Showing posts with the label civil rights

Two Civil Rights Leaders at the Pearly Gates

It is rare that I speculate about the after life and rarer still that I anthropomorphize it, but I suppose childhood visions of heaven get stuck in our heads.   I amused myself while trying to fall asleep last night with this vision. The line-up was longer than usual at check-in, due to COVID-19 and the sheer psychic exhaustion of 2020.  C.T. Vivian and John Lewis stood in the line and were enjoying a catch-up when someone shuffled up behind them. "Yes, lads. What are we at?" Their first reaction was alarm.  Lads??????  They turned around slowly.  "Oh, it's OK.  It's just John Hume from Derry. Great to see you, John."   "Good to see youse both." As they began with pleasantries fit for men of their situation (Do you think they'll have baps/fritters/fifteens/fill-in-the-blank -- because the doctor has had me on a scarcity diet for the past two decades.....,) they were interrupted by a call from an ambient loudspeaker inviting "Joh

The Museum of Free Derry Needs to Keep the Names Up

The Museum of Free Derry has recently drawn fire from all sides for an exhibit that lists the names of all those killed in the area during the early Troubles.  On one hand, relatives of RUC officers killed during the Troubles "find it disgraceful " that their loved ones are identified in a space they consider a bastion of republicanism and which supports "terrorism."  On the other hand, some relatives of Bloody Sunday victims and others object to the full display of names of those killed on the grounds that it shows "complete disrespect for those on the list that have been murdered by the establishment" by having members of "the establishment" listed alongside the Bloody Sunday dead and other victims of state violence.  While the exhibit has been up for a decade, it has received attention recently because of the reopening of the museum after renovations. I was so glad that the Museum of Free Derry received £2.4m to fund renovations and an ex

LIve on Grundy CountyTV with my Students

This was a really fun TV appearance with three of my best and most delightful students. There is so much I could say here about our Highlander efforts and about how hard these students work, but you should just watch the segment:

Bishop Edward Daly, 1933-2016: May You Find Your Own Heart's Ease, Bishop Daly

Bishop Edward Daly passed away today. He leaves behind a lifetime's commitment to his corner of the world and a faith that expressed itself in innumerable ways. Priest, bishop, historian, author, writer, archivist,  performance director, radio and television producer, hospice chaplain, brother, friend. He was so many things. Most of all, he was a decent and a good man.

Low Voter Turnout in Derry Dishonors the Past

According to Northern Ireland elections statistics, only 56% of registered voters in the Foyle District turned out to vote in last month's elections.  As an historian of Derry, this breaks my heart a little. Look at the photo to the left.  Those are real people.  Historical figures, some of them, like Eddie McAteer and Bernadette Devlin McAliskey. Civil rights steward Vinnie Coyle.  Others, probably, not known to me.  And then the faces of the young, the hopeful, the indignant, the worried.  The faces of the civil rights movement.   Which -- of course -- was in large part a movement for for the right for every adult citizen to have a vote.