SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Officials in Auburn opened the $10 million Equal Rights Heritage Center, a place for visitors to learn about the important social movements throughout New York State history. It is meant to drive tourism and educate the public on the historic significance of the region.
Police officers in Oakland, Calif., line up across from demonstrators on July 7 as protesters marched against police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota. Amanda Agustin/Youth Radio
After a week of violence and death, Youth Radio’s Soraya Shockley ponders how to move forward despite the sadness and anger.
On Tuesday, in Baton Rouge Louisiana, 37-year-old Alton Sterling was shot by police. The next day, in Falcon Heights, Minnesota police shot and killed 32-year-old Philando Castile. Both were black men, and videos of their deaths have been watched by millions on social media. Including me. These two videos aren’t special.
Recently, noted Civil War historian James M. McPherson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Battle Cry of Freedom” (1988), visited Binghamton University to deliver the ninth annual Shriber Lecture. Professor McPherson sat down with WSKG History to discuss his career, Civil War history, and his involvement as a historical consultant on PBS’s Civil War medical drama MERCY STREET. In this clip from our interview, Professor McPherson discusses the influence of the Civil Right Movement on his career.
(The partial transcript below has been edited for clarity.)
On the influence of the Civil Rights Movement and his career
When I got to Baltimore, and this was at the end of the 1950s and in the early 1960s, I was surrounded by the Civil Rights Movement and by a kind of historical deja vu. Because, in the 1960s there was this confrontation between the Federal Government and southern political leaders who were vowing massive resistance to national law, talking about interposition of the state sovereignty between people of the state and the national government, violence in the South, federal troops being sent into the South… On a different scale, a massive scale, this had happened a hundred years earlier and what was going on in the 1960s had a direct relationship to what went on in the 1860s. So I decided to do my dissertation on the civil rights activists of the 1860s, the abolitionists…
Jack Roosevelt Robinson rose from humble origins to cross baseball’s color line and become one of the most beloved men in America. A fierce integrationist, Robinson used his immense fame to speak out against the discrimination he saw on and off the field, angering fans, the press, and even teammates who had once celebrated him for “turning the other cheek.” JACKIE ROBINSON, a new two-part, four-hour documentary directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon, chronicles the life and times of Jackie Robinson. Watch Part I:
Watch Part II:
Main Image: Courtesy of Hulton Archive Getty Images.
While some consider the Civil Rights Movement part of the distant past, many of the problems that fueled the fight are still with us. PBS LearningMedia helps to lend context to the events and leaders that defined the Civil Rights movement’s first three decades (1954-1985). The resources also capture the issues and activists involved in the struggle today – those making headlines, stirring debate, and trending on social media. The collection features content from PBS programs including Eyes on the Prize and Freedom Riders. View Full Collection
Here’s a preview of the type of resources and videos available in this collection:
Civil Rights: Then
Civil Rights: Now
Browse WSKG’s special programs for Black History Month.
The other day on Facebook , NPR shared a story it produced in 2014 about the then recently discovered recording of a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. from 1962. The New York State Museum unearthed the audiotape, once lost to history, while digitizing its massive archive. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QgJ5B6imPU
New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller asked King to address the New York Civil War Centennial Commission during a commemoration of the Emancipation Proclamation. The overall message of Dr. King’s speech was that the great promises set forth by the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Declaration of Independence, had fallen short. Dr. King believed that the best way to commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation was to “make its declaration of freedom real” by reaffirming America’s commitment to equality. Even today, 54 years after Dr. King spoke, his words resonant.