Moyers on King, Johnson, Clinton and Obama, and civil rights


Moyers keeps the hammer solely on the head of the nail — again.

This video segment from Bill Moyers’ program should be suitable for classroom use — short, covering a lot of civil rights history, with great images.

From the video:

LYNDON JOHNSON: It’s all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome.

BILL MOYERS: As he finished, Congress stood and thunderous applause shook the chamber. Johnson would soon sign into law the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and black people were no longer second class citizens.  Martin Luther King had marched and preached and witnessed for this day.   Countless ordinary people had put their bodies on the line for it, been berated, bullied and beaten, only to rise, organize and struggle on, against the dogs and guns, the bias and burning crosses.  Take nothing from them; their courage is their legacy. But take nothing from the president who once had seen the light but dimly, as through a dark glass — and now did the right thing. Lyndon Johnson threw the full weight of his office on the side of justice. Of course the movement had come first, watered by the blood of so many, championed bravely now by the preacher turned prophet who would himself soon be martyred. But there is no inevitability to history, someone has to seize and turn it.  With these words at the right moment —  “we shall overcome”  — Lyndon Johnson transcended race and color, and history, too — reminding us that a president matters, and so do we.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Just in case you missed Bill Moyers’ Journal on PBS this week.

2 Responses to Moyers on King, Johnson, Clinton and Obama, and civil rights

  1. eyeingtenure says:

    That is an excellent clip.

    Like

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