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Hello world!

Posted on: May 16th, 2014 by benita 1 Comment

Welcome to WordPress Mu – Production Sites. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Hello world!

Posted on: October 7th, 2013 by benita 1 Comment

Welcome to WordPress Mu – Production Sites. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Hello world!

Posted on: October 2nd, 2013 by benita 1 Comment

Welcome to Test WP Sites. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Hello world!

Posted on: September 29th, 2013 by benita 1 Comment

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

John Michael Doar

Posted on: July 18th, 2012 by benita

As a young attorney working  within the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, John Doar was in downtown Jackson in June, 1963 to  prevent a riot following the assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers.  Doar placed himself between angry black youths and a double line of heavily armed,  police ready to move in with clubs and guns.  Sidestepping stones and bottles he moved along Farrish Street urging the mob to put down their weapons.  “My name is John Doar, D-O-A-R,” he shouted.  “I’m from the Justice Department, and anybody around here knows I stand for what is right.”

In September of 1962, John Doar stood with James Meredith in the doorway outside Room 1007 on the  10th floor of the State Office Building in Jackson as his Meredith’s attempt to register as the first black student at the University of Mississippi was blocked by Governor Ross Barnett.  Doar said to Governor Barnett, ” I call on you to permit us to go on in and see Mr. Ellis and get this young man registered.”  Doar’s request was met with shouts of “No! No!” and then “Get going! Get going!”   “Thank you, and we leave politely,” Doar said.

When not preventing riots or confronting governors, Doar was usually working tirelessly to protect the voting rights of black southernors.  In the end, it was Doar’s dogged work that provided, in his words, “a clear demonstration” that the old laws did not work and that new protections were needed.  Doar, as the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, watched President Johnson sign into law in August of 1965 the Voting Rights Act.  Doar described the Act as “one of the greatest pieces of legislation ever enacted.”

Doar was very sympathetic to the goals of the Mississippi Summer Project.  He spoke at the Ohio training sessions attended by Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner.  “I admire what you intend to do,” he told the young volunteers.  Then he warned them that the federal government could not protect them from violence: “There is no federal police force.”

Doar was the first federal official notified of the disappearance of the three civil rights workers near Philadelphis, Mississippi.  At !:30 A.M.  on June 22, 1964, Doar received a call from an Atlanta SNCC worker telling him that the three were hours overdue from their trip to Neshoba County.  Doar told the worker to contact the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, and soon thereafter invested the FBI with authority to enter the case.

Doar was the obvious choice as lead prosecutor in the Mississippi Burning Trial.  Two years earlier in Alabama, Doar had successfully prosecuted white supremacist Collie Leroy Wilkins for the murder  of Viola Liuzzo.  The conviction, based on a federal civil rights law and obtained from an all-white jury, was the first ever in Alabama for the death of a civil rights worker.

Doar was born in Minneapolis in 1921.  He graduated from St. Paul Academy, Princeton, and Boalt Hall School of Law.  He was practicing law in Wisconsin in 1960 when asked to take a job in the Justice Department that Doar said “no one else wanted.”  Doar left government service after seven years, and has subsequently remained in private practice in New York, except for a brief stint in 1974 as counsel to the House Judiciary Committee during the Nixon impeachment crisis.

Fellow civil rights attorney William Taylor said Doar had “a clear vision of what was unjust and intolerable, and he kept focused on that.”  Doar is, Taylor said, “a great man, a hero.”

Doar is a recipient of the 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Mr. Harry Belafonte

Posted on: July 18th, 2012 by benita

Award-winning Harry Belafonte is as well known for his social activism and pursuit of social justice as he is for his acting and musical talent. His album Calypso made him the first artist in history to sell more than one million LPs. He won a Tony award for his Broadway debut in “John Murray Anderson Almanac” and an Emmy for “An Evening with Belafonte,” in which he was also the first black producer in television. He was also awarded the National Medal for the Arts by President Clinton.

He has been equally recognized in the social justice arena, with honors such as The Albert Einstein Award from Yeshiva University, the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Prize, and the Nelson Mandela Courage Award, as well as awards from the American Jewish Congress, the NAACP, the City of Hope, Fight for Sight, The Urban League, The National Conference of Black Mayors, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, the ACLU, the State Department, the Boy Scouts of America, Hadassah International, and the Peace Corps.

Over the decades, Mr. Belafonte has worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., President John F. Kennedy, and Nelson Mandela, and was the driving force behind the 1985 “We Are the World” project to help people affected by war, drought, and famine in Africa. He has served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and is a recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors for excellence in the performing arts.

Posted on: June 19th, 2012 by benita