The late James Farmer Jr. was one of the leaders of the civil rights movement and an organizer of the 1961 Freedom Ride, which challenged segregation across the American South. In 1985, Farmer spoke to Terry Gross about his lengthy career fighting discrimination.
Wednesday markets the 50th anniversary of the start of the Freedom Rides, when an integrated group of Civil Rights activists rode together by bus through the deep South challenging integration. Historian Raymond Arsenault recounts their journey in Freedom Riders.
Natasha Trethewey won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for poetry for her book Native Guard. Her parents had an interracial marriage while it was still illegal in Mississippi, and Tretheway's poetry often draws on her childhood as a biracial child in the south.
Myrlie Evers' book about her late husband, the civil rights activist Medgar Evers, was recently adapted into a movie for public television. She talks about her upbringing in the South, her relationship with Evers, and her own work to advance African American civil rights.