The Civil Rights Movement with Chris Wilson | History Hit LIVE on Timeline

published on June 30, 2020

hello everybody hello welcome to history

hit live on timeline today we are going

to be talking about the civil rights

movement and the rise of non-violent

protest in the us in the 1960s hello

Elizabeth in DC we've got someone very

close to you on the bond that on the

show this week this week

dusty hello in Cape Town how're you

doing hello in North Carolina

good to see cheers whiffle welcome

everybody to this to this live stream

where we are going to be talking to

Chris Wilson he's an American historian

he's director of experience design at

the Smithsonian's National Museum of

American history is exactly the man that

we need to be talking to today

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hi there welcome back so we got Caitlyn

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Chris thank you for joining us thank you

Dan's wonderful to be here today thank

you for having me on

well happy I'm gonna be I'm British when

I say this one but happy Juneteenth by

the way cook this episode falls on a

very special day in the American

calendar just just explain to us what

this day means and its significance

thank you yes

Juneteenth this year has has achieved

just a an enhanced reputation and

information about it

Juneteenth is a holiday that is related

to the arrival of the United States Army

during the American Civil War the were

the slaveholders rebellion getting to

Texas in on June 19th 19 1865 where they

arrived in Galveston and read an order

that freed the slaves there and told so

in Texas Texas hadn't had very much

fighting during the war and the Union

Army had not arrived there at this point

the Emancipation Proclamation issued two

years earlier legally freed slaves in

areas that were still in rebellion

against the United States but that

authority did not really arrive and

practical emancipation did not really

arrive until the army did or until

enslaved African Americans freed

themselves until Galveston is right so

we think it's right kind of at the edge

of of Texas that's how long it took for

that news to arrive so some people were

affected as a state of enslavement for

you know a lot many many months years

after the proclamation

right and it and in some ways it wasn't

just the it wasn't really really just

about the news oftentimes we think of it

it is

I've been studying Juneteenth really for

thirty years we started I used to work

at Henry Ford Museum in Michigan and and

in the late 80s I learned Juneteenth

from a great curator they are Peter

cousins who was our agriculture curator

at the museum's passed away since but he

I'd never learned about it in school

even though I was a scholar of history

at the University of Michigan at the

time had not learned about it I learned

about it then we started doing

programming around emancipation

celebrations like Juneteenth or other

types of emancipation celebrations

across the south on about other moments

of emancipation but Juneteenth was

certainly one of those and that's when I

learned about it and the way we often

think about it and learn about it if we

do is it took a long time for that news

to travel to to Texas well it wasn't

really just the news because of course

the people that were freeing that would

be freeing african-americans enslaved

african-americans would be the

slaveholders themselves and they knew

about the news immediately and I'll call

across the South and what many

slaveholders did was forcibly march

their slaves to areas that were not

likely to be taken over by the United

States Army inland away from the coast

where the Navy couldn't where people

couldn't run to naval gunboats and so

forth and places like Texas where yes

they could keep their slaves as property

doing doing some work but also just as

the property themselves in case whatever

happened in case the South won the war

or whatever it was because you have to

think of enslaved african-americans were

valuable because of their work but

they're also valuable because of

themselves as property and if you add up

the property slaves as property and the

value of those slaves as property their

estimates that say that that value

outweighs all the other capital in the

United States print prior to the Civil


Wow well let

let's start with this discussion about

the civil rights member 1960s by giving

a like a very brief history if you may

but what happened really between that

moments when slaves are freed although

even all the way down in Galveston um up

until the 1960s because Rosa Parks and

Martin Luther King didn't suddenly

invent this this this struggle for

emancipation it had been it had been a

battle fiercely contested that's a

really good point and historians are

starting to talk about the civil rights

movement as more of a long civil rights

movement as opposed to we generally

think of that Rosa Parks Martin Luther

King initiation of the 1950s and 60s

movement and think of it as a Montgomery

to Memphis story the Montgomery bus

boycott in 1955 to King's assassination

in in Memphis in 1968 or even earlier to

the Voting Rights Act in 1965 we think

of it as that that 10-year period but

that black freedom struggle really began

as long at the beginning of the lack of

freedom so during so there were black

and white abolitionists working for

formal emancipation and abolition during

the period of slavery also abolitionists

in the sense of people like Frederick

Douglass before he became an orator

freeing themselves as I mentioned

african-americans were trying to end

slavery either personally or

collectively during its period and then

that abolition movement really became a

freedom and civil rights movement in the

