Yesterday’s issues still large part of today’s civil rights battle

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TRAYVON MARTIN RALLY IN THE HILL—City of Pittsburgh Police Commander Rashall Brackney and Rev. Glenn Grayson speak to protestors about where the community goes from here. (Courier Photos/J.L. Martello)

FREEDOM CORNER PROTEST FOR TRAYVON—City of Pittsburgh Police Commander Rashall Brackney and Rev. Glenn Grayson speak to protestors blocking traffic in the Hill District about where the community goes from here.                  (Courier Photo/J.L. Martello)

While it is hard for most of today’s Black youth to imagine a time when they could not sit in the front of a Port Authority bus or that they would have to get up and stand so that they could give up their seat to a White person on a crowded bus; or even that they could not use the same bathrooms and water fountains as Whites during a visit to a Pirates game at Forbes Field, it was only a little more than 50 years when Martin Luther King marched on Washington and gave his historic “I Have A Dream” speech, saying, “But 100 years later, the Negro is still not free. One-hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One-hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One-hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.”

IN ACTION—Pittsburgh Director of Public Safety Michael Huss speaks with LaTasha Mayes, Bekezela Mguni and Brandi Fisher during last year’s protest of Pittsburgh’s ‘Most Livable City” title at the Mayor’s Office. (Courier Photo/J.L. Martello)

IN ACTION—Pittsburgh Director of Public Safety Michael Huss speaks with LaTasha Mayes, Bekezela Mguni and Brandi Fisher during last year’s protest of Pittsburgh’s ‘Most Livable City” title at the Mayor’s Office. (Courier Photo/J.L. Martello)

While Blacks have won some battles for civil rights, for many the war still continues. Especially when there are stories of young Black men getting killed over “Stand Your Ground” laws; or state’s adopting discriminatory plans that set lower academic expectations for minorities because of the color of their skin and their nationality; and the ongoing legal battle over Voter’s Rights and whether one must use certain forms of identification to cast their ballot.

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