1. This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, a movement to open the polls to blacks in Mississippi and end the state’s white supremacy. 
Freedom Summer was organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which recruited 700 college students—mostly white students from the North—to come down to Mississippi to help African Americans register to vote. 
A new documentary called Freedom Summer airs on PBS tomorrow. The film’s director Stanley Nelson, and longtime journalist and one of Freedom Summer’s organizers Charles Cobb joined Fresh Air to discuss the movement. Cobb explains how SNCC trained the students for their entry into the violent South: 

Charles Cobb: We could show people how best to try and protect yourself from actual physical [harm] – what to do if you’re attacked by a mob, how to cover your body, how to protect somebody who you’re with without engaging in fistfights or whipping out a pistol… We could show people how to do that. We had some experience in that because we all came out of the sit-in movement and were used to being surrounded by mobs of hostile whites.

    This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, a movement to open the polls to blacks in Mississippi and end the state’s white supremacy. 

    Freedom Summer was organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which recruited 700 college students—mostly white students from the North—to come down to Mississippi to help African Americans register to vote. 

    A new documentary called Freedom Summer airs on PBS tomorrow. The film’s director Stanley Nelson, and longtime journalist and one of Freedom Summer’s organizers Charles Cobb joined Fresh Air to discuss the movement. Cobb explains how SNCC trained the students for their entry into the violent South: 

    Charles Cobb: We could show people how best to try and protect yourself from actual physical [harm] – what to do if you’re attacked by a mob, how to cover your body, how to protect somebody who you’re with without engaging in fistfights or whipping out a pistol… We could show people how to do that. We had some experience in that because we all came out of the sit-in movement and were used to being surrounded by mobs of hostile whites.

  2. civil rights

    documentary

    PBS

    freedom summer

    voting

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    mississippi

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  1. The civil rights activist and historian Vincent Harding died Monday at the age of 82.  He was the first director of what is now called the Martin Luther King Jr Center for Nonviolent  Social Change in Atlanta and his books include Martin Luther King:  The Inconvenient Hero, and There is a River: The Black Struggle for Freedom in America.   Harding wrote several speeches for King, including King’s controversial, now famous 1967 speech opposing the war in Vietnam. 
One year after delivering that speech, King was assassinated.  Harding taught history and sociology at Spelman College, worked with the civil rights movement and led workshops in non-violent resistance. 
Terry Gross spoke with Harding in 1988. You can listen to the Fresh Air interview with Vincent Harding here.  
Photo credit: Joe Amon, The Denver Post View in High-Res

    The civil rights activist and historian Vincent Harding died Monday at the age of 82.  He was the first director of what is now called the Martin Luther King Jr Center for Nonviolent  Social Change in Atlanta and his books include Martin Luther King:  The Inconvenient Hero, and There is a River: The Black Struggle for Freedom in America.   Harding wrote several speeches for King, including King’s controversial, now famous 1967 speech opposing the war in Vietnam. 

    One year after delivering that speech, King was assassinated.  Harding taught history and sociology at Spelman College, worked with the civil rights movement and led workshops in non-violent resistance.

    Terry Gross spoke with Harding in 1988. You can listen to the Fresh Air interview with Vincent Harding here.  

    Photo credit: Joe Amon, The Denver Post

  2. Vincent Harding

    Martin Luther King Jr

    Civil Rights

    Fresh Air interviews

  1. Martin Luther King may not have had a vote in Congress, but he and the movement he helped lead were integral to getting the civil rights bill introduced. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of that bill, now known as the Civil Rights Act.
Among other things, the act outlawed discrimination in public accommodations — including restaurants, hotels and motels — ending the era of legal segregation in those places.
Our guest, Todd Purdum, is the author of the book, An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


Photo:  Martin Luther King, Jr. waves to supporters on the Mall in Washington, D.C. during the “March on Washington,” on August 28, 1963. King said the march was “the greatest demonstration of freedom in the history of the United States.”(AFP/AFP/Getty Images) View in High-Res

    Martin Luther King may not have had a vote in Congress, but he and the movement he helped lead were integral to getting the civil rights bill introduced. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of that bill, now known as the Civil Rights Act.

    Among other things, the act outlawed discrimination in public accommodations — including restaurants, hotels and motels — ending the era of legal segregation in those places.

    Our guest, Todd Purdum, is the author of the book, An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    Photo:  Martin Luther King, Jr. waves to supporters on the Mall in Washington, D.C. during the “March on Washington,” on August 28, 1963. King said the march was “the greatest demonstration of freedom in the history of the United States.”(AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

  2. martin luther king jr

    civil rights

    equality

    american history

    todd purdum

  1. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we speak to Todd Purdum about the legislative and political battle to get the civil rights bill passed.
The act, which among other things, outlawed discrimination in public accommodations, including restaurants, hotels, and motels—ending the era of legal segregation in those places. Purdum explains its significance: :

“The Civil Rights Act of 1964 created modern America. The things we take for granted today: people in restaurants, and hotels and motels and transportation, enjoying it regardless of race—the things my children take for granted. It’s hard to remember that just 50 years ago they were anything but taken for granted and people were literally fighting and dying for them. In a very important way, this law, which is often called “the most important law of the 20th century,” created the world we live in today.”