late nineteen sin the 19th century

through the Reconstruction period and

into the late 19th century what the case

the Supreme Court case that was that

eventually was overturned by the Brown

versus Board of Education Supreme Court

case that ended desegregation in the

public schools in the United States in

1954 the Supreme Court case that they

were working to overturn was the Plessy

versus Ferguson case in the 1890s and


was initiated by homer plessy doing a

very similar act as Rosa Parks

eventually did refusing to give up a

seat and test on a streetcar and testing

laws that enforced public enforced

segregation in public public proceedings

so that was really a movement that had

begun at that point you know after the

end of after emancipation people started

testing well what will freedom really

mean and started pushing the boundaries

of that definition and it's not where

the n-double-a-cp come in and testing

out through the courts and pushing on

pushing on the pushing on some of those

deeply restrictive and recidivist

practices exactly so people like w eb de

bois working to found the n-double-a-cp

in that period are working on several

fronts and so that and that's you know i

think one of the things that we have to

understand about even the 1950s and 60s

civil rights movement that people were

working on many different fronts at the

same time there was not one monolithic

type of movement in a particular time

and then it switched to another tactic a

few years later but many people were

trying many different tactics all at


the n-double-a-cp certainly began that

legal work at the in the early part of

the 20th century

but at the same time people like w de

bois were working with more or less

publicity things like the the new Negro

movement in the Harlem Renaissance

working to change the way

african-americans are viewed if he felt

we could have great achievement in art

and literature and other expressions

even sports the Harlem RINs basketball

team and the Harlem Globetrotters and so

forth starting at that time if we could

be used those avenues to be seen as

human then then things would change and

things would be better so there were

all of those tactics were being used

really at the same time but yes the

n-double-a-cp began in earnest a process

to test the laws particularly around

school segregation so I want to talk

more about the sort of transition if you

like from testing those laws to taking

direct action after we actually talk

more about those laws the so-called Jim

Crow laws we've got a we've got a clip

from a timeline documentary here

fascinating documentary explaining just

what those laws were

more than troops withdrew from the South

the states enacted Jim Crow laws to keep

blacks in their place

these laws made sure that blacks and

whites did not have to come into close

public contact facilities such as public

bathrooms water fountains seating areas

on buses restaurants hotels hospitals

and schools every public necessity and

service in the south was segregated and

seemingly designed to make blacks feel

inferior it was common to see signs that

read for colored or white use only these

laws were considered fair and

constitutional for many years however

the reality of segregation was far from

fair it was profoundly destructive

emotionally and psychologically

so there you can see some just visually

the impact of some of those laws the

segregation that was enforced on

communities across those southern states

and Christopher Wilson back with you the

historian of civil rights and and

curator at the Smithsonian can you tell

me what was the what was the impact of

these of these laws on the lives of

African Americans in those states they

were infuriating and debilitating and

and oftentimes sometimes they were laws

sometimes they were there were laws

sometimes there were customs but all of

them were really intended not only to

separate people and to do what they sort

of functionally did and keep people from

using drinking fountains and we had an

exhibition at the Smithsonian about the

50th anniversary of the Brown versus

Board of Education case and we had a the

opening of the exhibition was a listing

of many of those laws and they went all

the way to the ridiculous of blacks and

whites couldn't play checkers and so

forth but in addition to just the fact

of the law there is the there's the

impact and the way that they were they

were meted out for instance the in

Montgomery Alabama in the Rosa Parks

case in the Montgomery bus boycott

situation they're the laws were not only

just to separate people but to just

enforce an ideal of white supremacy so

in Montgomery not only could and what's

generally well known that blacks

couldn't sit in the front of the bus and

had to sit in their own section but it

was really more worse than that blacks

had to pay at the front of the bus get

off because and go to the back entrance

of the bus because not only couldn't

they sit with white people in the front

they couldn't walk past them after they

paid their fare when they there was

because more black people rode the bus

then white people there was a section in

the middle that was a very section and

that section was blacks could sit there

until there were enough whites to fill

out the white section and need to move

back and take another row which is what

happened when Rosa Parks was arrested

and so that those sort of things like

the in fact at the beginning of the

Montgomery bus boycott folks were really

Coretta Scott King says this that they

were really initially working only for a

more humane system of the segregative

segregation and not really because they

didn't feel like there was any chance to

get rid of segregation entirely they

