As the United States entered the 1960′s, perhaps no other city in America was as segregated as Birmingham, Alabama, and this basic condition expected the likely conclusion of a civil rights flashpoint. In early 1963, events came to a head, and Pacifica Radio reporters were there to capture it all on magnetic audio tape — producing recordings that have been the charge of Pacifica Radio Archives ever since, and represent the very best of Pacifica’s mission and creativity.
This week on From the Vault, we jump back to 1963, to the volatile and unforgiving streets of Birmingham, and experience the sounds of an era unvarnished, within earshot of history unpurified, through the brilliant documentary Freedom Now! produced by Chris Koch, Dale Minor, and Robert Kramer in 1963. Freedom Now! documents the struggle for for racial equality that tore this troubled city apart, and the demonstrations that led to an agreemnet between citizens of all colors. Includes actuality of of the rally, riots, and the voices of Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and Birmingham’s Mayor and Sheriff.
This recording was preserved through a generous grant from the Ford Foundation in 2006.