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Your Call

Civil Rights Icons Discuss The Ongoing Fight For Racial Justice

Freedom Riders
Milton Times
Freedom Riders

On this edition of Your Call, we're speaking with civil rights veterans Hezekiah Watkins and Annie Pearl Avery about the ongoing fight for racial justice and civil rights history.

On July 7, 1961, Hezekiah Watkins was arrested and placed on death row when he was just 13-years-old after he went to a Greyhound bus station in Jackson, Mississippi to see the Freedom Riders. He's been arrested 109 times fighting for basic rights and equality.

Annie Pearl Avery joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at 16, and was arrested many times for protesting and participating in voter registration drives across the south. What can we learn from the people who lived through this recent history?


Hezekiah Watkins, author of Pushing Forward: Mississippi's Youngest Freedom Rider and museum docent at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson

Ms. Annie Pearl Avery, civil rights activist who was part of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s and director of the Ancient Africa, Enslavement & Civil War Museum in Selma, Alabama

Web Resources:

Smithsonian Magazine: The Freedom Riders, Then and Now

WLBT: One of the youngest Freedom Riders reflects on the fight for justice

Newsone: Bloody Sunday Veteran: “We Thought We Were Going To Die That Day”

SNCC: Annie Pearl Avery

Library of Congress: Annie Pearl Avery oral history interview conducted by Joseph Mosnier in Selma, Alabama, 2011 May 31

July 22, 6-7pm CT: Direct Action with Hezekiah Watkins

Lea is a producer for Your Call on KALW Local Public Radio. She graduated from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY in 2018.
Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.