruling because it gave birth to that phrase.
As pointed out in the movie “The Great Debaters” during and off campus debate, that the ideal of “separate by equal” was not being lived up to. States were spending way more for the education of white students than black students. Black schools were using leftover supplies and built with cheaper materials. Houston designed a strategy for attacking the segregation in law schools. His goal was to have to either integrate schools or have black law schools that were parallel to white law schools.
Charles arguments were used in Brown v. The Board of Education which broke down the barriers that were once held. Sadly, Charles was not able to see this come to light for the Brown v. Board of Education case do to his untimely death on 1950. The Brown v. Board of Education was in 1954. Charles was known as Thurgood Marshall’s mentor.
Charles died on April 22, 1950, at the age of 54 due to a heart attack. He was posthumously awarded the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal in 1950. The main building in Howard University Law was dedicated as Charles Hamilton Houston Hall in 1958. The Charles Houston Bar Association and the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law School (opened in 2005) were named after him.
The Charles Hamilton Houston Medallion of Merit is awarded by the Washington Bar Association yearly for an individual who has advanced the case of Houstonian jurisprudence.
Charles Hamilton Houston will always be known as “The Man Who Killed Jim Crow”.
On this episode of G.F.T. Radio we talked about celebrities being obligated to speak out on social issues. Do you believe celebrities have an obligation to the public? Take a listen and leave a comment.
Claudette Colvin was born on September 5, 1939. Mary Anne & C.P. Colvin adopted Claudette. Mary Anne was a maid and C.P. Colvin moved lawns for a living. Claudette learned a young against that her world was different. She was raised in a poor black neighborhood and saw first hand the struggle of segregation.
Claudette’s friend was put to death after a flirtation with a white girl. Seeing things like that made Claudette aspire to be a lawyer and fight for civil rights.
On March 2, 1955, after boarding a Montgomery Bus her life was set to change. On her way home from school, 15-year-old Claudette refused to give up her seat, and was dragged off the bus and charged with violating segregation laws, misconduct, and resisting arrest.
She was sitting the designated section for color people but due to the bus being crowded she was asked to move. So before you think of Rose Parks, know that Claudette was the first person arrested for disobeying bus segregation.
Claudette was looked at to be the face of the boycott movement, but due to her becoming pregnant it was not offered. Rosa Parks soon became the face of the boycott movement. Claudette did become apart of a lawsuit Browder v. Gayle. She was one of five plaintiffs.
After her case was over and the bus segregation ended, Claudette gave birth to her son Raymond on March 29, 1956. She had a hard time finding jobs so she life Montgomery for New York. After landing in New York, she found a job as a nurse’s aid and worked for 35 years. She has another son, who grew up to be an Accountant in Atlanta.
Claudette spoke of her bus incident to the Montgomery Advertiser, she had this to say:
“I feel very, very proud of what I did. I do feel like what I did was a spark and it caught on.” I’m not disappointed,” Colvin said. “Let the people know Rosa Parks was the right person for the boycott. But also let them know that the attorneys took four other women to the Supreme Court to challenge the law that led to the end of segregation.” via Wiki
She felt disappointed that she never got the recognition she deserved.
It’s almost that time! Yup, ?#GrownFolkTalkRadio? is back tonight at 10 PM. This week: Are Celebrities Obligated to Use Their Platform to Acknowledge Social Issues? Are They Sellouts If They Don’t? Is any race in particular held more accountable, than another? Which ones? How?
We’ll be discussing these and MUCH more so CALL IN!! Phone lines open up at 10:15 PM SHARP so call in at (657) 383-1155.
In this episode of G.F.T. Radio we discussed racial insecurities amongst all races. Why are certain things acceptable amongst one group and not another? We dig into the hypocrisy of racism.