Stories of civil rights marches and lunch counter sit-ins landed on our doorsteps in the morning newspaper. res of migrant workers striking for living wages lit up our televisions. But who brought us the sights and sounds of the struggle for equality in America?
On February 25, six journalists who covered the civil rights struggle in those dangerous days will be recognized by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) and AARP. The honor ceremony at the Library of Congress kicks off the Voices of Civil Rights project, a year-long effort to build the world's largest archive of firsthand accounts of the Civil Rights Movement. Through a range of media and education projects, Voices will tell an American story, transcending individual differences to illustrate how the continuing quest for equality is vital to all races and ethnic groups.
The six journalists receiving the award are:
- Simeon Booker has chronicled civil rights as editor and bureau chief for Johnson Publications for more than 40 years. He was one of only 12 African American reporters to cover the Emmett Till trial.
- Dorothy Butler Gilliam was one of the few African American women in journalism in the 1960s. Her first reporting assignment was to cover the stormy and sometimes violent integration of Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas.
- Moses Newson began his career as a reporter covering the Emmett Till trial. He continued to cover the historic events of the early Civil Rights Movement, including the Freedom Riders, and the marches and protests that ultimately led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act.
- Gordon Parks's first stirring photographic images for Life magazine of the people, places, and events provided form and definition to the Civil Rights Movement. In addition to his influential work as a photojournalist, Parks also broke new ground as a writer and film director.
- Ruben Salazar was one of the first Hispanic journalists to provide a voice for the emerging Hispanic Civil Rights Movement that in many ways paralled the African American movement.
- Richard Stolley, as a hard-charging reporter for Life, described with astonishing clarity the faces of hate and the faces of courage in the Deep South during the early period of the Civil Rights Movement
"These journalists covered some of the most dangerous days of the struggle for justice and equality in America," said LCCR Executive Director Wade Henderson. "They put themselves in harm's way to bring these stories into our homes and for that we are forever indebted."
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to making life better for people 50 and over. We provide information and resources; engage in legislative, regulatory and legal advocacy; assist members in serving their communities; and offer a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for our members. These include AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our quarterly publication for Hispanic members; NRTA Live and Learn for National Retired Teachers Association members; and our Web site, www.aarp.org. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.