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
The 7-to-1 Supreme Court decision requires the lower court to apply a new, tougher test to the case: Schools challenged on race-based admissions policies must show that there are no workable, race-neutral alternatives to achieve diversity.
The US Supreme Court on Monday stopped short of striking down a race-based admissions program at the University of Texas and instead sent the case back to a lower court to undertake a more rigorous examination of whether the program violates equal protection rights of white students.