Purdum’s forthcoming book, “An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964" comes out in April. 


 image via patternpulp

    In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we speak to Todd Purdum about the legislative and political battle to get the civil rights bill passed.

    The act, which among other things, outlawed discrimination in public accommodations, including restaurants, hotels, and motels—ending the era of legal segregation in those places. Purdum explains its significance: :

    “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 created modern America. The things we take for granted today: people in restaurants, and hotels and motels and transportation, enjoying it regardless of race—the things my children take for granted. It’s hard to remember that just 50 years ago they were anything but taken for granted and people were literally fighting and dying for them. In a very important way, this law, which is often called “the most important law of the 20th century,” created the world we live in today.”

    Purdum’s forthcoming book, “An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964" comes out in April. 

     image via patternpulp

  2. fresh air

    interview

    civil rights

    todd purdum

    martin luther king jr

    racial equality

  1. The act of this enormous cross burning became an act of compelling theater and also the sort of signal of what the Klan was able to accomplish organizationally. But more insidiously, what crosses were doing were sending very targeted signals of intimidation and terror.

    — David Cunningham, author of Klansville, USA: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan 

  2. fresh air

    daivd cunningham

    kkk

    ku klux klan

    civil rights

  1. Martin Luther King Jr. after he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 Photographed by Leonard Freed
Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington (August 28th 1963). 
The New York Times Lens has an excellent series of Freed’s photographs from that day. View in High-Res

    Martin Luther King Jr. after he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 Photographed by Leonard Freed

    Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington (August 28th 1963).

    The New York Times Lens has an excellent series of Freed’s photographs from that day.

  2. leonard freed

    MLK

    march on washington

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    1963

    1964

    afternoon photo break

    nyt

  1. Lyndon Johnson biographer Robert Caro tells Dave Davies about how how civil rights leaders of the era regarded Johnson:

They come in suspicious, you know. Johnson always wanted to meet with people one-on-one. … A friend of his said, ‘One-on-one he’s the greatest salesman who ever lived.’ So a group of civil rights leaders — Martin Luther King, Roy Wilkins, James Farmer — want to meet with him. One of his secretaries says, ‘Should I schedule them as a group?’ And he says to her, ‘No, one at a time,’ and each one has the same reaction. … I think it’s Roy Qilkins who says this: that ‘[I] went in there suspicious and then Johnson pulled up almost knee-to-knee me and leaned into my face and told me how much he wanted civil rights and for the first time I had real hope that this bill was going to pass.’”

Image of LBJ and Martin Luther King, Jr. via Anglonautes View in High-Res

    Lyndon Johnson biographer Robert Caro tells Dave Davies about how how civil rights leaders of the era regarded Johnson:

    They come in suspicious, you know. Johnson always wanted to meet with people one-on-one. … A friend of his said, ‘One-on-one he’s the greatest salesman who ever lived.’ So a group of civil rights leaders — Martin Luther King, Roy Wilkins, James Farmer — want to meet with him. One of his secretaries says, ‘Should I schedule them as a group?’ And he says to her, ‘No, one at a time,’ and each one has the same reaction. … I think it’s Roy Qilkins who says this: that ‘[I] went in there suspicious and then Johnson pulled up almost knee-to-knee me and leaned into my face and told me how much he wanted civil rights and for the first time I had real hope that this bill was going to pass.’”

    Image of LBJ and Martin Luther King, Jr. via Anglonautes

  2. Fresh Air

    Interviews

    Robert Caro

    Lyndon Johnson

    The Passage of Power

    martin luther king

    Civil Rights

  1. We are off today, but in case you missed it here is Friday’s StoryCorps from Evander Holyfield’s brother, Bernard. He recounts a painful memory from their childhood in the 1960s.

  2. segregation

    Civil Rights

    Martin Luther King Day

  1. Posted on 14 January, 2013

    106 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from atomic-man

    Journalist Eugene Patterson, a former editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has died at 89. He was most well-known for his writing about the Civil Rights Movement, and his most famous column — “A Flower for the Graves” — was published in the wake the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, which killed four little girls on September 15, 1963.
The column via Poynter:






We — who go on electing politicians who heat the kettles of hate.
We — who raise no hand to silence the mean and little men who have their nigger jokes.
We — who stand aside in imagined rectitude and let the mad dogs that run in every society slide their leashes from our hand, and spring.
We — the heirs of a proud South, who protest its worth and demand it recognition — we are the ones who have ducked the difficult, skirted the uncomfortable, caviled at the challenge, resented the necessary, rationalized the unacceptable, and created the day surely when these children would die.







