Historical past & Hope: Lawyer throughout civil rights motion sees enchancment in combat for Black rights

History & Hope: Civil rights advocate sees improvement in the fight for black rights

Hearst Television is celebrating black history this month with bold conversation. The struggle for civil rights and justice goes back generations and has looked different every decade. We speak to church leaders, elders – those who have seen victories and difficult times, to share their experiences and compare them to the one we still struggle with today.

From Baltimore to the White House, Larry Gibson overcame poverty and segregation and became a civil rights advocate who helped free a group of falsely accused protesters.

It was a film that revealed the truth about what decades before cell phone video became the catalyst for today’s movement.

“The civil rights insurrection began in earnest around the time I went to college with the city movements. I was excited to be returning to Baltimore to demonstrate sit-in in restaurants,” Gibson said in an interview with Tre Ward, a reporter with sister channel WBAL-TV.

Gibson graduated from Columbia University in New York with a law degree in 1967, a year before an American tragedy changed his plans.

“That year Martin Luther King was assassinated. People reacted in many ways to the assassination of Martin Luther King. Some people left the country. Others joined different types of organizations,” Gibson said. “My principle was, ‘I’m not going to work for the man! What’s the biggest black law firm in town?'”

One particular case brought Gibson back to Baltimore, where he grew up.

“I think the police are just fed up with this embarrassing demonstration. They came across the street to the protesters, said vacation, and when they didn’t, they arrested them. They were accused of causing a riot.” Said Gibson. “A cameraman called me – he was living in Philadelphia at the time – and said, ‘Mr. Gibson, I’ve been following this process and what the cops say is not true. I was there, but I filmed it too.'”

The video confirmed the protesters in 1970, decades before cellphone video recorded multiple arrests and sparked a nationwide movement.

“Freddie Gray should have been taken right down this street, right down Mount Street to this station after he was arrested, if he ever got arrested,” Gibson said.

With his civil rights history, Gibson gave his opinion when he saw that the recent riots and police officers were, in many cases, not condemned.

“Things are changing, and I think they are probably changing in a positive way. There have been many demonstrations where the vast majority of the people were not African American. There have been demonstrations around the world, inequalities, and more and more Americans are understanding this is not the case. ” enough not to discriminate only individually but the need for them to study and address the problems of the systemic race. There are improvements. Things are getting better, but we still have a long way to go, “said Gibson.

Gibson also served as assistant attorney general under the Carter administration. He is currently a law professor at the University of Maryland’s Carey School of Law, where he once taught the late MP Elijah Cummings.

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