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Friday, March 20, 2009

Entrepreneurial civil rights

Peter, to give you (and anyone else who makes it to the ILS seminar in Windsor) a taste of what to expect tomorrow, here's Damon Root reviewing David Beito's book on the entrepreneurial civil rights leader T.R.M. Howard in Reason:

Howard “consistently pushed an agenda of self-help, black business, and political equality whenever opportunities arose,” write David T. Beito, a professor of history at the University of Alabama, and his wife Linda Royster Beito, a professor of social sciences at Stillman College, in their captivating and vividly detailed new biography, Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard’s Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power. Born in 1908 in the small tobacco town of Murray, Kentucky, T.R.M. Howard came to the Mississippi Delta in 1941 to serve as chief surgeon of the Taborian Hospital, an institution catering to poor and middle-class blacks. It was run by the International Order of Twelve Knights and Daughters of Tabor, a 50,000-member African-American fraternal society dedicated to “Christianity, education, morality and temperance and the art of governing, self reliance, and true manhood and womanhood.” [...]

In 1951, when Howard was already one of the wealthiest and most successful African Americans in Mississippi, he founded the Regional Council of Negro Leadership (RCNL), a pioneering civil rights outfit that, among other projects, organized economic boycotts (“Don’t Buy Gas Where You Can’t Use the Restroom”) and hounded state and local officials to meet their legal obligations to fund black and white facilities equally. In 1954, when segregationists started pressuring banks and retailers to freeze civil rights activists’ credit, Howard convinced the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), as well as various black churches and other affected groups, to deposit their money in the black-owned Tri-State Bank of Memphis (where Howard was a board member), allowing African Americans to flex some of their growing economic muscle in the fight against Jim Crow. [...]

Unlike other prominent civil rights leaders, though, Howard had little patience for the utopian schemes of the far left, declaring at one point that he wished “one bomb could be fashioned that would blow every Communist in America right back to Russia where they belong.” In a similar vein, he maintained, “There is not a thing wrong with Mississippi today that real Jeffersonian democracy and the religion of Jesus Christ cannot solve.”

Read the rest.

Posted by Kalim Kassam on March 20, 2009 | Permalink


Another Black hero.

Posted by: dewp | 2009-03-20 6:49:31 PM

"entrepreneurial civil rights"

The sheer magnitude of this oxymoron is astounding. If you're any kind of libertarian the phrase "civil rights" should make you puke on sight.

Oh, I see it's Kalim, the guy who refers to Richard Warman as an "anti racism activist", makes sense now :-)

This Howard fellow has a long history of forcing private businesses to do business with and hire quotas of black people. We freedom lovers oppose that and I'm surprised to see a libertarian present this individual so positively.

Liberty. Forced assimilation. Pick one.

Posted by: Buzzzzzzzz | 2009-03-21 4:05:30 AM

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