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Historian Taylor Branch Kennedys’ Aversion to Dr. King’s Str
Mon Jan 20, 2014 17:41
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Historian Taylor Branch on the March on Washington and the Kennedys’ Aversion to Dr. King’s Struggle
http://www.democracynow.org/2013/8/29/historian_taylor_branch_on_the_march

As we continue our coverage of the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and Dr. Martin Luther King’s "I Have a Dream" speech, we’re joined by the acclaimed chronicler of the civil rights movement, Taylor Branch. A Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Branch is best known for his landmark narrative history of the civil rights era, the "America in the King Years" trilogy. His new book is a collection from the trilogy that he has adapted for a college course, "The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement."
Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Peter and Paul of Peter, Paul and Mary, singing yesterday on the Mall. Fifty years ago, they also sang at the March on Washington. They were singing along with Trayvon Martin’s parents, as well as a father of a student in Newtown who was killed in the massacre there, singing "Blowing in the Wind." This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, tens of thousands of people gathered on Washington’s National Mall on Wednesday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and Dr. Martin Luther King’s "I Have a Dream" speech. President Obama spoke standing on the same steps where Dr. King spoke a half-century ago.

AMY GOODMAN: We end today’s show in Baltimore, Maryland, where we’re joined by the acclaimed chronicler of the civil rights movement, Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, best known for his landmark narrative history of the civil rights era, the America in the King Years trilogy. His new book is a collection from the trilogy that he’s adapted for a college course. It’s called The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement.

Taylor Branch, it’s great to have you with us. Talk about what most people don’t understand about 50 years ago. We’ve been speaking a lot on Democracy Now! about the background of the march. What we haven’t spoken as much about is President Kennedy’s relationship with Dr. King and whether he wanted this march to move forward, the effect the march had.

TAYLOR BRANCH: Well, President Kennedy was very nervous about the march and wished that it would not go forward. If it had been up to him, there wouldn’t have been a march. He had just proposed the Civil Rights Act in 19—in June of ’63 on national television, the best civil rights speech President Kennedy ever gave, the only one in which he addressed the race issue of segregation as a moral issue, as clear as the Constitution and as old as the Scriptures. But he was afraid that a march would lead to controversy and rioting and that sort of thing, and make it hard to get the bill through Congress. So he tried to talk them out of having the march and was immensely relieved, along with a lot of the rest of America, when the march turned out to be so peaceful.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And also the impact—in your works, you’ve talked about the—what happened that year, in '63, especially in Birmingham, how the nation really began to change in terms of its view of the battle over civil rights as a result of the attacks on children by the Birmingham authorities. Could you talk about King's decision in Birmingham and how that helped to build this enormous march months later?

TAYLOR BRANCH: King’s career was—his great gamble in Birmingham had not worked. Nobody was interested in his "Letter from Birmingham Jail" one iota. It was dismissed as another long-winded King sermon. He took a stupefying risk in Birmingham to allow not only high school students, but elementary school students, to take the place of a dwindling number of adult volunteers who were discouraged. And instead of 10 or 15, which is what the daily quota had finally dwindled down to be, they had over a thousand students march, downtown Birmingham, and were met with dogs and fire hoses on May 2nd and May 3rd. It was a stupefying gamble in his career.
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http://www.democracynow.org/2014/1/20/special_dr_martin_luther_king_jr

Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning author best known for his landmark narrative history of the civil rights era, the America in the King Years trilogy. His new book is a collection from the trilogy that he has adapted for a college course. It’s called The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement
http://www.democracynow.org/appearances/taylor_branch

http://taylorbranch.dreamhosters.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/partingthewaters_large.jpg
http://taylorbranch.com/king-era-trilogy/

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http://taylorbranch.com/king-era-trilogy/

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Pepper went a step beyond saying government agencies were responsible for the assassination. To whom in turn were those murderous agencies responsible? Not so much to government officials per se, Pepper asserted, as to the economic powerholders they represented who stood in the even deeper shadows behind the FBI, Army Intelligence, and their affiliates in covert action. By 1968, Pepper told the jury, “And today it is much worse in my view” – “the decision-making processes in the United States were the representatives, the footsoldiers of the very economic interests that were going to suffer as a result of these times of changes [being activated by King].”
To say that U.S. government agencies killed Martin Luther King on the verge of the Poor People’s Campaign is a way into the deeper truth that the economic powers that be (which dictate the policies of those agencies) killed him. In the Memphis prelude to the Washington campaign, King posed a threat to those powers of a non-violent revolutionary force. Just how determined they were to stop him before he reached Washington was revealed in the trial by the size and complexity of the plot to kill him.
FULL REPORT:
http://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/Unspeakable/MLKconExp.html

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