This two-part program begins with the actual film the Black Panther Party used to promote its cause. Shot in 1969 in San Francisco, it’s an exemplar of 1960s activist filmmaking, featuring an interview from jail with Black Panthers cofounder Huey Newton, as well as footage of cofounder Bobby Seale explaining its Ten Point Program and Eldridge Cleaver discussing the Panthers’ appeal to the black community. The program’s second part, shot by students and their supporters during the San Francisco State University strike of 1968–1969, documents the groundbreaking protest that led to the establishment of the first ethnic studies department at an American university.
On January 31st, 1961, in Rock Hill SC, the men who would become known as the Friendship 9 walked across town and sat down at a lunch counter. They were beaten, dragged outside, threatened, and sentenced to 30 days of hard labor at the York County Prison Camp. They were allowed no defense, afforded no rights, and offered no justice. Mostly students of nearby Friendship College, they held fast to nonviolence and “Jail No Bail.” Instead of paying for freedom in fees and fines, they suffered for it. The strategy of “Jail No Bail” pioneered by Thomas Gaither and piloted in Rock Hill, spread across the south and revitalized a frustrated Civil Rights Movement. Their success propelled the Freedom Rides and eventually major U.S. Civil Rights legislation. The trials didn’t end with their release from prison. The vitriol of racists and bigots always followed. That one day in January would change the direction of their whole lives. Only 54 years later, in January 2015, were their convictions stricken from the books. In a world grappling with issues of equality in all forms, the story of the Friendship 9 rings in our ears as powerfully as ever.
In the 1960s, Ruby Bridges became the first African-American student to integrate into an entirely white public school system in New Orleans. She joins Charlayne Hunter-Gault, who followed in Bridges' footsteps 60 years ago and desegregated the University of Georgia along with Hamilton Holmes, to discuss racism and civil rights in the modern era.
Philadelphia protests over the killing of Walter Wallace Jr. represent only the latest in a year of nationwide demonstrations against racism and police violence. The ongoing movement has captured attention and provided political fodder -- but it also reflects a long American history of organizing against injustice. Amna Nawaz talks to author Peniel Joseph of the University of Texas at Austin.
Formal addresses, panel discussions, and programs that took place at a conference and reunion unfolding over four days at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC. Segments include: "Early Student Movement Philosophy and Activism", "From Student Activists to Field Organizers", "The Raleigh Civil Rights Movement" and more.