Latest Ted Cruz Flap Points Out the Ignorance of Those Loudly Espousing Anti-Wokeness and the Impact this has on Black History

H. Michael Harvey, JD
5 min readMay 29, 2023

Dr. King Led SCLC, Not the NAACP

Photo by Jimmy Woo on Unsplash

Recently, Senator Ted Cruz (Republican), Texas decided to chime in on the travel advisory issued by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He did so in a tweet that read in part:

“This is bizarre. And utterly dishonest. In the 1950s & 1960s, the NAACP did extraordinarily well in helping lead the civil rights movement. Today, Dr. King would be ashamed of how profoundly they’ve lost their way.”

Cruz is correct about the extraordinary work done by the NAACP in the 1950s and 1960s. The other stem of his posit assumes or presupposes that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. worked with the NAACP.

He did not.

In 1957, following the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott. Dr. King organized the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and waged a campaign of direct non-violent action against segregation and correspondingly for the civil rights of Black people.

Photo by History in HD on Unsplash

King and his compatriots were in the streets being beaten by police and private White citizens, going to jail, and marching wherever he could garner attention to his cause of justice and equality of Black people in America.

At the same time, the NAACP worked through the courts to bring about case law that would bring equity and equality to Black Americans. Often lawyers from the NAACP would defend the SCLC marchers, getting them out of jail and defending them against unfair prosecutions.

Sixty years later, White politicians, who argue against wokeness, confuse the history of how Black Americans defeated Jim Crow. The NAACP was a critic of the tactics undertaken by Dr. King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Their president Roy Wilkins publicly criticized Dr. King’s stratagems when White leaders called King “an outside agitator.” Wilkins did not want to be labeled “an outside agitator.” Wilkins did not see agitation in the streets as a practical…



H. Michael Harvey, JD

Harvey is Living Now Book Awards 2020 Bronze Medalist for his memoir Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. Available at