thought let's at least make it more

humane um it's funny you're talking

about the the pettiness and makes the

detail is lost and it makes me think

that I always racist people have made

measles but these laws also made people

racist I mean of course I would if you

were in that system that institution you

would look upon the other as led

something well as a with huge difference

wouldn't you well exactly the many of

the folks that I have spoken to who have

been a major part of the civil rights

movement folks like the Greensboro four

who began the sit-in at the Greensboro

North Carolina Woolworth's lunch counter

said those laws and the entire

atmosphere made them feel not only angry

but suicidal by the time they were

children but Frank McCain said when he

was 12 or 13 years old he felt suicidal

because of all of this weight that was

coming down on him by everything around

him that told him he was less than

everyone else and reinforced that

constantly know what you mentioned that

you one of the remarkable things about

your career achieve interview huge swath

of these activists Rosa Parks

Congressman John Lewis Diane Nash um

that is well just try and if you can

give give us a summary some of them

let's start with Rosa Parks

internationally famous my kids here in

the UK study her in school well what was

that I like meeting her and hearing her

story so

it was really interesting so I met Rosa

Parks when I was working again at Henry

Ford Museum later

in the early 2000s we collected the bus

on which Rosa Parks was riding when she

got elect ever got arrested

interestingly also two of my Smithsonian

colleagues who were really involved in

collecting that bus were also with me at

but Henry Ford Museum weren't doing that

work then bill kratzert who's now at the

National Museum of african-american

history and culture and Malcolm column

who is the chief conservator at the

Smithsonian Air and Space Museum so we

were working on collecting that bus but

well before that but by the 2000s

everybody sort of there were many people

who were remembering and honoring mrs

parks in the early 1990s I was director

of a program looking at the history of

african-americans and slavery in Georgia

just outside Savannah Georgia and and

also running a an exhibit that was a

working farm of African of an African

American land owning family in that same

area in the early 20th century and Rosa

Parks wanted to visit the museum and you

know I'm a 21 22 year old kid working

there at that point and and this sort of

says talks about kind of how we viewed

as a society Rosa Parks at that time she

was just you know a lady working in

congressman john conyers office in

Detroit and and it wasn't it was thought

she's a special visitor but not to the

point that they should have someone more

important than a 21 year old kid to take

her around so I got the benefit of that

and was able to spend several hours with

mrs parks driving around around in the

1931 Ford model a station wagon and

taking her to see these things but see

they see this exhibit and as we spoke to

amazing things happen first as I said

not too many people you know was just

really just us going around but children

there it was a day when many

schoolchildren were visiting the museum


as I went from building to building

Henry Ford Museum also includes an

outdoor space called Greenfield Village

and that has many houses of historic

homes and so forth UM's we went from

place to place it became a de facto

parade of kids following the car because

that that face of mrs parks is in so

many texts in textbooks and and they

knew her story and wanted to get her

autograph but in addition the biggest

thing that I took away from it was she

did not at all seem like the demure

mother Rosa that we learn about in

school she in 1992 I think it was was

still angry she looked around at she

when I asked her to talk about what

1955-1956 were like she was angry about

that when I asked her to talk about what

1991-1992 was like and she was just as

angry about that and really a fiery

person and and you know I'll never I'll

never forget that

and what about Congressman John Lewis

who was terribly injured as well during

the struggle I mean is he he must have a

remarkable story congressman Lewis yes

has has first of all been a huge friend

of the Smithsonian and and and the many

of the programs that I've done we've

brought him in to do programs related to

the Greensboro lunch counter to Freedom

Rides and Freedom Summer programming

that we did in the last few years and

his his devotion he's one of those

people who in the civil rights movement

during the nonviolent the rise of the

nonviolent direct action campaign there

were some folks many folks who felt like

that idea of non-violent direct action

that Gandhi that they learned from

Gandhi they learned from people in the

United States like Reverend Jim Lawson

felt like it was a it was a powerful

tactic it was certainly a tactic that

was possible when they felt like

self-defense was not a

possible tactic because there was so

much power on the other side but not

everybody took it to heart as a way of

life and congressman Lewis has been one

of the icons of that he despite being

injured in numerous in numerous

activities in the summit of Montgomery

March in the Freedom Rides he was beaten

over and over again fighting for justice

he not only didn't fight back but has

always taken that love into his heart

and taken that to the United States

Congress and I think that that is just

one of the most remarkable things about

him a Gumpel 51 thank you very much for

your donation all donations everybody go

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thank you very much for your generosity


