NPR's 'The Summer Of '63' Series Recalls Civil Rights-Era Struggles

NPR NEWS' SPECIAL SERIES 'THE SUMMER OF '63' RECALLS CIVIL RIGHTS-ERA STRUGGLES, 50 YEARS LATER

Time-Traveling @Todayin1963 Captures Moments As They Happened

Fifty years after a watershed period in U.S. history, the NPR News special series The Summer of '63 looks back on pivotal moments from the civil rights era as it spread across a divided nation – and uses today's megaphone of social media to amplify a renewed dialogue on race, discourse and equality in America.

The wide-ranging series canvasses NPR newsmagazines, NPR.org, NPR Music and social media. It provides a comprehensive "then and now" look at the longstanding legacies of a historic struggle for racial freedom and equality – set to the soundtrack of a 24-hour music stream that immortalizes the pulse of a groundbreaking movement. The series will continue on air and online all month, leading up to the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. A full list of stories and other series information to-date is available at NPR.org.

The Summer of '63 follows the civil rights movement as it gained momentum: from conversations with attendees of the first-ever mass demonstration on the National Mall; to intimate interviews with the families of civil rights martyrs; to explorations of the lesser-known cultural nuances from the era, like the role that food played in unifying the 1963 movement. Moments from the historic summer are captured, as if in real-time, with @Todayin1963, a time-traveling Twitter account led by Code Switch, NPR's team of journalists focusing on race, ethnicity and culture.

All this month, Morning Edition and NPR special correspondent Michele Norris, curator of The Race Card Project, will meet some of the people who witnessed the March on Washington, as they recall their memories and share their reflections on contemporary race relations. And 50 years after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, Tell Me More asks listeners to share their modern day dreams, with #mydream.

Additional details are available, below:

RETROSPECTIVE CONVERSATIONS
NPR is featuring interviews with witnesses to the summer of 1963, and conversations about civil rights past, present and future, including:

THEN & NOW: CALLS-TO-ACTION
NPR uses social media to engage listeners in ongoing conversations on race, culture and equality in America.

  • '@Todayin1963': Code Switch created a "time-traveling" Twitter feed that highlights events from the summer of '63, as they happened – and goes into live-tweeting mode during the most climactic anniversaries.
  • 'I Have a Dream': Tell Me More features listeners' submissions on their visions for themselves, and for America, 50 years after Dr. King's historic speech – tagged #mydream.

RATTLE & RALLY: MUSIC AS A TOOL FOR CHANGE
NPR Music and NPR's afternoon newsmagazine All Things Considered collaborate to explore the intersection of music and social change in 1963.

  • The Mix: Songs Inspired By The Civil Rights Movement.
  • The History: From forward-thinking blues bards to activist DJs, music helped propel the 1963 movement.
  • The Anthems: From Nat King Cole, to Motown and Bob Dylan, the music that sprouted in 1963 was topical, political and unlike anything else on the radio.

Contact

NPR Media Relations: Cara Philbin
Email: mediarelations (at) npr.org