Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Birthday (State of) Alaska

The 50th anniversary celebration of Alaska statehood - a fitting day to put up a statue of two great civil rights leaders (from the Mayor’s newsletter):

Civil Rights Activists Honored. A sculpture to honor Alaska Native civil rights activists Elizabeth and Roy Peratrovich will be unveiled at 1 p.m. today at Peratrovich Park in downtown Anchorage. The sculpture, named Flight of the Raven, was designed by Roy Peratrovich, Jr. to memorialize his parents and their progress for Alaska Native people. The Peratrovich’s were the driving force behind the passage of the Alaska’s Anti-Discrimination Act of 1945, the first anti-discrimination law in America. ‘Through this statue, we pay tribute to the civil rights struggle Alaska Natives mounted against unjust laws and unjust lawmakers,’ Mayor Begich said.”

For the interested, some more about them:

A little biography of Elizabeth Peratrovich

A keynote address by Roy Peratrovich

A (much!) longer paper on the history behind these leaders


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