let's talk about non-violence you've

mentioned it there when you've

interviewed these people how how unusual

was it how hard was it what was this a

revolutionary idea do you think that was

being embraced was certainly a

revolutionary idea just recently I've

interviewed several times and most

recently in January Reverend James

Lawson Reverend Lawson was working in

Ohio and Stud had taken trips around the

world and began studying Gandhi as well

as other freedom movements all around

the world but was really taken by the

teachings of Gandhi and began teaching

that at Oberlin Ohio Martin Luther King

eventually met him and said we don't

have anybody like you in the South

Martin Luther King was coming was coming

to understand in a really full way the

power of non-violence and the commitment

that it took to to practice it in the

way that Gandhi in really traditional

the way the Gandhi had developed it and

asked Lewis s Lawson to come to the

South and he ended up going to

Vanderbilt University in Nashville and

and started were studying divinity in

in 58 and 1959 primarily he began a

really a study group where he called a

number of students together to start

learning and learning and studying those

practices with a view toward non-violent

direct action that Study Group was one

of the most amazing college study groups

you can imagine it included John Lewis

included Diane Nash and included james

Bevel included the the the the leaders

the people who became the leaders of not

only the civil rights movement but

people who then inspired the the peace

movement later and many of the tactics

that we see arise in in and debates or

around which that we see arise in the

1950s and 60s and and and into the into

the present so but folks like Diane Nash

have told me she wouldn't immediately

was not taken with the idea of

non-violence didn't necessarily think it

would work of course we're also talking

about a generation just removed from

world war ii the who had and hundreds of

thousands you know blacks were involved

in the war a third effort people like my

father who said non-violence just never

you know never I never understood the

idea of I won't hit back if you hit me

and so a lot of people had to be

convinced that this was a tactic that

would work and even more difficult was

convincing people that taking it into

your heart as congressman Lewis has or

Diane Nash was necessary that it

couldn't just be a tactic and needed to

be a way of life in order to be

successful which is what Gandhi without

you but it's interesting use the word

tactic because there is you know it's

it's not just a lifestyle that there was

it was designed very cleverly to provoke

confrontation that they would then which

would then allow the world to see the

who actually the aggressors in this

situation I mean can you talk me through

what non-violence meant in

to the that the you know the tactics as

you say that they would then go and use

on the streets or in dining in

Woolworths counts or whatever it is

certainly well one of the things that

that veterans of the movement say quite

often is that the first thing that

non-violence did was change the person

practicing it and for many of the

moments of the civil rights movement the

nonviolent direct action didn't directly

result in in changes and didn't were not

the only thing that resulted or that

would result in a change for instance

the Montgomery bus boycotts ultimately

what ended it was a court decision

argued by attorney Fred graves still

alive and that that really expanded the

idea of separate is not equal that

separate can never be equal that the

Supreme Court had said about public

education in 1954 and expanded that into

a broader a broader realm in terms of

public transportation but what happened

in Montgomery was people again who had

been a community who had been unto it

undergone oppression even mental

oppression as we've talked about with

the the type the the impact of the

segregation laws it ended up proving to

the Montgomery community that they had

power and so that was one of the type

one of the effects of non-violence in

addition it it definitely disarmed the

opponents and when it was a really

radical idea to say we are going to put

our bodies on the line to coerce a

change and you can kill us this is one

of the things that Diane Nash said to me

that she eventually understood and had

to come to this realization of ourselves

that you had to be willing to say

well you can kill us but now you can

never segregate us again because we will

not be segregated we are taking that

power and we may not be taking all of

the power because again you can you can

