As the first African-American attorney in Selma, Ala., J.L. Chestnut Jr. campaigned to free jailed Civil Rights activists in the 1960s — an effort he detailed in his autobiography, Black In Selma. Chestnut died of kidney failure on Sept. 30; he was 77.
Author and museum director James Cameron died last Sunday at the age of 92. In 1930, an organized mob of more than 10,000 white men and women dragged Cameron and two other black teenage men from a jail cell in Marion, Ind. The mob mercilessly beat the three young men and lynched two — Cameron was spared. He recounted this experience in his 1984 memoir A Time of Terror and later founded the Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee, which he modeled after the Jewish Holocaust museum in Israel. This interview originally aired on March 8, 1994.
Criminal defense attorney Johnnie Cochran died Tuesday at age 67 of cancer, after having been diagnosed in 2003 with an inoperable brain tumor. In 1995, Cochran won O.J. Simpson a not-guilty verdict in the slayings of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Over the years, Cochran defended celebrities as well as lesser-known individuals. He represented football great Jim Brown, as well as rappers Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg and Sean Combs. (Originial airdate: 10/10/96)