The Summer of '63
American folk singer and activist Pete Seeger (left) adopted and helped popularize "We Shall Overcome" by teaching the song at rallies and protests. Here he sings with activists in Greenwood, Miss., in 1963.
It is not a marching song. It is not necessarily defiant. It is a promise: "We shall overcome someday. Deep in my heart, I do believe." It has been a civil rights song for 50 years now, heard not just in the U.S. but in North Korea, in Beirut, in Tiananmen Square, in South Africa's Soweto Township.
July 12, 2013 Mary Hamilton, a field secretary for the Congress of Racial Equality, was arrested at an Alabama protest and refused to answer the judge unless he called her "Miss." It was custom for white people to get honorifics, but black people were called by first names.
July 9, 2013 As part of our ongoing coverage of the civil rights movement and the summer of 1963, NPR Music has created a stream of more than 100 songs inspired by that era.
July 9, 2013 The songs of the civil rights era are as varied as the people who have marched in the movement. We look back over five decades of passionate, engaged music-making — from singers in the struggle to young artists celebrating their political and musical heroes.
June 21, 2013 In Birmingham, Ala., golf courses were one of the many municipal parks that officials shut down, rather than integrate. In June 1963, the city opened some of its golf courses to everybody — including blacks.
June 18, 2013 There's a stark difference between how the national press covered the events of 1963 in Birmingham and how Birmingham's papers covered their own city. Audie Cornish talks with Alabama journalist Hank Klibanoff, co-author of The Race Beat, about the disparity.
June 13, 2013 To commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous speech, NPR's Tell Me More is asking: What's your dream?
June 12, 2013 Fifty years ago, Dylan's career was just taking off when he heard the news that the civil rights activist had been killed. "Only a Pawn in Their Game," his response to Evers' assassination, highlights the victimization of poor whites and blacks alike.