incarcerate us you can go all the way up

to putting us to death but you cannot

enslave us in the same way that you did

before and so that's and and you know

that power goes both ways I think Bauer

empowers the people saying it but it

also deflects and and and and and makes

impotent the people on the other side

and then lastly I think there the

non-violence really allowed as I think

we are seeing today with some of the

protests a lot laid bare the the

violence and the oppression that people

were seeing where we're facing and that

that became so clear because it was

covered in in the news media and so

forth and and so but when they courted

arrest when they courted violence and

when that violence then happens many

people came around saying well I can see

on television this is just not fair or

right well we're gonna watch another

little clip now we're gonna see Martin

Luther King himself he's it's called to

protest following Rosa Parks's arrest on

on that bus as you hundred but first I

want to say hello to under Kareem Abdul

Bako who is watching from Somalia which

I think is our first the first time I've

seen someone watching from Somalia so

thank you very much I hope you're

enjoying this stream but let's take a

look at this documentary from timeline

now the Negro passengers on the city bus

lines of Montgomery have been humiliated


mmm face threats on this bus line just

the other day one of the fine citizens

of our community mrs Rosa Parks was

arrested because she refused to give up

her seat for a white passenger mrs Rosa

Parks was arrested and taken down to

jail taken from the bus just because she

refused to give up a seat at person we

are in the midst of a protest the Negro

citizens of Montgomery representing some

44% of the population 90% at least are

the regular Negro bus passengers are

staying off the buses and we plan to

continue until something is done so

there christopher wilson historian and

smithsonian museum curator what we've

just seen Martin Luther King he is such

a towering figure how important is he

within this movement

and does he does he overshadow some of

the other activists that you've been

talking about that you've met you know I

think the answer is yes to both

questions I mean he certainly is a

towering figure and the movement

wouldn't have been the same without him

his oratory is his manner of bringing

people together and coalescing around

the cause his political activism

certainly is was was hugely significant

about the in it he certainly also does

overshadow the full understanding of the

movement as a people's movement it there

have been other individuals in American

history Frederick Douglass and so forth

and in the african-american freedom

struggle who have had similar impact and

but one of the things that was different

really about 1950 50s and 60s was

how many people were involved and how

much how strong it became as people's

movement and and I don't think that that

what I don't think we should do is at

all diminished Martin Luther King's

legacy in memory because in fact I don't

think that we as a country and as a

society understand him fully understand

is his greatness as fully as we should

we certainly don't we certainly don't

understand him as a person who was as

radical as he was we think of his

statements like the the dream speech for

instance during the march on Washington

in 1963 and we remember it as a many

times as a call for a colorblind society

and and people should not be should be

judged by the content of the character

of their character and not the color of

their skin but we also have to remember

that that speech was about ultimately a

sort of reparations that speech in that

speech he said the United States had

passed a bad check to to its citizens of

color and we were coming to collect that

check and that check was had been

returned for a non-sufficient funds and

so forth and you know the march on

Washington was the march on Washington

for Jobs and Freedom and that's what one

of the things he was really talking

about so I don't think we remember him

enough fully in a full way but in in

another way we we we remember the

movement as too much related to him as

too much of Martin Luther King's

movement and and I think that that is a

bit troubling in the sense that people

and you hear this many times from civil

rights movement leaders and activists

from the time who say if you think of it

as a movement led by an influential

leader like Martin Luther King a one of

a kind leader like Martin Luther King

people like Rosa Parks and so forth you

think well I wish we had a person like

that now and I wish we had a leader who

