Civil Rights Act

Photos courtesy of Jim Emison

Second Update: NPR's All Things Considered reported on this  effort. Here's the link to their story: Tennessee Community Pushes To Reopen 'Civil Rights Hero' Cold Case

Update: Part two of this conversation, which aired on Sounds Good Friday, June 19, has been added to this story, along with its narrative.  

Brownsville, Tennessee is in Haywood County mid-way northeast of Memphis and southwest of Jackson. On Saturday, the Haywood High School Gymnasium is the site of a Community Memorial Service honoring civil rights activist Elbert Williams on the 75th anniversary of his death. Alamo, Tennessee lawyer Jim Emison retired in 2011 and began a quest to understand more about the death of Elbert Williams, whose murder was never solved. Williams was the first known NAACP official to be killed for his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. Jim Emison speaks with Kate Lochte on Sounds Good about what he's learned. / Kentucky Commission on Human Rights

This week marks the 50th anniversary of a Kentucky event of importance not only for the state, but also for the nation. On March 5, 1964, over 10,000 people marched to Frankfort, Kentucky, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Jackie Robinson, demanding a law to end segregation in the Commonwealth. We hear the story with Kate Lochte, through the voices of a state employee of that time and an organizer of the event - who is still working for human rights.

This week, the University of Tennessee at Martin hosts "Freedom Summer: Fifty Years Later." It's their 14th Annual Civil Rights Conference featuring keynote speaker Mr. Dave Dennis, who participated in the first Freedom Bus ride from Montgomery, Alabama and in voter registration efforts during the 1964 Freedom Summer. Today, he works as the director and CEO of the Southern Initiative of the Algebra Project, a nonprofit that aims to improve mathematics education for minority children. UTM Department of History faculty member Dr. Renee LaFleur is coordinator for the conference and speaks with Kate Lochte about its events on Sounds Good.

50th Anniversary Civil Rights March on Frankfort

Jan 20, 2014

As a young man, shortly out of high school, John J. Johnson was the president of the local NAACP in his hometown of Franklin, Kentucky, and was a member of the executive committee for the March on Frankfort 50 years ago, which is being commemorated this year. That first march touched the nation and ultimately helped lead to the passage of the U.S. Civil Rights Act on July 2 of the same year. Today, John J. Johnson is the Executive Director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, and speaks with Kate Lochte.