(mainly or initiated by) people of color

PEOPLE OF COLOR DISTINGUISHED FROM WHITE PEOPLE. The GNAD seeks a common-sense way of understanding global social constructions of race that will work for tagging so as to meet the likely needs of database readers who are searching for characteristics of the cases. We want, for example, to assist a reader who is curious about the contention that nonviolent struggle is a white invention to find out how well-founded that belief is. For the GNAD, the following are people of color: Roma and Sami which are groups found in Europe among white people. All Asia, as far west as (and including) Pakistan. For Tajikistan, see definition of "white," below. All Sub-Saharan Africa including South African "coloreds," but excluding white settler groups like the Afrikaaners in South Africa. In Latin America as a whole: The GNAD considers "Hispanic" as of color everywhere except within Spain and Portugal. Note that database cases often use national designations, in campaigns for regime change, for example. When the nation is the unit of action, as when Guatamalans overthrow their dictator, even though there are some white people in Guatemala who may have participated, the case is tagged "of color" because as a whole the nations of Latin America are of color. White, for our purposes, includes Europe and European descent, including Italy, Eastern Europe/Slavic, while allowing the exceptions noted above. White also includes Turkey, Syria, the Middle East. GNAD cases from white countries in which there is a historical range of shades of color (in contrast to recent immigration) are assumed to be white unless the campaign specifically addresses a subgroup which might be marked as "colored" in that cultural context, for example, Maoris campaigning in New Zealand. Another example of application of this definition of "white" is the Central Asian Republics: Each of the major ethnic groups of the Central Asian Republics exhibit a broad range of skin color and facial features, for which reason they will be considered white unless the GNAD case identifies a subgroup in that campaign that is regarded, by that country's mainstream, as of color, in which case the GNAD would also regard that subgroup as of color. For the purposes of the GNAD, Pakistan will be the farthest west Asian country to be tagged as people of color and its northern neighbor Tajikistan will not be. All of the historic European groups except for Roma, Sami, and other indigenous peoples will be regarded as white, including Basques and Jews. Hispanic will be of color everywhere except within Spain and Portugal.

U.S. activists and politicians campaign at South African Embassy for end to apartheid, 1984-1985


In 1984, South Africa was ruled by an increasingly brutal and repressive regime under Prime Minister Pieter Botha, a strong supporter of apartheid, a system of legal racial segregation enforced by the National Party government under which the rights of the majority black inhabitants of South Africa were curtailed and minority rule by whites was maintained. In response to increased anti-apartheid protest in 1984, the Botha regime repressed political dissent with increasing brutality. In November of that year, Ronald Reagan had been reelected as President of the United States.

Vanuatuan airline workers seek arbitration in labor dispute, 2005


Following a breakdown in negotiations over a collective bargaining agreement, severance pay, and job security, over 100 employees of Air Vanuatu went on strike on August 22, 2005. Workers in Port Vila and Luganville stopped working at 4:30 am, forcing the small airline to cancel all its domestic and international flights. The workers demanded arbitration of their grievances as a condition for ending the strike.

Argentines protest Uruguayan paper mills, 2005-2008


Argentina and Uruguay have a history of friendly diplomatic relations, with their countries sharing similar heritages, mutual alliances and significant cultural and political ties. However, following the 2005 announcement of the construction of two paper mills on the Uruguayan side of the Uruguay River (which serves as a boundary between the two countries), Argentina and Uruguay experienced their first significant diplomatic tensions since the 1970s.

Pakistani lawyers protect constitution and reinstate judges (Save the Judiciary Movement), 2007-2009


On March 9, 2007, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf suspended Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry from his duties on the Court in response to Chaudhry’s challenges to his Presidency. Interpreted as an attempt to reduce the power and independence of the judicial branch, the Pakistani legal community organized immediately to reverse the decision. Lawyers from across the political spectrum immediately organized protests and rallies throughout the country.

South Africans disobey apartheid laws (Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign), 1952-1953


The Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign was developed by the African National Congress (ANC) to combat apartheid. More specifically, the campaign used large-scale national noncooperation to target laws enacted by the South African government that the ANC deemed unjust. The campaign began on June 26, 1952, as groups throughout South Africa executed various acts of defiance in main cities. The ANC and the South African Indian Congress (SAIC) united Africans and Indians alike to take on apartheid.

Sri Lankan veterinarians strike for better treatment of elephants, 2010


In Sri Lanka, elephants are both a valued part of traditional culture and an increasing risk to the populace. A spike in population on the Sri Lankan island has led the government to open lands traditionally reserved for the elephants to settlement by people. Narrowing habitats mean that encounters between elephants and people are more and more common, posing a threat to both elephants and humans. Since 1990, the number of elephants residing in Sri Lanka has fallen from about 12,000 to approximately 4,000, the result of hunting and dwindling food sources.

Baltimore students demonstrate to integrate Northwood Theater, 1963

U.S. Civil Rights Movement (1950s-1960s)

On Friday, February 15, 1963, the student-led Civic Interest Group (CIG) began a demonstration against Northwood Theater in Baltimore, Maryland. The ultimately successful demonstration took place in the context of a longer history of protests against the cinema’s white-only policy. Students, mostly from Morgan State College, had picketed the Theater many times over the course of the previous eight years. Student demonstrations organized by student council occurred annually.

Jackson, Tennessee students campaign for U.S. civil rights, 1960-1961

U.S. Civil Rights Movement (1950s-1960s)

In the United States of America, the 1950s saw the emergence of key individuals in the building of the civil rights movement. The struggle for African Americans against their country’s institutionalized racism was highlighted by moments like Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. A preacher by the name of Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke of nonviolence in his people’s fight for equality. But at the turn of the decade, the civil rights movement trended a different way.

African Americans sit-in against segregation at Royal Ice Cream Parlor in Durham, N.C., 1957

U.S. Civil Rights Movement (1950s-1960s)

In the 1950’s, Durham North Carolina was like most cities in the South: hot and segregated. At the time, the civil rights movement was already polarizing the nation, with the Montgomery bus boycotts in 1955 bringing to prominence such names as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks (see “African Americans boycott buses for integration in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S., 1955-1956”). In Mississippi, the brutal murder of Emmett Till that same year became an archetype of the horrendous nature of southern racism at its most cruel. Amidst the violence and racial tension, Martin Luther King Jr.

Montgomery, Alabama students sit-in for U.S. Civil Rights, 1960

U.S. Civil Rights Movement (1950s-1960s)

The Montgomery, Alabama sit-ins took place during the era of Jim Crow laws in the southern United States. The first of the Supreme Court rulings against these laws – which are symbolized by the phrase “Separate but Equal” – took place in 1954, in the form of Brown v. Board of Education; in this ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that separate education facilities based on race were inherently discriminatory, putting minorities at a disadvantage compared to their white counterparts.

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