1956 - Present
The Crisis is restructured to The New Crisis and resumes publication in July with Paul Ruffins as editor. The Crisis announces Kweisi Mfume’s major nationwide endowment campaign for NAACP. A rally held at the Justice Department to withhold federal dollars on communities with recurring police brutality is covered in The Crisis. High profiles articles include: “New York Police are Out of Control,” by former New York City Mayor David Dinkins; “Du Bois and the Challenge of the Black Press,” by David Lever- ing Lewis; “Christmas is a Political Holiday,” by Rev. Jesse Jackson and “Integration is Yesterday’s Struggle,” by Dr. Glenn C. Loury.
Ida F. Lewis is named editor-in-chief of The New Crisis. NAACP Chairwom- an Myrlie Evers-Williams steps down and former Georgia state legislator, civil rights activist and broadcaster Julian Bond is elected chairman. Pulit- zer Prize-winning journalist Roger Wood Wilkins, nephew of Roy Wilkins, is named chairman and publisher of The Crisis Publishing Company, Inc. Articles featured include a cover article on Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, “Can This Man Keep Peace in the World?;” “Har- vard professor Derrick Bell: A Man of Principle;” a memorial “Remember- ing Clarence Mitchell;” President Clinton’s trip to Africa; and a profile on author Chinua Achebe. The Crisis investigates James Byrd Jr’s brutal racial murder, a lynching by dragging, in Jasper, TX and the conviction of NAACP official Vernon Dahmer’s killer. High profile contributors include: Amiri Baraka reviews the Civil Rights Movement; “Clinton in Crisis,” by Gwen Ifill; Roger Wilkins writes on, “Clinton: At Ease with Black People;” Barbara Reynolds investigates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s assassination; David Du Bois reflects on his father, W.E.B. Du Bois and Myrlie Evers- Williams pens, “A Black History Month Message.” At its annual meeting, the NAACP board votes that life members would only be entitled to The Crisis for ten years.
The Crisis mourns the death of Maybelle Ward. The Crisis cover stories range from “First Patriot, Crispus Attucks: The Founding Father of Black America” to “Lauryn Hill: Young, Gifted and Blessed” to “The Gospel According to Johnnie Cochran.” Roger Wilkins challenges readers with, “Who Needs the NAACP Anymore?” and Ralph Wiley writes on, “The Mind of Michael Jordan.” Other stories include: an investigation of un- armed African immigrant Amadou Diallo being gunned down by New York City police; Enolia McMillan: the first woman president of the NAACP; a profile on Marian Wright Edelman; the National Portrait Galleries painting of historic black women; and “Musings of Abbey Lincoln.” A NAACP/Crisis 90 year timeline is published to celebrate the 90th anniversaries.
The Crisis mourns the death of Earl T. Shinhoster, Interim Executive Direc- tor of the NAACP, who is killed in a car accident. The NAACP Strategic Blueprint for the next 10 years is unveiled. As we usher in the millennium, editor Ida Lewis recognizes NAACP leadership with cover stories: Julian Bond, “Still Spearheading the Cause of Racial Justice;” “Mildred Bond Roxborough: NAACP’s Indomitable Heroine;” “Vernon Jarrett: Pied Piper of Black Youth Excellence;” and Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP Washington Bureau. The Crisis 90th anniversary issue opens with a con- gratulatory letter from President Bill Clinton and is packed with historical articles and reprints from The Crisis. There is a special feature on, “Elec- tion 2000: Levering the Black Vote.” The NAACP branches report an in- crease in police abuse and The Crisis examines the Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act introduced by Congressman John Conyers. A march on Florida’s state capitol on affirmative action draws approximately 50,000 protesters. The NAACP’s hearing on the lack of diversity on network television is featured in the magazine. Joe Madison visits the Sudan and reports on, the “Horror of Slavery in Sudan;” a profile on TransAfrica’s Randall Robinson; “Why Sexism Should Top the Civil Rights Agenda,” by Judy Simmons; and “A Tribute to Sarah Vaughn,” by Amiri Baraka are included this year. Former Black Enterprise editor, Phil Petrie, steps in as interim editor. The Crisis mourns the death of fomer associate publisher, Jerry Guess.
