civil rights

EDITORIAL | Civil Rights icon Sister Antona Ebo remains an example for us in the fight for justice and equality

Throughout her life, Sister Mary Antona Ebo was known for standing for justice and equality for all.

With her death Nov. 11, there are many who desire to keep her spirit alive. The African-American woman religious, who marched in Selma, Ala., in 1965 for civil rights, told the crowd then that, "I'm here because I'm a Negro, a nun, a Catholic, and because I want to bear witness."

Obituary | Sister Mary Antona Ebo, FSM

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Sister Mary Antona Ebo, a Franciscan Sister of Mary whose courageous words during the March 10, 1965, march in Selma, Ala., became a rallying cry for many in the Civil Rights movement, died Nov. 11 at The Sarah Community in Bridgeton. She was 93 and was a Franciscan Sister of Mary for 71 years.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m., Monday, Nov. 20, at St. Alphonsus "Rock" Church, 1118 N. Grand Blvd. in north St. Louis. Visitation will take place at 9 a.m., preceding the Mass. Archbishop Robert J. Carlson will preside at the Mass.

1960s issues of war, civil rights spilled onto news pages

A Mothers March for Peace in St. Louis was one of several methods of opposition to the Vietnam War. Various prelates of Catholic Church in the United States and in St. Louis repeatedly called for a withdrawal from the South Asian country and a peace settlement.

Two issues prominent in the secular world in the 1960s and beyond have been covered extensively by the St. Louis Review. Issues of peace and justice have been at the forefront in the past and continue today, expecially with one of the archdiocese's beONE priorities — promoting human dignity and social responsibility. Helping to fulfill that priority today is the archdiocesan Peace and Justice Commission, established in 2014, with its efforts for intercultural dialogue.

Vietnam War

'Selma' prompts painful memories for nun who marched

Sister Barbara Moore, CSJ, was the first African-American to join her religious congregation in 1955. She marched in Selma, Ala., in 1965, served in health care and now spends time with women at the Nia Kuumba House of Discernment in St. Louis. The center focuses on the spiritual and cultural traditions of faith in the community.

Sister Barbara Moore wanted to see "Selma," but by herself "because emotionally I knew it would probably be impactful."

So on Jan. 18, the Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet sat alone in the theater at the St. Louis Galleria and watched the movie about the events of 50 years ago this March -- the voting rights marches and protests led by Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Ala.

Eyewitness' account brings horrid night to life

Simeon Wright visited with Chaminade College Prepatory School students to talk about the death of his cousin at the hands of a racist mob in the Mississippi Delta in 1955 and the resulting trial; the incident became a spark for the civil rights movement.

When the eyewitness to the kidnapping of Emmett Till told of that night in 1955 -- a night that was one of the catalysts for the civil rights movement -- the Chaminade College Preparatory School students were quiet and nearly motionless.

Civil rights lesson: 'We're equal in His eyes'

The students at Rosati-Kain High School commemorated the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington by gathering to hear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Senior Jillian E. Franks spoke the final words of the speech so passionately that many of those gathered were in tears.

Rosati-Kain senior Jillian Franks forcefully and clearly read excerpts of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's Aug. 28, 1963, "I Have a Dream" speech, bringing loud applause as she finished with the words, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last."

Five students at the school took turns Aug. 28 reading parts of the speech during an assembly commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Among the 200,000 people who took part in the march was a delegation representing St. Louis Catholics.

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