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Black and Progessive Sociologists for Obama posted a brief piece by the daughter of Viola Liuzzo. Like me, you may find the name sounds familiar, though you can’t quite place why:

Viola Liuzzo was a Detroit area housewife and mother of five whose best friend was her African American housekeeper. In defense of the dignity of her friend, she went to Selma to participate in the Selma voter registration campaign. She moved to Selma and lived in the public housing across the street from Brown Chapel. Brown Chapel was the staging area for the struggle.

As an aside, the picture that is often shown of of Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shaking hands was taken when they met in Brown Chapel during this campaign.

By the time of the Selma campaign, the SNCC workers had become very disillusioned with non-violence in the face of whites not practicing non-violence. The Klan, in complicity with Southern law enforcement, were carrying out murders with impugnity.

Also winter of 1965, there was a growing view in SNCC that Malcolm’s message of black self-determination was an important one. As a consequence, it was SNCC that invited Malcolm to the Selma struggle. Within weeks of this connection Malcolm was assassinated.

While these were the dynamics within the Selma campaign, few knew of the commitment of Viola Liuzzo commitment of this mother of five to the struggle. She became a martyr of the movement when she, being a white American, was killed driving marchers back to Selma from Montgomery. The deaths of blacks, versus that of whites, were generally dismissed. For whites on the other hand, white deaths got more coverage. The Liuzzo death was big. These events provide such power to the words of Sally Liuzzo, her daughter should not be dismissed a politics. RGN

In her post, Sally Liuzzo talks about his disappointment with racism in the 2008 presidential race and the legacy Viola Liuzzo left behind . Read more…


Back in June, Harlow’s Monkey published a great checklist of things to think about when parenting a child transracially or transnationally:

  • Will your child have any adult role models that reflect his race?
  • Who will your child see on television that positively and accurately reflects her race?
  • Are the only people of your child’s race or ethnicity working in service jobs? Or does your child see professionals of his race or ethnicity on a regular basis?
  • Who will your child date and/or go to Prom with? How will you prepare your child if he or she is only considered “friend” material because of his or her race?
  • Does your child think that all “brown” or Asian kids are adopted?
  • How will you feel about your child dating or marrying /partnering a person of his or her same race?
  • Do you expect your child will come to you with questions about race and racism?
  • Do you expect your child will tell you about his or her experiences with racism? Especially at school? And what if it involves teachers?
  • Do you have a difficult time believing that your child/family will be impacted by race? Do you believe things are “different now?”
  • Read more…

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    About Tami

    Tami Winfrey Harris writes about race, feminism, politics and pop culture at the blog What Tami Said. Her work has also appeared online at The Guardian’s Comment is Free, Ms. Magazine blog, Newsweek,, Huffington Post and Racialicious. She is a graduate of the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism. She is mom to two awesome stepkids and spends her spare time researching her family history and cultivating a righteous 'fro.
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