It's a half-hour until showtime in Selma, Ala., and the majority of the auditorium seats are already taken.
Paramount Pictures is offering free screenings of Selma, the film depicting the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery marches which led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act. In the movie's namesake town, the audience is excited.
In the front row, in the far left seat, is George Sallie, 85. He's black, grew up near Selma and was drafted as young man.
"Went to Korea fighting for someone else's freedom, and really I didn't have freedom myself," Sallie says.
This weekend marks 50 years since three young civil rights workers went missing in Philadelphia, Miss., drawing the nation's attention to the brutal resistance to equal rights in the South at the time.
Justice came slowly, but the murders did help spur change. Today, young people are still learning about the activists' legacy, hoping to inspire further action.
A new exhibit at the Mississippi state archives takes you back in time. The facade of a front porch, complete with screen door, invites you to imagine what it was like for some 900 activists, mostly white college students, who in 1964 came to the nation's most closed society.
Robert Moses was an organizer of what was at the time formally known as the Mississippi Summer Project.
"That's sort of what was nice about it. There was no pretension that we were going to change history," Moses says. "We were just going to have our little summer project."
Jim Engster speaks with Dr. Albert Samuels, Southern University Department of Political Science, about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., New Jersey governor Chris Christie, as well as other issues, and Kevin Kane of the Pelican Institute for Public Policy about political matters.
Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 6:21 pm
The state of Louisiana is paying tribute Friday to the Rev. T.J. Jemison, a strong and steady voice against unequal treatment for blacks in the Jim Crow South.
Jemison's body lay in repose at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge, where Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said he will be remembered as one of the greats of the civil rights movement.
"He had such a heart and courage for justice," Landrieu said. "There are very few people in our state that will rise to that level of influence, and it is very appropriate that our Capitol was opened up for him today."
Jim chats with Lt. General Russel Honore (U.S. Army ret.), about the 8th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina later this week. The General was placed in charge of the response to the storm and the flood disaster in New Orleans that followed. He also talks about the 50th anniversary of the civil rights March on Washington.
When the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling, its decisions can carry weight for generations. Think about decisions in the civil rights era regarding school segregation and the Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama.
As part of our look back on the summer of 1963, we examine another Alabama case that had a subtle effect on the way courts treat defendants.
At a mock trial at Samford University in Birmingham, a student playing the role of a defense attorney questions his client on the stand: "To your knowledge, can a driver turning left turn on a yellow light?"
Long before the Civil Rights marches of 1963 thrust Birmingham, Ala. into the national spotlight, black families along one residential street were steadily chipping away at Jim Crow segregation laws — and paying a price for it. As part of our series looking back at the seminal events that changed the nation 50 years ago, NPR's Debbie Elliott paid a visit to Birmingham's Dynamite Hill.
They were just little girls when they were killed in 1963, in what came to be known as the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing. And now Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley have been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, nearly 50 years after the attack in Birmingham, Ala.
President Obama signed the legislation Friday to award the girls — all of them 14, except for McNair, who was 11 — with the highest honor Congress can bestow upon a civilian.