Former White House press agent Victoria Valentine joins The Crisis as editor. The format is redesigned to include additional sections as: Up Front - news briefs; The Color Line - discussing issues of race; Crisis Forum - spotlights African American culture and the arts; and Backstory- a personal essay. The Crisis excerpts David Levering Lewis’, Volume II, W.E.B. Du Bois, The Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919 – 1963, which wins a Pulitzer Prize for this Crisis board member. The civil rights photos of Jim Hinton are featured and the NAACP joins the class action suit against Florida over the 2000 presidential vote count. The NAACP an- nounces the election of Roslyn M. Brock as the youngest and first woman to serve as vice chairman. The Crisis examines private prisons profiting
at the expense of women of color, profile of Dr. Ruth Simmons who is named the first African American woman president of Brown University and other African American women college presidents. The Crisis reports on the guilty verdict of Ex-Klansman Thomas Blanton, Jr. who is found guilty of plotting the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church that killed four black girls. The Crisis excerpts Roger Wilkins’, Jefferson’s Pillow that discusses black patriotism. The future of black youth leader- ship; Ella Baker, Godmother of the student movement, and campus activism are examined. There are stories on the NAACP reactivating the Prison Project; “Race and the Death Penalty;” “The Changing Face of Racism;” Census 2000 and race; global racism; and a profile on Vernon Jordan. Other articles include Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Les Payne on, “Malcolm X: Hero of History’s Footnote?”and scholar Ronald Walters on, “Bush is President: Will We Count?” A special education issue looks
at Ronald Paige, secretary of education; the state of HBCUs; and “the achievement gap separating black and Latino students from white and Asian students. The Crisis examines a Harvard report that states schools are more racially segregated now
and spotlights Ella Baker. Scholar Tricia Rose investigates Hip Hop at the crossroads and Russell Simmons’ sum- mit of artists and black leaders. There are memorials on the deaths of renowned artist John Biggers; Leon Sullivan, who headed the movement for divestment in South Africa; musician John Lewis; singer and actress Aaliyah tragically killed in a plane crash and pioneering advertising execu- tive Caroline Jones. And, The Crisis remembers Myrlie Evers’ Williams’
son, Darrell Evers. The Crisis has a cover story on the complexity of black patriotism and a feature looking at the tragedy of 9/11 with “September 11 and Beyond.”
September 11, 2001 is memorialized in The Crisis. The story, “National Security Concerns Must Not Trample Our Constitutional Rights,” is a look at post 9/11 America. The Crisis celebrates Langston Hughes, “The Bard of Black America,” on his 100th birthday with a special issue remembering the prolific literary legend whose words capture the texture of black life. Fellow Harlem Renaissance writer and Crisis contributor Arna Bontemps is also honored on the centennial of his birth with a cover feature. The Crisis examines the University of Mississippi on the 40th anniversary of its integration by James Meredith and black and white women collaborat- ing during the civil rights movement in what was called, “Wednesdays in Mississippi.” Historian Manning Marable investigates, “Selling Malcolm: Black History on the Auction Block,” a controversial unauthorized auc- tion. TransAfrica’s new agenda is explored after the departure of founder Randall Robinson. Articles include, “Cellblocks or Classrooms;” prostate cancer and black men; and black churches taking the lead in AIDS out- reach among African Americans. The death of jazz great Lionel Hampton is observed by Gene Seymour. Other memorials include, “Defining June Jordan” and author Claude Brown. The Crisis reports on the Miami NAACP push for more police accountability. The 25th anniversary of the landmark television mini-series, “Roots” is observed. The NAACP and the Black Farmers Association attend a goodwill trade mission to Cuba and Kweisi Mfume decries President Robert Mugabe’s strong-arm tactics against an opposition party in Zimbabwe. The Crisis recognizes Congressman John Lewis as the recipient of the 87th Springarn Medal.
