America's Call For A Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement

Jun 9, 2020

The call for a modern-day civil rights movement. We talk to two scholars of history about the need for change and healing.


David Blight, professor of history, African American studies and American studies and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University. Author of “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom,” which won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History.  (@davidwblight)

Lucas Johnson, executive director of civil conversations and social healing for the On Being Project. Community organizer, writer and a minister in the American Baptist Churches. (@onbeing)

From The Reading List

The Atlantic: “One Week to Save Democracy” — “In America’s house divided, racism—its structures and its individual acts—is tearing us apart in what feel like irreparable ways. On top of that, more than 106,000 Americans are dead from a virus that’s still raging, nearly 40 million others are unemployed, and hundreds of businesses as well as police buildings and vehicles are burning in American cities.”

On Being: “Living the Questions: When no question seems big enough” — “‘An anguish that is not even enough for a question — the inadequacy of everything that’s been done, and all of my best motivations and desires.’ Krista talks through the question of what questions we should be asking right now with her wise colleague and beloved friend Rev. Lucas Johnson.”

The Atlantic: “After the Flood Recedes” — “Those with power who are planning our resurgence from the coronavirus need imagination and, above all, the humility of a long view of the human drama.”

USA Today: “‘You have to keep at it’: What Black Lives Matter demonstrators can learn from civil rights protests of the past” — “Shahid Buttar, a Black Lives Matter activist running for Congress against fellow Democrat and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has been protesting in the streets for 20 years.”

New York Times: “Opinion: Allies, Don’t Fail Us Again” — “In 1964, during what was called Freedom Summer, over 700 mostly white young liberals descended on Mississippi to help register black voters.”

This article was originally published on

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit