Albert Einstein challenges racism in the U.S.

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was surprised to see how black people were treated when he moved to the U.S. Even in his new hometown of Princeton, he observed the separation of white and black society.

Having experienced racism as a Jewish man in Germany, Einstein thought of segregation as an unacceptable norm for society.

So in 1946, at a speech at Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, Einstein said, “There is separation of colored people from white people in the United States,” he said. “That separation is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. And, I do not intend to be quiet about it.” And, he wasn’t.

Although he had a fear of speaking in public, he made all the effort he could to spread the word of equality, denouncing racism and segregation and becoming a huge proponent of civil rights even before the term became fashionable. Einstein was a member of several civil rights groups, including the Princeton chapter of the NAACP.

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William Lewis Moore Marches for Equality

“A group of black students stood in line at a whites-only movie theater in Baltimore in 1963, waiting to buy tickets but expecting to go to jail. Sure enough, the police arrived and began arresting the students for trespassing.

In the midst of the black students, the police were astonished to see a white man, William Lewis Moore. A puzzled officer asked Moore if he understood that he was in line to be arrested. Moore explained that if the others couldn’t see the movie because of the color of their skin, then he didn’t want to see it either. He spent that night in jail.”

William Lewis Moore spent much of his adult life fighting for the rights of others. First for the mentally ill, after he himself was hospitalized for a year and a half for schizophrenia while a graduate student at Johns Hopkins. And then later for civil rights.

In his fight for civil rights, his form of protest was to stage one man marches. And on one such march, on April 23, 1963, William, who was raised in Mississippi, who loved Mississippi, who was walking to deliver a letter to Ross Barnett, the Governor of Mississippi, was shot and killed. William was one week shy of 36 years old.

Moore’s letter was found. The letter was opened.

To quote a couple parts, William said, “Do not go down in infamy as one who fought the democracy for all which you have not the power to prevent. Be gracious. Give more than is immediately demanded of you.” And he said, “the white man cannot be truly free himself until all men have their rights.”

William Lewis Moore