Operation Breadbasket was an organization dedicated to improving the economic conditions of black communities across the United States of America.
Operation Breadbasket was founded as a department of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1962, and was operated by Rev. Fred C. Bennette of Atlanta. The first activities were in Atlanta and other Southern cities.
A key figure in the later history of Operation Breadbasket was Jesse Jackson. In 1964, Jackson left his native South Carolina to study at the Chicago Theological Seminary. He participated in SCLC’s movement in Selma. Although Martin Luther King, Jr., SCLC’s president, was suspicious of Jackson’s personal ambition, the group gradually gave him greater responsibilities. When Jackson returned from Selma, he threw himself into SCLC’s effort to establish a beachhead in Chicago.
In 1966, SCLC selected Jackson to be head of the Chicago chapter of its Operation Breadbasket. Influenced by the example of Rev. Leon H. Sullivan in Philadelphia, a key goal of the organization was to foster “selective buying” (boycotts) as a means to pressure white businesses to hire blacks and purchase goods and services from black contractors. Sullivan’s plan was not without its predecessors. One was Dr. T.R.M. Howard, a wealthy doctor and community leader on the South Side and key financial contributor to Operation Breadbasket. Before he moved from Mississippi to Chicago, Howard had developed a national reputation as a civil rights leader, surgeon, and entrepreneur.
Excerpts from The Autobiography Of Martin Luther King, Jr.
The most spectacularly successful program in Chicago was Operation Breadbasket. Operation Breadbasket had a very simple program but a powerful one: “If you respect my dollar, you must ‘P respect my person.” The philosophical undergirding of Operation :; Breadbasket rested in the belief that many retail business and consumer goods industries depleted the ghetto by selling to Negroes without returning to the community any of the profits through fair hiring practices. To reverse this pattern Operation Breadbasket committees selected a target industry, then obtained the employment statistics of individual companies within it. If the proportion of Negro employees was unsatisfactory, or if they were confined to the menial jobs, the company was approached to negotiate a more equitable employment practice. Leverage was applied where necessary through selective buying campaigns organized by the clergymen through their congregations and through the movement. They simply said, “We will no longer spend our money where we cannot get substantial jobs.”
By 1967 SCLC had Operation Breadbasket functioning in some twelve cities, and the results were remarkable. In Chicago, Operation Breadbasket successfully completed negotiations with three major industries: milk, soft drinks, and chain grocery stores. Four of the companies involved concluded reasonable agreements only after short “don’t buy” campaigns. Seven other companies were able to make the requested changes across the conference table, without necessitating a boycott. Two other companies, after providing their employment information to the ministers, were sent letters of commendation for their healthy equal-employment practices. The net results added up to approximately eight hundred new and upgraded jobs for Negro employees, worth a little over $7 million in new annual income for Negro families. We added a new dimension to Operation Breadbasket. Along with requesting new job opportunities, we requested that businesses with stores in the ghetto deposit the income for those establishments in Negro-owned banks, and that Negro-owned products be placed on the counters of all their stores.
A suspect in the killing of nine people at a historic African-American church in South Carolina has been arrested, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said.
Officials earlier named 21-year-old Dylann Storm as the man they were looking for in connection with the shooting in Charleston.
Police said the gunman sat in a bible study meeting for up to an hour before opening fire, killing six women and three men including the church pastor.
Officials have called it a hate crime.
Ms Lynch said the Justice Department would look at all the facts and motivations to determine the best way to proceed with any prosecution over the shooting.
US media reported that Mr Storm was arrested in Selby, North Carolina, some 13 hours after the shooting.
It followed the release of surveillance images of what police described as a young white man arriving at the church an hour before shooting occurred on Wednesday evening.
The killings have sent shockwaves through a community that has already experienced racial tension.
The shooting two months ago of Walter Scott, an unarmed black man by a white police officer in North Charleston, prompted angry protests. The officer has since been charged with murder.
Nine people have died in a shooting at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina.
City police chief Gregory Mullen described the attack at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church as a “hate crime”.
Police later issued surveillance images of the suspect – a white male in his 20s – and a vehicle.
The church’s pastor, state Senator Clementa Pinckney, is reported to be among the dead.
