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  • Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. He was born January 15, 1929. If he lived, he would have turned seventy-nine years old. In the early 1960s, King focused his challenge on legalized racial discrimination in the South, where police dogs and bullwhips and cattle prods were used against Southern blacks seeking the right to vote or to eat at a public lunch counter. After passage of Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965,...
    January 21, 2008 | Story
  • In the race for the Democratic nomination, a victory for either Senator Hillary Clinton or Senator Barack Obama — as the first woman or African American Democratic nominee — would be unprecedented in U.S. history. We host a discussion on race and gender politics with feminist pioneer Gloria Steinem and Princeton University Professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell. [includes rush transcript]
    January 14, 2008 | Story
  • James Baldwin, the legendary African American writer and civil rights activist, died 20 years ago this week. This Sunday in Harlem, the Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture is holding a 20th anniversary commemoration. We take a look at Baldwin’s life and his work with his sister-in-law Carole Weinstein, and we hear Baldwin in his own words. We also hear Tony Award-nominated actor Calvin Levels performing a part of his acclaimed...
    December 07, 2007 | Story
  • Two Nobel Peace Prize laureates are calling for all charges to be dropped against eight former Black Panthers arrested earlier this year for allegedly killing a San Francisco police officer over 35 years ago. Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mairead Maguire said the charges against the San Francisco Eight should be dropped, because the case is based in part on statements made under torture. Harold Taylor, one of the co-defendants, gives a detailed...
    November 30, 2007 | Story
  • Howardzinn
    The new play "Rebel Voices" is based on the book, "Voices of a People’s History of the United States," by historian Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove. It features dramatic readings of speeches, letters, poems, songs and petitions of people like Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, as well as contemporary voices such as Iraq War resister Camilo Mejía. [includes rush transcript]
    November 09, 2007 | Story
  • Celebrations are being prepared in Little Rock, Arkansas, for the 50th anniversary of one of the pivotal events of the civil rights era. In September 1957, three years after the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling, a group of African-American students attempted to desegregate the all-white Central High School in Little Rock. They were escorted into the school by armed National Guard after local authorities vowed...
    September 20, 2007 | Story
  • During a recent trip to Jena, Democracy Now! interviewed Billy "Bulldog" Fowler, a member of the La Salle Parish School Board. Fowler, 68, moved to Jena in 1940. He says Jena is being unfairly painted as racist. He feels the hanging nooses were blown out of proportion, that in the high school setting it was more of a prank: "This is the Deep South, and [older] black people know the meaning of a noose. Let me tell you something:...
    September 19, 2007 | Story
  • Over 2,000 people gathered at Riverside Church in New York on Friday for the funeral of the legendary drummer, educator and activist Max Roach, who died on August 16 at the age of 83. He was credited with helping to revolutionize the sound of modern jazz and for playing a prominent role in the struggle for black liberation at home and in Africa. We speak with two men who have known Roach for decades: Amiri Baraka and Phil Schaap. [includes...
    August 27, 2007 | Story
  • From war and violence to the civil rights movement and hip-hop, from Hurricane Katrina to race politics, Professor Michael Eric Dyson takes it all on. Over the past 14 years he has written 14 best-selling books, including "Come Hell or High Water" and "Debating Race." Ebony magazine has named him as one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans. His latest book is titled "Know What I Mean? Reflections on...
    July 18, 2007 | Story
  • Forty years ago, Newark erupted. Followed by Detroit, then city after city across the United States, spontaneous uprisings by disaffected African-American communities who were met with brutal violence by police and National Guardsmen. In Newark, 26 people were killed, and 43 in Detroit. Thousands more were injured. A presidential commission into the unrest later famously concluded that the United States was "moving toward two societies,...
    July 13, 2007 | Story