This week on From the Vault we tackle the topic of Race and Prejudice through a few recording that will hopefully shed a little light on how generalizations on this very sensitive subject cannot possibly account for the subtleties involved.
At the center of this discussion will be three people from the South who each play an important role in this discussion. Like many of the recordings in our collection you probably haven t heard their names before, but their actions are significant and deserve a place in history and in our current National Discussion on Race, Racism and Prejudice today.
We have Marcia Elizabeth Tomkins, a Pacifica Radio WBAI staffer and native of Tuscaloosa Alabama, who secretly recorded a Ku Klux Klan meeting for a landmark Pacifica Documentary in 1964.
We also have C. P. Ellis, a former Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan in Durham North Carolina, who described in 1996 the circumstances of his background growing up hopeful and optimistic in a poor working class family and how circumstances lead him to the Klan. He also reveals how he actually has more in common with his Black neighbors, when he is ironically teamed up with Ann Atwater who is Black, to deal with the town s desegregation process.
Then we present Radio Legend Studs Terkel. In 1999 Terkel spoke with actor Tim Robbins about his favorite interview, and tells a tale of an improbable friendship between former Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan C. P. Ellis and Ann Atwater, a Black woman he was paired with to help integrate their local public schools.
And finally a section from the 1996 Democracy Now program. C.P. Ellis himself together with Ann Atwater spoke with Democracy Now s Amy Goodman and author Osha Gray Davidson in 1996 about their experiences captured in the book Best of Enemies.
From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration, and past grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners. We also thank our partners and collaborators at the Pop-Up Archive, Amara, Other Minds Archives, George Blood Audio, and the California Audio Visual Preservation Project.
PURCHASE a copy of this program or learn more about the historic archival recordings used within this episode. To purchase a CD copy of this program by phone, please call Pacifica Radio Archives at 800.735.0230 x 262.