A prayer meeting was going on at the time of the shooting at about 21:00 local time on Wednesday (01:00 GMT Thursday) at the church in Calhoun Street.
Police issued an initial description of the suspect as white, about 21, slender build and clean shaven and wearing a grey sweatshirt, blue jeans and Timberland boots.
They later said he was seen driving away from the church in a black four-door saloon car.
Speaking at a news briefing, Mr Mullen said: “There were eight deceased individuals inside of the church. Two individuals were transported to [the hospital]. One of them has died.
“It is unfathomable that somebody in today’s society would walk into a church when people are having a prayer meeting and take their lives,” Mr Mullen said.
A woman who survived the shooting told her family the gunman said he was letting her live so she could report what happened, the Charleston Post and Courier reported.
She said the gunman had sat in the church before standing and opening fire, according to an official from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Charleston Mayor Joe Riley described the shooting as “the most unspeakable” tragedy.
South Carolina Senator Tim Scott tweeted: “My heart is breaking for Charleston and South Carolina tonight.”
In Romans 8:15 Paul says the spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry,”Abba, Father.”
The Greek word for adoption to sonship is a term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture.
You see, Paul understood how to use worldly terminology and understanding to create a supernatural vantage point. And we must do the same today when we’re out fishing (in our modern day Rome’s) for men. When Paul spoke to the people they understood what he was saying it made sense to them. My inquiry to you today is when you speak to the people does it make sense to them?
ENCOUNTER IN WATTS
I was out in Watts during the riots. One young man said to me-and Andy Young, Bayard Rustin, and Bernard Lee, who were with me-“We won!” I said, “What do you mean, ‘we won’? Thirty-some people deadall but two are Negroes. You’ve destroyed your own. What do you mean, ‘we won’ ?” And he said, “We made them pay attention to us.”
When people are voiceless, they will have temper tantrums like a little child who has not been paid attention to. And riots are massive temper tantrums from a neglected and voiceless people.
There was joy among the rioters of Watts, not shame. They were completely oblivious to the destruction of property in their wake. They were destroying a physical and emotional jail; they had asserted themselves against a system which was quietly crushing them into oblivion and now they were “somebody.” As one young man put it,
“We know that a riot is not the answer, but we’ve been down here suffering for a long time and nobody cared. Now at least they know we’re here. A riot may not be the way, but it is a way.” This was the new nationalist mood gripping a good many ghetto inhabitants, It rejected the alliance with white liberals as a means of social change. It affirms the fact that black men act alone in their own interest only because nobody really cares.
But let no one think that this is a defense of riots. The wake of destruction of property where many Negroes were employed and where many more were served consumer goods was one of the most tragic sights I ever witnessed. It was second only to the thought of thirty-seven persons dying needlessly in an uncontrolled tantrum of devastation and death. This was more human loss than had been suffered in ten years of nonviolent direct action, which produced the revolutionary social changes in the South.
Violence only serves to harden the resistance of the white reactionary and relieve the white liberal of guilt, which might motivate him to action and thereby leaves the condition unchanged and embittered. The backlash of violence is felt far beyond the borders of the community where it takes place. Whites are arming themselves in Selma and across Alabama in the expectation that rioting would spread South. In this kind of atmosphere a single drunken disorderly Negro could set off the panic button that might result in the killing of many innocent Negroes.
However, a mere condemnation of violence is empty without understanding the daily violence that our society inflicts upon many of its members. The violence of poverty and humiliation hurts as intensely as the violence of the club. This is a situation that calls for statesmanship and creative leadership, of which I did not see evidence in Los Angeles. What we did find was a blind intransigence and ignorance of the tremendous social forces that were at work there. And so long as this stubborn attitude was maintained by responsible authorities, I could only see the situation worsening.
