Witness: Black History

Witness: Black History

For Black History Month, listen to interviews with people who were there at key moments in civil rights history, from Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream' speech, to surviving Robben Island with Nelson Mandela. These programmes are taken from the BBC World Service programme Witness, 2009 - 2013

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Recent episodes (10)

  • Ruby Bridges Attends an all-White School

    Fri, 11 Oct 13

    Duration:
    10 mins

    The desegregation of the education system in the southern States of the USA began in 1960. Until then black and white children had been educated separately. Ruby Bridges was six when she became one of the first black children to go to a white school, accompanied to school by US marshals.

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  • 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing

    Fri, 11 Oct 13

    Duration:
    9 mins

    On 15 September 1963, four young black girls were killed in a racist bomb attack on a church in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. Sarah Collins Rudolph was badly injured in the attack, and her sister, Addie Mae was killed. Listen to her story.

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  • The Children's Crusade

    Wed, 9 Oct 13

    Duration:
    10 mins

    In 1963 Birmingham in Alabama was one of the most segregated cities in the USA. In May that year thousands of black schoolchildren responded to a call from Martin Luther King to protest against segregation.

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  • 'I Have a Dream'

    Tue, 8 Oct 13

    Duration:
    10 mins

    The American civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, made his historic plea for an end to racial discrimination in the USA, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

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  • Mixed Race Marriage Victory in the US

    Tue, 8 Oct 13

    Duration:
    9 mins

    How Mildred and Richard Loving fought to get mixed-race marriages legalised across the US. Listen to the Lovings' lawyer, Bernie Cohen.

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  • Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit-ins

    Mon, 7 Oct 13

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Four young black men began a protest in Greensboro, North Carolina against the racial segregation of shops and restaurants in the US southern states, when they asked to be served at a lunch counter in Woolworths.

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  • The Freedom Riders

    Mon, 7 Oct 13

    Duration:
    9 mins

    Listen to freedom rider Bernard Lafayette Jr who witnessed how Martin Luther King prevented inter-ethnic bloodshed on a night of extreme tension during the battle against segregation in the American South.

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  • The Mississippi Burning Case

    Sat, 5 Oct 13

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Andrew Goodman was one of the three civil rights workers killed by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi in 1964. He and the other two victims, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner, had been working on a project to register African-Americans to vote.

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  • Soweto Uprising

    Sat, 5 Oct 13

    Duration:
    10 mins

    The 1976 Soweto uprising shook the apartheid government in South Africa to its core. It began with a demonstration by schoolchildren protesting against having to learn Afrikaans at school.

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  • Albert Luthuli's Nobel Peace Prize

    Sat, 5 Oct 13

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Albert Luthuli was the first African to win the Nobel Prize for Peace. He was notified of the prize when he was living under a banning order in rural South Africa. His daughter Albertina talks to Witness.

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