James Farmer, co-founder of CORE, the Congress On Racial Equality and its National Director from 1961-1966. CORE was one of the Civil Rights groups of the 1960's which followed Gandhi's principles of non-violent resistance. CORE also helped organize the Freedom Rides -- multi-racial busloads of people traveling through the southern states making sure the Supreme Court's decisions on desegregation were being enforced. Farmer's long life as an advocate of civil rights was detailed in in his autobiography, "Lay Bare the Heart" (Dutton).
Singer and civil rights worker Benice Johnson Reagon studied Euro-classical music in college, During her time in the Freedom Singers, she returned to her gospel roots. She joins Fresh Air to talk about how she combined her musical talents with her activism.
Bernice Johnson Reagon, singer, cultural historian and director of Smithsonian's Program in Black American Culture. Reagon sings contralto with Sweet Honey in the Rock, one of the country's leading a cappella groups. She's been described as a "song shaper and song preserver." In her work with the Smithsonian, Reagon tries to maintain obscure and dying Baptist choral traditions.