Category: activist

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Martin Luther King Jr. enjoys Sunday dinner

at home

after church with his wife Coretta and their children Yolanda, Marty, Dexter, and Bernice on November 8, 1964.

(Photos by Flip Schulke) 

Paul Robeson and his wife

Essie Robeson with actress Anna May Wong,

writer and playwright

S. I. Hsiung and opera singer Mei Lanfang in London, 1935.

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JET Magazine covers from 1964

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles, 1967.

Photos by Ernest Reshovsky

South African singer Miriam Makeba is photographed in May 1968 with new husband Stokely Carmichael, leader of the Black Panther Party, outside Carmichael’s mother’s Bronx, NY home. The couple then traveled to their wedding reception, held at the suburban New York home of Tanzanian ambassador Akili B.C. Danieli.

Happy Birthday Malcolm X! 

May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965

“They called me ‘the angriest Negro in America.’ I wouldn’t deny that charge. I spoke exactly as I felt. ‘I believe in anger. The Bible says there is a time for anger.’ They called me ‘a teacher, a fomentor of violence.’ I would say point blank, That is a lie. I’m not for wanton violence, I’m for justice. I feel that if white people were attacked by Negroes –

if the forces of law prove unable, or inadequate, or reluctant to protect those whites from those Negroes

then those white people should protect and defend themselves from those Negroes, using arms if necessary. And I feel that when the law fails to protect Negroes from whites’ attack, then those Negroes should use arms, if necessary, to defend themselves.“

(Photos by John Launois, 1964) 

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Coretta Scott King at Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom conference in Washington, D.C on March 28, 1968.

(Original Caption) Mrs. Martin Luther King presiding at conference of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – one of the world’s oldest peace organizations. The league presented a proposal for a Vietnam peace settlement and called for a “ceasefire now.“ Mrs. King said that “all women have a common bond – they don’t want their husbands and sons maimed and killed in war.”

John Lennon and Yoko Ono

donating their hair to

Michael X on the roof of Black House in Holloway Road, London on February 4, 1970 

London-based activist Michael X, reached out to John and Yoko after they made headlines for paying fines incurred by anti-apartheid activists who interrupted a rugby match between Scotland and South Africa. Inspired by the gesture, Michael asked John and Yoko to support the Black House, a home for disadvantaged youth in London. Having recently cut off their hair, they offered to exchange it for a pair of Muhammad Ali’s boxing shorts The hair was intended to be auctioned off to support the Black House and the shorts being sold to raise money for John and Yoko’s peace campaign. 

John and Yoko’s donation didn’t seem to have much impact. The Beatles Bible notes that there was never any proof that they put their own proceeds toward the peace campaign, and the Black House closed before the end of 1970, later burning down “in mysterious circumstances.”

Michael X, was later arrested for extortion following the Black House’s destruction (John Lennon paid his bail) and ultimately fleeing to his native Trinidad, where he started a commune that also burned in 1972. Investigators discovered corpses buried in shallow graves on the site, and he was hanged in 1975.

Malcolm X photographed by John Launois in Cairo, August 1964.

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Martin Luther King Jr. at home with his wife Coretta Scott

King

and their daughter Yolanda

King

in Montgomery, Alabama. May 1956.