On-Air Highlights

1963 Series on witf FM

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | Jun 13, 2013 8:46 AM

NPR's National Desk, the Code Switch team and NPR Music present a series of stories around the summer of 1963, a pivotal period in the civil rights movement that included Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. The series examines the events and those who were in the midst of the movement, and also tells stories that are very much in the here and now, with radio and digital pieces, postcards, interviews and more. The series airs through mid-September on many of the shows heard on witf including Morning Edition, Here and Now, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. 

Coming up in the series:

All Things Considered; Monday, June 17th
In the summer of 1963 all eyes turned to Birmingham, Alabama, as the struggle for civil rights made headlines. Fifty years later, host Audie Cornish heads to Birmingham to look back at America and the rest of the world to see what else made headlines during one pivotal week in the summer of 1963.

'Sukiyaki' Tops The Billboard Charts
Bubblegum pop meets a fascinating Japanese backstory.

Contemporary Civil Rights Movements
So many parallels have been posited between the fights for LGBT rights and immigration reform and the black liberation struggles of the '50s, '60s and '70s. How do these movements relate? What tactics have modern activists taken from the activists who led the March On Washington, and where have they differed? NPR's Code Switch team has the story.

The View From Paris
Josephine Baker, Richard Wright, James Baldwin and other American black authors and artists were in France as the civil rights movement touched off in the U.S. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley looks at black American expatriates and Paris during this era.

Children of the Civil Rights Martyrs
Malcolm Shabazz's troubled life and premature death is just one in a long line of sad stories involving the children of civil rights martyrs and heroes. Yolanda King died at a relatively young age, leaving behind three siblings who are occasionally estranged. Medgar Evers' children live quietly on the margins of success, and Malcolm X's daughters are survivors, but at great effort; a t times some are barely hanging on, as NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates reports.

The Changing Image of 'Black Music'
A look at the rise of black girl groups and the Motortown Revue, and how "black music" was marketing to white audiences.

The Anthem 'We Shall Overcome'
Revisit Noah Adam's feature, which first aired in January 1999 on All Things Considered.

'People Get Ready'
The March on Washington inspired Curtis Mayfield to write "People Get Ready" and foreshadowed the socially conscious music to come in the '60s.

Segregated Schools in Georgia
After the Supreme Court ordered the integration of Georgia public schools, white residents of Georgia immediately turned around and created segregated private schools like Macon Academy. Now Macon-East Academy, the school opened on September 10, 1963, and its student body remains very heavily white. NPR's Code Switch team has the story.

The 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing
Monday, September 16th
Four black girls were killed when the Klu Klux Klan bombed Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church. The event is considered a turning point that galvanized the nation behind the Civil Rights Act. NPR's Debbie Elliott looks at how the investigation was put together years after the crime and why justice took so long.

16th Street Church Bombing Reaction
Monday, September 16th
How did the community respond, and what was the legacy on race relations in Birmingham today? NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.

16th Street Church Bombing Education
How do children today learn about the 16th Street Church bombing? It's featured in a kids' book, The Watsons Go to Birmingham.

Teaching the Movement
At Jackson State University's institute named for activist Fannie Lou Hamer, middle-schoolers spend two weeks learning the history of the civil rights movement. On some days, they're walking the very streets where battles of the time were waged. Cory Turner.

For this series, also follow the @TodayIn1963 Twitter account, which compiles moments from the summer of 1963 and tweets them as they happened then.

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