civil rights

The Rhode Island General Assembly’s Rev. Dr. Martln Luther King Jr., celebration will be held on Monday, January 19th at the Ebenezer Baptist Church on Cranston Street in Providence.

The official celebration of the civil rights leader’s life is free and open to the public, says Rep. Raymond Hull, D-Providence, chairman of the Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission.

Hull will serve as master of ceremonies for the event and Sen. Harold Metts, D-Providence, will also have a speaking role and will lead a Pledge of Non-Violence.

Fifty years ago Thursday President Lyndon Johnson lit the National Christmas Tree and said quote, ``These are the most hopeful times in all the years since Christ was born in Bethlehem.’’ Those words would come back to haunt him. It’s documented in a book by former Brown University professor James Patterson, Eve of Destruction.

Despite the assassination of President Kennedy a year earlier, Americans were prosperous and optimistic. But in Just a few months, that would all start to erode.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Providence has dropped its lawsuit against the bank Santander. The suit filed back in May claimed the bank deliberately limited lending in minority neighborhoods while expanding lending in white ones.

At the time, lawyers called the bank’s lending practices a civil rights issue. Less than six months later, they settled. Santander will make $1.3 million in grants going to the Providence Community Library, arts organization AS220, and a non-profit that will help low-income residents secure a mortgage.

About 20 Salve Regina students will be doing something different on their spring break this year. They will be taking a civil rights bus tour to learn more about the movement. The tour bus will stop at key sites from the era and the students will interact with former participants. Salve Regina associate professor of religion and theology Dr. Anthony LoPresti said he hopes his students will recognize that racism still remains an issue in our society today.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

August 28th marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Best known for Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, it was also a pivotal moment in the history of the civil rights movement.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Flo Jonic talks with a Rhode Islander who was one of the quarter-of-a-million people there.

Monteiro went on to work as a body guard for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the Selma to Montgomery march. He describes the slain civil rights leader as a quiet man who enjoyed a good joke.

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