Annual Tenn civil rights conference begins Monday

MARTIN, Tenn. (AP) -- An annual civil rights conference at the University of Tennessee at Martin will focus on whether the U.S. is `separate and unequal."

The 12th annual gathering beginning Monday will feature a keynote speech Thursday by Michelle Alexander, author of the recent book, "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness." It argues that a new and more sophisticated form of segregation has replaced the old Jim Crow.

Monday has been designated Native American Civil Rights Day. The Trail of Tears -- the forced removal of Native Americans from the Southeast in the 1800s -- will be among the subjects discussed.

Actress Florence Roach of Memphis, who appears in the award-winning movie "The Help," will lead a workshop Thursday on arts and the civil rights movement.


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