could lead us out of this of those

problems that were in today but if you

think of it as ordinary people doing it

then you think what can I do and so I

think that it's we have we have that

that issue of public memory sort of in

both directions

thanks a lot now we need to let's move

on from dr King because there was also

there was a debate

famously between you know represents on

one side about Malcolm X it it was it

wasn't just a it wasn't just a given

that they would knit the whole

african-american community embraced

non-violence there was also there were

voices advocating a more stringent

self-defense whether certainly one

really strong voice and you know we when

we're talking even about that that sort

of Montgomery to to Memphis or

Montgomery to Selma idea the civil

rights movement and then we often think

that that that period was really about

the south and really about segregation

and really about and and the tactic used

was nonviolent direct action and sermons

and voter registration drives and and so

forth and then the way we publicly

remember it is you had more of the

Malcolm X Black Power Black Panther

Party self-defense model leading us to

the violent clashes that we saw in 1967

in Detroit in 1968 after King's

assassination but and and we think of it

as this bifurcated story with Tiff's

with tactics changing with the period

but those ideas were alive at the same

time in 1958 there was a case called the

known as the kissing case in Monroe

North Carolina two black children James

Thomson and David Simpson were accused

well kissed a white girl of the same age

these were kids under 10 years old they

were all playing together I've been

seeing a little viral video going around

of to

of a black and white toddler playing

together today and that being used in

different political ways right now well

kids played together you know during

this period of segregation sometimes too

and at this point someone kissed someone

else and when the white kids parents

found out about a white girl's parents

found out about it they first set out to

kill the children the black children

themselves and then the police were

involved the kids were taken without

really legal representation taken

without being able to see their parents

and put in jail

eventually sentence to reform school

again they're between seven and nine

years old they were sentenced to reform

school until the age of 21 for kissing a

girl actually in fact I think actually

she kissed them so so you know there was

no crime but yet they were sentenced to

reform school till age 21 a man named

Robert F Williams really got involved

and became more or less of publicity we

are trying to get publicity in Europe to

really push to get the the details of

this case out and and eventually they

were freed after a number of months and

in jail Robert Williams moved on from

that activity to another similar case

where white man rapes or attempted to

rape of black women also in Monroe and

was then acquitted from of doing that

happened in broad daylight there was no

doubt about it

he was acquitted but Williams came away

from both of those cases deciding that

that non-violence was not the way to go

that if the if the government and

represented by the police by the courts

by every governmental agency was going

to oppress people in this way and use

violence and intimidation in that way

the only way that he felt things could

get better with to meet violence with by

so he applied for membership to the

National Rifle Association to create a

rifle club and began what he called the

Black Guard in in in Monroe and decided

to protect the black community with

self-defense he eventually was forced

out of the country he from trumped-up

kidnapping charges were levied against

him and he fled to Cuba and then later

to China and while in exile he wrote the

book in 1960 to Negroes with guns which

I was able to know very well an

interview his partner and and Widow

Mabel Williams and we did a program with

her on Negroes with guns at the

Smithsonian in 2005 and and and talked

about her story of of self-defense and

and what she then did in in exile and

and and it's just really amazing that

that idea and those those those those

thoughts were happening at the same time

as nonviolent direct action is being

developed as well so there is this

debate about which way to move forward

and so it's and isn't often thought of

as sort of Malcolm X versus people like

bi or rust and but it wasn't just them

it was many people talking about what is

the right path forward now and and it

also feels like those debates continue

when you're looking at the black lives

