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King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968

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23 Segments




Harris Wofford on the Leaders of the Sixties.

Harris Wofford was Special Assistant to President John F. Kennedy for Civil Rights, the Assistant Director of the Peace Corps, a lawyer for Martin Luther King, Jr., and president of Bryn Mawr University. He currently practices law in Philadelphia. His new book is "Of Kennedys and Kings: Making Sense of the Sixties." He joins the show to discuss the leadership styles of three SIxties' figures: John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr.


How Martin Luther King, Jr. Lit Up the World

Journalist Taylor Branch says most histories of the African American civil rights movement written by white people are missing heart and context. He seeks to avoid this pitfall in his new book, Parting the Waters. Branch joins Fresh Air to discuss the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. in black churches, and how John F. Kennedy and J. Edgar Hoover attempted to control him for their own ends.


Civil Rights Leader J.L. Chestnut

Chestnut earned his law degree at Washington D.C.'s Howard University, but soon returned to his hometown of Selma, Alabama, where he opened a law office -- before legal protections like the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act were passed. His new memoir is called Black in Selma.


The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

On the anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther King, junior, we discus his legacy with Clayborne Carson, the Director and Senior Editor of the Martin Luther King, Junior Papers Project. Next month, they release the first of 14 volumes of Kings's writings. Carson is a professor of history at Stanford University.


The State of the Civil Rights Movement.

On Martin Luther King, Junior Day, we devote the show to a look at the present and future of the Civil Rights movement. Terry talks with columnist, radio commentator, and professor Manning Marable. He'll discuss what issues the civil rights movement should address, now that the basic legal rights that Martin Luther King, Junior worked for have largely been secured.


Race in the United States During the "King Years."

Historian Taylor Branch. He won the Pulitzer Prize for the first book of his planned trilogy of the Civil Rights movement: "Parting the Waters: America In the King Years 1954-63" (now in paper, Simon & Schuster) His new book "Pillars of Fire: America In the King Years 1963-65" (Simon & Schuster) begins where the other book ended, and covers what he considers the peak years in the movement. At the center of the book are Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Robert Kennedy, LBJ, and J. Edgar Hoover.


Michael Eric Dyson Discusses Martin Luther King, Jr.

Michael Eric Dyson Is the author of the new book "I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr." (The Free Press). In It, Dyson argues that Martin Luther King Jr, the human being, with flaws and gifts serves us better than the romanticized and Idealized King. Dyson is also the author of "Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X," and other books. Dyson Is an ordained Baptist minister and a Professor at DePaul University.


Clayborne Carson

Clayborne Carson of the Founding Director of the King Papers Project, a long-term project to edit and publish the papers of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Author Taylor Branch

Terry Gross talks with author Taylor Branch, who has written the third in a trilogy of biographies on Martin Luther King Jr. The book is called At Canaan's Edge.


'Going Down Jericho Road:' MLK's Last Fight

In his new book, Going Down Jericho Road, historian Michael Honey chronicles the campaign which the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was working on at the time of his death. Honey is a former civil liberties organizer and a professor of ethics, gender and labor studies and American history at the University of Washington, Tacoma.


Journalist, Author Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates grew up in the post-civil rights era, son of a publisher and former Black Panther; he's a contributing editor and blogger for The Atlantic magazine and author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, 2 Sons, and An Unlikely Road to Manhood.


Congressman, Civil Rights Icon John Lewis

Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) became part of the civil-rights movement while he was a teenager. From 1963 to 1966, he chaired the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. And he became a close associate of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Lewis has been a congressman since 1987.

Former congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis stands in the Capitol.

'Hellhound' Trails King Assassin James Earl Ray.

On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was killed on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tenn. For the next two months, the man who shot him, James Earl Ray, was able to evade the FBI during a massive worldwide manhunt. Writer Hampton Sides traces the movements of both King and Ray in his new book, Hellhound on His Trail.


'Dream' Speech Writer Jones Reflects On King Jr.

Clarence Jones helped draft Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech and was a close personal adviser and lawyer to the civil rights leader. But he almost turned down the chance to work with King. He explains what changed his mind in his memoir, Behind the Dream.


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