The story of our times told by the people who were there.
In November 1960, Ruby Bridges became one of the first black children in New Orleans to be educated at a white elementary school. It began the desegregation of the education system in the Southern States. She was just six years old, and she had to be accompanied to school by US Marshals. *** Listeners should be aware that some of the language in this programme reflects the historical context of the time. *** Image: Associated Press
In 1958, a mixed-race couple, Mildred and Richard Loving, were arrested and then banished from the US state of Virginia for breaking its laws against inter-racial marriage. <br><br>Nine years later, Mildred and Richard Loving won a ruling at the Supreme Court declaring this sort of legislation unconstitutional.<br><br>Witness speaks to the Lovings' lawyer, Bernie Cohen.
On 1 February 1960, four young black men began a protest in Greensboro, North Carolina against the racial segregation of shops and restaurants in the US southern states.<br><br>The men, who became known as the Greensboro Four, asked to be served at a lunch counter in Woolworths. When they were refused service they stayed until closing time. And went back the next day, and the next. Over the following days and months, this non-violent form of protest spread and many more people staged sit-ins at shops and restaurants. <br><br>Witness hears from one of the four men, Franklin McCain.
The Freedom Riders were civil rights activists who rode on buses, testing out whether bus stations were complying with the Supreme Court ruling that banned segregation. <br><br>Listen to Bernard Lafayette Junior, an eyewitness to how Martin Luther King managed to prevent inter-ethnic bloodshed on a night of extreme tension during the battle against segregation in the American South.<br><br>Picture: A group of Black Americans get off the 'Freedom Bus' at Jackson, Mississippi, Credit: William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images
*** This programme was first broadcast on 25 October, 2011 *** <br><br>In the mid 1970s Nelson Mandela began writing his autobiography in prison, on Robben Island.<br><br>Mac Maharaj was one of the prisoners who helped edit and conceal the manuscript.<br><br>Photo: Associated Press, Nelson Mandela before he was imprisoned.
The armed wing of the ANC party took its first violent action in 1961, when a bomb was planted at municipal offices in Durban. <br><br>Ronnie Kasrils explained what happened that day.<br><br>(Image: Ronnie Kasrils in 1961. Credit: Ronnie Kasrils)
A snapshot of the attitudes and emotions on both sides of the racial divide as the South Africa authorites cemented the foundations of Apartheid in 1957.
In April 1981 the streets of Brixton, south London, erupted into violence. The fighting took part between young members of the black community and the Metropolitan police. <br><br>A former rioter, Sheldon Thomas, and a former policeman, Brian Paddick, tell their side of the story.<br><br>This programme was first broadcast last year.<br><br>Photo: Press Association
In 1948 nearly 500 pioneers travelled from the Caribbean on the Empire Windrush. The passage cost £28, 10 shillings. <br><br>Passenger Sam King describes the conditions on board and the concerns people had about finding a job in England - and what life was like in their adopted country once they arrived.
US troops left Iraq earlier this month, well before their deadline of 31 December. <br><br>We hear from one American soldier who remembers when they first invaded the country, almost nine years ago.<br><br>Photo: John Crawford and a colleague in Iraq.
The Podcast "Witness: Archive 2011" and it's RSS content on this page are the intellectual property right of the people mentioned in the copyright statement (see above). Podcastdirectory.com does not have any influence on the content of "Witness: Archive 2011".