Los Angeles could have expected the holocaust when its officials tied up federal aid in political manipulation, when the rate of Negro unemployment soared above depression levels of the twenties, and when the population density of Watts became the worst in the nation. Yet even these tormenting physical conditions are less than the full sign. California in 1964 repealed its law forbidding racial discrimination in housing. It was the first major state in the country to take away gains Negroes had won at a time when progress was visible and substantial elsewhere, and especially in the South. California by that callous act voted for ghettos. The atrociousness of some deeds may be concealed by legal ritual, but the destructiveness is felt with bitter force by its victims. When all is finally entered into the annals of sociology; when philosophers, politicians, and preachers have all had their say, we must return to the fact that a person participates in this society primarily as an economic entity. At rock bottom we are neither poets, athletes, nor artists; our existence is centered in the fact that we are consumers, because we first must eat and have shelter to live. This is a difficult confession for a preacher to make, and it is a phenomenon against which I will continue to rebel, but it remains a fact that “consumption” of goods and services is the raison d’etre of the vast majority of Americans. When persons are for some reason or other excluded from the consumer circle, there is discontent and unrest.
On March 12, 1930, Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi begins a defiant march to the sea in protest of the British monopoly on salt, his boldest act of civil disobedience yet against British rule in India.
Britain’s Salt Acts prohibited Indians from collecting or selling salt, a staple in the Indian diet. Citizens were forced to buy the vital mineral from the British, who, in addition to exercising a monopoly over the manufacture and sale of salt, also exerted a heavy salt tax. Although India’s poor suffered most under the tax, Indians required salt. Defying the Salt Acts, Gandhi reasoned, would be an ingeniously simple way for many Indians to break a British law nonviolently. He declared resistance to British salt policies to be the unifying theme for his new campaign of satyagraha, or mass civil disobedience.
On March 12, Gandhi set out from Sabarmati with 78 followers on a 241-mile march to the coastal town of Dandi on the Arabian Sea. There, Gandhi and his supporters were to defy British policy by making salt from seawater. All along the way, Gandhi addressed large crowds, and with each passing day an increasing number of people joined the salt satyagraha. By the time they reached Dandi on April 5, Gandhi was at the head of a crowd of tens of thousands. Gandhi spoke and led prayers and early the next morning walked down to the sea to make salt.
He had planned to work the salt flats on the beach, encrusted with crystallized sea salt at every high tide, but the police had forestalled him by crushing the salt deposits into the mud. Nevertheless, Gandhi reached down and picked up a small lump of natural salt out of the mud–and British law had been defied. At Dandi, thousands more followed his lead, and in the coastal cities of Bombay and Karachi, Indian nationalists led crowds of citizens in making salt. Civil disobedience broke out all across India, soon involving millions of Indians, and British authorities arrested more than 60,000 people. Gandhi himself was arrested on May 5, but the satyagraha continued without him.
On May 21, the poet Sarojini Naidu led 2,500 marchers on the Dharasana Salt Works, some 150 miles north of Bombay. Several hundred British-led Indian policemen met them and viciously beat the peaceful demonstrators. The incident, recorded by American journalist Webb Miller, prompted an international outcry against British policy in India.
In January 1931, Gandhi was released from prison. He later met with Lord Irwin, the viceroy of India, and agreed to call off the satyagraha in exchange for an equal negotiating role at a London conference on India’s future. In August, Gandhi traveled to the conference as the sole representative of the nationalist Indian National Congress. The meeting was a disappointment, but British leaders had acknowledged him as a force they could not suppress or ignore.
India’s independence was finally granted in August 1947. Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu extremist less than six months later.
In the driveway outside his home in Jackson, Mississippi, African American civil rights leader Medgar Evers is shot to death by white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith.
During World War II, Evers volunteered for the U.S. Army and participated in the Normandy invasion. In 1952, he joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). As a field worker for the NAACP, Evers traveled through his home state encouraging poor African Americans to register to vote and recruiting them into the civil rights movement. He was instrumental in getting witnesses and evidence for the Emmitt Till murder case, which brought national attention to the plight of African Americans in the South. On June 12, 1963, Medgar Evers was killed.
After a funeral in Jackson, he was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. President John F. Kennedy and many other leaders publicly condemned the killing. In 1964, the first trial of chief suspect Byron De La Beckwith ended with a deadlock by an all-white jury, sparking numerous protests. When a second all-white jury also failed to reach a decision, De La Beckwith was set free. Three decades later, the state of Mississippi reopened the case under pressure from civil rights leaders and Evers’ family. In February 1994, a racially mixed jury in Jackson found Beckwith guilty of murder. The unrepentant white supremacist, aged 73, was sentenced to life imprisonment.