matter movement and now when you're

looking at the protests on the streets

of the US and other countries around the

world what what one of the bits of

history that that are being flagged up

in your head or that you think we need

to know that you think people in the

streets needs know and and people that

go in governments need to know well one

of the things that is that I'm noticing

that is a really important aspect of

what is happening today is the diversity

that's were seeing there was diversity

in the civil rights movement there were

many white activists who were drawn to

come to the south and become become

active in things like Freedom Summer and

even before that in Freedom Rides I was

able to interview a really remarkable

man Jim's work who is was beaten in

during one of the during the Freedom

Rides in 1961 he was part of the second

sort of group of folks to get this

Freedom Rides going again freedom the

Freedom Rides really was started by the

organization the Congress of racial

equality and it and that that initial

moment that an initial part of that

movement took buses the boarded buses

interstate buses where there was already

there already been rulings to say that

segregation and interstate transit was

unconstitutional but states in the south

were not were still enforcing

unconstitutional laws and so they

decided to test this and try to as we

mentioned before not only court sort of

potential violence but also forced the

federal government to into a situation

where it either had to enforce its own

laws or lawlessness exist in the south

and that happened the initial Freedom

Rides organizers probably did not expect

the level of violence that they that

they saw in Alabama and those buses were

attacked and fire bombed and and and so

forth and then really led by Diane Nash

the Student Nonviolent Coordinating

Committee decided well we can't let

violence overcome non-violence even

though this isn't our fight we didn't

start this we didn't start the Freedom

Rides we aren't at all involved when she

saw it on television they decided we

have to continue the Freedom Rides and

so they did and people like Jim's word

came down and decided to not only join

that movement but you know go attend as

a white person

and historically back to college so we

saw white activists come into the

movement but not really I don't think in

the numbers that we're seeing but one of

the day and one of the things that I

think that has really affected that

really affected people in them in this

time someone again like Jim's word John

Mulholland who lives here in the DC area

and and she said she's a person who was

in a really famous photograph of a

sit-in in Mississippi where they were

violently attacked those folks

definitely understood the violence and

the oppression against them against

African Americans in a really personal

way because they saw it themselves I

think one of the things that is

happening that is that he's different

today is that many people are out in the

streets and they are seeing police

brutality firsthand they're experiencing

it's unfortunately sometimes firsthand

but they're also seeing it when they're

in protests and through social media my

own son has you know came to me I wasn't

I thought he was a bit more sheltered

from some of this but on his iPod

apparently he had seen it's some of the

protests and came to me and said how can

someone how can a police officer just

run someone over who's just standing

there with her the OU mounted police

officer runs them and over with their

horse or their car and so forth and so I

think that more and more people across

the racial racial divides across the

political divides are seeing some of the

issues firsthand feeling some of those

issues first and in the same way that

that Jim's work and John Mulholland had

done in the sixties but there's just so

many more experiencing that today well

Chris like I could talk about this all


but I'm gonna let you go so so crystal

Wilson enjoy the rest of duty thank you

for joining us director of experience

design that Smithsonian's National

Museum of American history I can't wait

to get that museum as soon as this

lockdown ends buddy but

thank you very much for coming on we

will be back next Friday at 8 am

Pacific 11:00 am Eastern 4 pm UK

time we're planning or getting bigger

and better all the time moving to once a

week you can always go to history hit my

new Netflix for history my new history


use the code Bowsher code timeline to

get yourself a special introductory

rates but the meantime everyone have a

great weekend and see you this time next



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