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Editorial: On history and black history

The annual observance of Black History Month, and concurrent understanding that contributions from a large segment of the American population had long been ignored, has paid dividends.

The racial history of our nation springs from unhappy institutions and conflicts. The 20th century did much to remedy past injustice and the great effort continues.

Those are great themes broadly stroked with a wide brush. But it is the little things which spark history.

Little things. Such as a Gloucester woman, a black person, recovering from surgery in 1944, and riding a bus from her homeplace at Hayes back to her own home in Baltimore. The bus stopped at Saluda; she was requested to give up her seat to a white woman; she refused.

Irene Morgan was arrested and jailed. Her case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled Jim Crow laws on interstate transportation illegal. The small thing … a woman riding a bus … became a huge advance in civil rights. Her landmark case came a dec...

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