New American RadioWorks Documentaries Examine Civil Rights and Black History

Contact: Jacqueline Cartier
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New American RadioWorks Documentaries Examine Civil Rights and Black History

Audio & Reporting Available at

St. Paul, Minn. ñ (January 25, 2010) ñ American RadioWorks (ARW), the award-winning documentary unit of American Public Media, has released three new public radio documentaries. The programs examine three distinct subjects that sculpted the course of America’s Civil Rights movement. Say It Loud looks at the public speeches that played a powerful role in the struggle for equality, highlighting rhetoric from an eclectic mix of black leaders. State of Siege portrays Mississippi’s extreme efforts to maintain racial segregation, where tactics were fierce and for a time, very effective. Back of the Bus examines the fight for equal treatment in public transportation, a battle that still rages today.

Say It Loud: Great Speeches on Civil Rights and African American Identity

Chronicling the last 50 years of black history through stirring, historically important speeches by African Americans from across the political spectrum, Say It Loud illuminates tidal changes in African American political power and questions of identity. The program features recordings unearthed from libraries and sound archives and made widely available here for the first time, including landmark speeches by Malcolm X, Lorraine Hansberry, Angela Davis, Martin Luther King Jr., Henry Louis Gates, and many others.

State of Siege: Mississippi Whites and the Civil Rights Movement

Mississippi occupies a distinct and dramatic place in the history of America’s civil rights movement. No state in the South was more resistant to the struggle for black equality, or more violent. While the history of civil rights activists has been well documented in radio and television, the stories and strategies of their white opponents are not. Drawing on newly discovered archival audio and groundbreaking research on the civil rights era, State of Siege brings to light the extraordinary tactics whites in Mississippi used to battle integration, and the lasting impact of that battle in American politics today.

Back of the Bus: Mass Transit, Race and Inequality

A collaborative documentary from Transportation Nation and WNYC, distributed by American RadioWorks, Back of the Bus presents the fight for equal rights on America’s roads and transit lines. Many African American communities were bulldozed in the 1960s to make way for highways. Today, bus service to poor neighborhoods in cities across the country is being cut in favor of more expensive rail. This program visits communities from the snowy streets of St. Paul, to Oakland, Atlanta, Denver and our nation’s capital Washington D.C. where people of color still struggle for equal treatment in public transportation.

Tune In: All three documentaries will be broadcast on public radio stations nationwide. Check local listings for availability. In addition, visit for access to additional resources, audio and transcripts.

American RadioWorks is American Public Media’s award-winning documentary program. Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, ARW creates documentaries, series projects and investigative reports for the public radio system and the Internet. Its hour-long specials provide in-depth reporting on public affairs and social and cultural subjects.