The Crisis drops “New” from its title.The Crisis salutes the 100th anniver- sary of W.E.B. Du Bois’ milestone book, The Souls of Black Folk, with a cover feature by historian David Levering Lewis. Other Crisis cover stories include: “Not Married with Children,” an investigation on 70 percent of black children born out of wedlock; direct descents of slaves fight for reparations; and the 40th anniversary of the March on Washington. Articles include: Derrick Bell on law and literature; a look at civil rights activist “Bayard Rustin: The Invisible Man Behind the Scenes;” and race- based politics sending GOP election victory in the south. Gender politics in the black community; the historic rise in the prison population and Af- rican American faith in Islam are discussed. Sports writer William Rhoden investigates, “The Color Line: Arthur Ashe, Still Waiting on Black Athletes to Heed his Call to Glory.” “Black Catholic Roots,” explores black saints, black popes and black church leaders. There are articles on government policies making blacks house poor; a FCC ruling threatens diversity in broadcast ownership; and a profile on Rep. Elijah Cummings, new head of the Congressional Black Caucus. On the education front, The Crisis studies whether college students could decide the 2004 election; HBCUs tackling homophobia with diversity initiatives; lack of women and minorities in the technology workforce; and strategies for improving public schools. In entertainment, there are stories on Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder; the Stax Music Museum; star and activist Danny Glover; and literary legend Zora Neale Hurston. Memorials include: soul’s high priestess Nina Simone; Maynard H. Jackson Jr. the first black mayor of Atlanta; Zina Garrison recalls the legacy of tennis great Althea Gibson; broadway pro- ducer George Wolfe pens a tribute to the late Gregory Hines; Charlayne Hunter-Gault writes on Walter Sisulu, South Africa’s quiet warrior. Judge Constance Baker Motley receives the 88th Spingarn Award.
The Crisis remembers board member, fellow journalist, and ACT-SO found- er Vernon Jarrett. The Crisis spotlights the presidential election between George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry with a special issue. During elec- tion year, topics range from, “Who Will Win the Swing Vote” to “Battle- ground States” to raising money to support black women politicians to the NAACP outreach to young voters at hip-hop concerts. There is a cover photo of democratic strategist Donna Brazile in which she demands respect for black voters. Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder discusses his campaign for mayor of Richmond. A pictorial essay on the presidential campaign’s chief photographers Sharon Farmer and Eric Draper, who are black, is presented by photography historian Deborah Willis-Kennedy.
The Crisis looks back at Freedom Summer 1964 remembering Fannie Lou Hamer and Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman. The NAACP marks the 50th Anniversary of the Brown Decision with a year-long celebration. Articles include, “Ralph Bunche at 100: A Diplomat for the Ages;” an interview with Colin Powell on Iraq and his legacy; and, “Thurgood Marshall, My Father,” by Thurgood Marshall Jr. The Emmett Till murder case is reopened; the NAACP archive is reported as the largest at five million pieces and most used at the Library of Congress; and Eddie Williams steps down from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. A special issue on the state of African American health examines mental illness, heart disease, obesity, cancer, smoking and young, and black women with AIDs. Bill Cosby raises controversy for comments on the state of the black community; a profile on acclaimed choreographer Bill T. Jones; and the renowned quilts of Gees Bend, AL are displayed. Memorials include: Ray Charles; music artist Rick James and Charles Duncan, former dean of Howard University Law School who worked on Brown v. Board of Educa- tion. A Crisis special issue on African American soldiers sharing stories on the Iraq war includes Afro Iraqis and the country’s history of slavery. The Crisis reports on Rwanda’s legacy of genocide.
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