Image of the 16th Street Baptist Church by rickdbailey on Flickr.
View in High-Res

    Journalist Eugene Patterson, a former editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has died at 89. He was most well-known for his writing about the Civil Rights Movement, and his most famous column — “A Flower for the Graves” — was published in the wake the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, which killed four little girls on September 15, 1963.

    The column via Poynter:

    We — who go on electing politicians who heat the kettles of hate.

    We — who raise no hand to silence the mean and little men who have their nigger jokes.

    We — who stand aside in imagined rectitude and let the mad dogs that run in every society slide their leashes from our hand, and spring.

    We — the heirs of a proud South, who protest its worth and demand it recognition — we are the ones who have ducked the difficult, skirted the uncomfortable, caviled at the challenge, resented the necessary, rationalized the unacceptable, and created the day surely when these children would die.

    Image of the 16th Street Baptist Church by rickdbailey on Flickr.

  2. Eugene Patterson

    Civil Rights

    16th Street Baptist Church

    Poynter

  1. Today there are more African-Americans under correctional control, — in prison or jail, on probation or parole – than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began. There are millions of African-Americans now cycling in and out of prisons and jails or under correctional control. In major American cities today, more than half of working-age African-American men or either under correctional control or branded felons and are thus subject to legalized discrimination for the rest of their lives.

    —  legal scholar Michelle Alexander. On Monday’s Fresh Air, Alexander talks about how the mass incarceration of African-Americans in the War on Drugs has undermined many of the gains of the Civil Rights movement.

  2. race

    incarceration

    michelle alexander

    law

    politics

    civil rights

  1. During the years before the Civil Rights movement got underway,  segregated American cities helped give birth to a touring circuit that  provided employment for hundreds of black musicians and eventually  brought about the birth of rock and roll. On today’s Fresh Air, music historian Ed Ward takes a look at the Chitlin’ Circuit.

    During the years before the Civil Rights movement got underway, segregated American cities helped give birth to a touring circuit that provided employment for hundreds of black musicians and eventually brought about the birth of rock and roll. On today’s Fresh Air, music historian Ed Ward takes a look at the Chitlin’ Circuit.

  2. ed ward

    chitlin' circuit

    music

    African-American history

    civil rights

  1. In all my courses, I really have to teach the basic messages of my life … that the rewards, the satisfactions, are not in being partner or making a million dollars, but in recognizing evils, recognizing injustices and standing up and speaking out about them even in absolutely losing situations where you know it’s not going to bring about any change — that there are intangible rewards to the spirit that make that worthwhile.

    — Civil rights advocate and legal scholar Derrick Bell on Fresh Air in 1992. He was the first tenured black professor at Harvard Law School and his 1973 book about race and American law remains a staple at American law schools. Bell died last week from carcinoid cancer. 

  2. derrick bell

    harvard law school

    civil rights

  1. Civil Rights leader James Farmer Jr. spoke to Terry Gross in 1985 about why he got involved in CORE (the Congress of Racial Equality): "At that time, I was a pacifist — a conscientious objector from World War II — and as a pacifist, I was concerned with finding non-violent solutions to violent conflict situations domestically. But my primary interest was, of course, race. And therefore, I was driven to study Gandhi, an architect of the technique which he called satyagraha, meaning soul force. We have come to call it non-violent direct action, or non-violent resistance.” [complete interview here] View in High-Res

    Civil Rights leader James Farmer Jr. spoke to Terry Gross in 1985 about why he got involved in CORE (the Congress of Racial Equality): "At that time, I was a pacifist — a conscientious objector from World War II — and as a pacifist, I was concerned with finding non-violent solutions to violent conflict situations domestically. But my primary interest was, of course, race. And therefore, I was driven to study Gandhi, an architect of the technique which he called satyagraha, meaning soul force. We have come to call it non-violent direct action, or non-violent resistance.” [complete interview here]

  2. civil rights

    freedom riders

    james farmer jr.

    gandhi

    non-violent resistance

    CORE

  1. Despite being backed by recent federal rulings declaring it unconstitutional to segregate bus riders, the Freedom Riders met with obstinate resistance, even by hatred and violence — as in Birmingham and Montgomery, Ala., where white supremacists attacked bus depots themselves. Local police often refused to intervene, but still the Freedom Riders kept to their pledge of nonviolence — and their efforts transformed the civil rights movement. View in High-Res

    Despite being backed by recent federal rulings declaring it unconstitutional to segregate bus riders, the Freedom Riders met with obstinate resistance, even by hatred and violence — as in Birmingham and Montgomery, Ala., where white supremacists attacked bus depots themselves. Local police often refused to intervene, but still the Freedom Riders kept to their pledge of nonviolence — and their efforts transformed the civil rights movement.

  2. freedom riders

    raymond arsenault

    1961

    civil rights

  1. From @PBS: Meet the Freedom Riders
Tomorrow on Fresh Air: Historian Raymond Arsenault discusses his book Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice

    From @PBS: Meet the Freedom Riders

    Tomorrow on Fresh Air: Historian Raymond Arsenault discusses his book Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice

  2. freedom riders

    raymond arsenault

    civil rights