Race relations in Philadelphia, Miss. have come a long way since 1964 when three civil rights activists were murdered there, inspiring the movie “Mississippi Burning.”
Today, James Young (r.), the town’s first black mayor, sits in a diner with James David Williams (l.), who says he didn’t vote for the Young, but that he plans to next time. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
Elementary school students in Philadelphia, Miss. today know nothing but racial integration. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
Juan Perkins marched as a child in 1960s civil rights demonstrations that are commemorated in a sculpture behind him in Birmingham, Ala. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
Barbara Anderson passes through a re-creation of the dogs sicced on civil rights marchers like her parents in 1960s Birmingham, Ala. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
The Birmingham Civil Rights District was the scene of events – including riots and a deadly church arson – that turned US opinion against segregation. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
In a scene not possible in the segregated South of the past, a white bag boy helps black shoppers load groceries in their car at Williams Brothers Store in Philadelphia, Mississippi. The store has been in business since 1907. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
The Philadelphia High School band – an 80-member, multiracial team – practices on game day. The Philadelphia school district was just released from 41 years of court oversight for integration – and the federal judge noted that not a single white student in the 2009-10 school year decided to transfer out of the majority-black district. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
Minnie Norfleet (r.), on her porch in Selma, Ala., lives in a neighborhood that used to be all white, but is now mostly black. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
After having made his money in Atlanta and New York, Willie Griffin followed his wife to Selma, Ala., where the two bought a downtown warehouse to convert into a storefront and loft condos. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
The Ebenezer Baptist Church congregation in Atlanta now meets in a new sanctuary across the road from the original edifice where Martin Luther King Jr. preached. Pastors continue Ebenezer’s legacy of social justice. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff
Tuesday's US Supreme Court decision upholds a ban on affirmative action in college admissions only in Michigan. Experts say it opens the door for lawmakers or voters in other states to establish bans of their own.
The US Supreme Court decision Tuesday upholding a Michigan voter initiative that bans the use of race-based admission policies at the state’s public universities may not have immediate impact for colleges outside of Michigan, but it gives a go-ahead signal to other states contemplating similar initiatives –and sends a message about where America's highest court stands on affirmative action.