Journalist Mark Whitaker says that much of what's happening in American race relations today traces back to 1966, the year when the Black Panthers were founded and the Black Power movement took full form.
According to Russian journalist Masha Gessen, the 2012 arrests were the start of a campaign by Vladimir Putin and his supporters against government critics. Gessen, who is also an LGBT rights advocate, recently moved to New York with her partner and their children in response to the anti-gay laws Russia passed in June.
Emma Stone and Viola Davis star in the film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's best-selling novel about a white woman who sets out to tell the story of black domestic servants in 1960s Mississippi. Critic David Edelstein says that both Stone and Davis pull off stunning performances.
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.
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.
Investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell writes for The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., and specializes in unearthing new evidence from Civil Rights era criminal cases. His coverage has led to the convictions of four Ku Klux Klan members, starting with Byron De La Beckwith for the assassination of Medgar Evers. Recently, Edgar Ray Killen was found guilty of orchestrating the murders of Civil Rights workers Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner. Next week Mitchell will be honored with the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism.
Journalist Karl Fleming's new book is Son of the Rough South: An Uncivil Memoir. As a civil rights reporter for Newsweek in the 1960s, he wrote about major events such as the Birmingham church bombing, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the murders of three civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Miss. While at the 1966 riots in the Watts section of Los Angeles, Fleming was severely beaten.
They have collaborated on the new book Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights. Patricia Due was a civil rights activist with CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) and was part of the movement's landmark "jail-in." Protesters served time instead of paying a fine for the so-called crime of sitting at a Woolworth lunch counter. Patricia Due worked with many of the movement's great figures during the 1960s.
In her 40 years of public service she worked for civil rights, helped write the guidelines that are now established in the Sexual Harrassment Act, worked for reform in South Africa and has argued before the Supreme Court. She has been the Commissioner on Human Rights in New York, the first woman appointed to head the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a law professor. Holmes Norton is the subject of the new biography Fire in My Soul, written by a long-time friend, Joan Steinau Lester.
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.
Martha Reeves is the lead singer of Martha and the Vandellas, the Motown group which made it big in the 60's with such hits as "Nowhere to Run," "Heat Wave," and "Dancing in the Street." Her new autobiography, "Dancing in the Street: Confessions of a Motown Diva," is about her career, her conflicts with other Motown singers and managers, and her experiences touring during the height of the Civil Rights movement.
Civil rights attorney and law professor Jack Greenberg. He was just out of law school--a white Jewish man from the Bronx when he joined the fledgling NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF). Greenberg took over the helm of the LDF from his mentor Thurgood Marshall when Marshall was appointed to the Federal Court of Appeals. During Greenberg's tenure there, the LDF litigated some of the watershed cases of the civil rights struggle. He has just published a memoir of his 35 years at the LDF.