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The LBJ Civil Rights Summit: Sports and Race: Leveling the Playing Field

Photo by Lauren Gerson
Jim Brown, Hall of Fame running back for the Cleveland Browns, left, Bill Russell, Hall of Fame center for the Boston Celtics, and Harry Edwards, Professor Emeritus of University of California in Berkeley.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of the LBJ Civil Rights Summit, held this past spring at the LBJ Presidential Library on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. Featured on today’s program are Hall of Famers Jim Brown and Bill Russell.

In April 2014, the LBJ Presidential Library on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin hosted a Civil Rights Summit to mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The summit featured three former presidents and President Obama. It also looked back at the civil rights movement of the 1960’s and looked forward at the civil rights issues still facing America and the world. President Johnson began his quest for a more just and honorable America with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the most transformational civil rights legislation since Reconstruction and a crucial step in the realization of America’s promise.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a revolutionary piece of legislation in this country that effectively outlawed egregious forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, including all forms of segregation. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 terminated unequal application in regards to voter registration requirements and all forms of racial segregation in schools, in the workplace and by facilities that offered services to the general public. On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed into law the historic Civil Rights Act.

The panel was hosted by The University of Texas at Austin Moody College of Communication's Texas Program in Sports and Media and the LBJ Presidential Library and Symposium.

John L. Hanson is the producer and host of the nationally syndicated radio series In Black America. It’s heard on home station KUT at 10 p.m. Tuesdays and 6:30 a.m. Sundays — and weekly on close to 20 stations across the country. The weekly podcast of IBA, the only nationally broadcast Black-oriented public affairs radio program, is one of KUT’s most popular podcasts.