In 1983, James DeClue beat James DeClue for the position of president of the St. Louis chapter of the NAACP. The Rev. James F. DeClue, a Baptist minister and corporate executive, led the city NAACP for much of the 1980s, despite a serious challenge from his cousin, the late Dr. James A. DeClue. The Rev. DeClue died last week at the age of 86.
Despite a musical career that has spanned decades and provided inspiration for the civil rights movement, until recently the only information available about the Staple Singers was from interviews, articles and songs.
A new biography by Chicago Tribune music critic Greg Kot changes all that by providing the back story of the musical family in book form for the first time. With a nod to two hit songs, the book is titled “I’ll Take You There: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers, and the March Up Freedom’s Highway.”
Before Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I have a dream” speech, before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, Emmett Till — a young, black Chicagoan — was murdered for whistling at a white woman in Mississippi.
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Emmett Till’s cousin, Simeon Wright, is in St. Louis to give a presentation about the Civil Rights Movement and share the personal story that led to his participation in it.
In the summer of 1963, hundreds of thousands across the nation converged on Washington, D.C. to march for jobs and freedom.
Meanwhile, back in St. Louis, local civil rights activists were gearing up for a demonstration of their own: a picket line and sit-in at Jefferson Bank, also calling for equal employment for African Americans. Despite being located in an African American neighborhood, the only African Americans employed by the bank worked as janitors.
As the daughter of civil rights figure and U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young, Paula Young Shelton found herself surrounded by many an activist during her childhood in Atlanta. Her fond recollections include spending time with her “Uncle Martin,” Martin Luther King Jr., and being carried on her father’s back during the Selma to Montgomery March as African Americans fought for equal voting rights. She captures and elaborates upon these moments in her children’s book, “Child Of The Civil Rights Movement.” She was in town recently with the Hands On Black History Museum to read her book to St.