In the early Sixties, Civil Rights marchers were attacked by police dogs and knocked down by fire hoses. Such overt racism is no longer tolerated. But is it now harder to talk honestly about race? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, a look at civil rights then and now. Also, novelist Toni Morrison.
Twenty five years ago, Harold Lee and Michael Bennett took a college course on managing human conflict where their professor forced them to confront their attitudes about race. They tell Jim Fleming that the course changed their lives, that it was scary to face eachother as individuals and that politicians lack the guts to support such programs now.SEGMENT 2:
Taylor Branch is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of "Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65." He tells Steve Paulson that Martin Luther King was the target of harrassment by the FBI, and made the agonizing decision to use children to test segregation laws. Also, the Civil Rights movement forms the backdrop for Toni Morrison's new novel, "Paradise." She reads a selection from the book and tells Steve Paulson that she is troubled by the human tendency to define Paradise as a place from which people who aren't like "us" are excluded.SEGMENT 3:
Steve Watkins teaches English at Mary Washington College and is the author of "The Black O: Racism and Redemption in an American Corporate Empire." He tells Judith Strasser about the blatantly discriminatory hiring practices formerly employed by the Shoney's restaurant chains, and says that after paying a $137 million settlement, Shoney's has become a model for minority recruiting, hiring and promotion.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 98-02-15-A.
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