Civil Rights Movement | WAMC

Civil Rights Movement

Composite Image by Dave Lucas / WAMC

As Martin Luther King's life and legacy are celebrated across the country today, a Siena Poll indicates New Yorkers’ views of race relations have soured compared to a decade ago.


    Tributes have been pouring in for E. Henry Twiggs, a legendary civil rights figure and public servant from Springfield, Massachusetts.  He died Thursday at the age of 80.

A once-thriving community newspaper in Albany is launching a mixed media revival.

  Pauli Murray has been called one of the most important figures in 20th century African American civil rights history. This remarkable woman was the granddaughter of a mulatto slave who among other achievements was a founding member of CORE, graduated at the top of her class at Howard University School of Law, was named Madame Moiselle Magazine women of the year in 1947, wrote states laws on race and color which Thurgood Marshall called "the bible of civil rights lawyers," was appointed to JFK’s commission on the status of women and co-founded national organization for women in 1966. Murray is now the subject of Patricia Bell-Scott’s biography The Firebrand and First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt and the Struggle for Social Justice. Patricia Bell-Scott is professor emerita of women studies in human development and family science at the University of Georgia. 

Paul Murray went South as part of the Civil Rights Movement. For many years he has taught a course on the Civil Rights Movement at Sienna College and taken high school and college students on trips to see places made famous by the struggle for freedom and equality.

Air & Space Magazine

In our Ideas Matter segment we take time just about every week to check in with the state humanities councils in our 7-state region.

Today we'll be joined by Neil Maher, who will discuss with us a little known dimension of both the space program and the political movements of the 1960s. Neil serves as one of the New York Council for the Humanities' public scholars.

This is a picture of Dr. Bernard Lafayette

A civil rights activist who co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960 and participated in the Freedom Rides as well as the Selma Movement is speaking in Great Barrington tonight. Dr. Bernard Lafayette will give a lecture at Bard College at Simon’s Rock at 7, detailing the Civil Rights Movement and current social change efforts. Lafayette spoke with WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Jim Levulis about his continued work setting up nonviolent centers and programs around the world.


       Events are being held across western Massachusetts to honor Martin Luther King Jr.  The federal holiday commemorating the civil rights hero is Monday.

       The office of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People hosted an annual celebration at City Hall Friday, the date of King’s birth.  There were speeches, prayers and poems were read, and a traditional civil rights anthem was sung.


  There will be a Black History Month event at The Egg in Albany on Saturday, Feb. 28, that will combine music, speeches and a panel discussion to mark the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights marches and to discuss ongoing civil rights efforts.

They keynote speakers will be Dr. Mark Morrison-Reed and Colia Liddell Lafayette Clark.

Dr. Mark Morrison-Reed joins us. His most recent book is The Selma Awakening: How the Civil Rights Movement Tested and Changed Unitarian Universalism.

Springfield Republican file photo

Many Black History Month events are focusing on the marches in Selma, Alabama fifty years ago that helped bring an end to segregation in the South and led to the Voting Rights Act. Massachusetts State Representative Benjamin Swan of Springfield spent about three weeks in Alabama in March 1965.  Swan, who was 21-years-old at the time, talked about the experience with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill.

Berkshires To Remember Four Little Girls

Sep 11, 2013

This Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama. Events in the Berkshires and across the country will commemorate the tragic day.