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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

WLRN (Radio station: Miami, Fla.)

Repository: Florida. Division of Library and Information Services

Collection Description (Extant): In 1997, public radio stations around the United States aired "Will the Circle be Unbroken?", a nationally syndicated series about the American civil rights movement. To complement this series, Audrey Finkelstein developed a companion six-part series about South Florida's struggle for desegregation for her weekly half-hour interview program on WLRN, a South Florida public radio station. The WLRN series aired from May 1 - June 12 1997, with the additon of a seventh broadcast (June 12) bringing listeners up to date on the current situation.

This collection is comprised of seven audio cassette tapes of WLRN public radio broadcasts concerning the civil rights movement in South Florida/Dade County. The broadcasts, aired on WLRN's weekly "Straight Talk with Audrey Finkelstein," featured conversations with some of the individuals, black and white, who took part in South Florida's struggle for racial integration.
"Forming the Circle," airing May 1, 1997, focused on the formation of the local chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Local activists aimed to desegregate public schools and public accommodations such as department store lunch counters. Discussants were Dr. John O. Brown, CORE Project Director and a parent of black children in a segregated white school, and Senator Jack Gordon, a white desegregation activist.
"Extending and Putting Teeth in the Circle," airing May 8, 1997, focused on efforts to extend desegregation through legal challenges. Discussants were A. D. Moore, who was the second president of Miami CORE and its national treasurer, and who paid fines of arrested protestors including Martin Luther King, Jr.; Howard Dixon, CORE's legal services director who represented Florida A&M University and its student protestors; and Shirley Zoloth, who walked hand-in-hand with a black child to a segregated school.
"Circle Within a Circle," airing May 15, 1997, focused on daily life experiences of blacks in a segregated, discriminatory society. Discussants were Thelma Gibson, a registered nurse, and Eugenia Thomas, a community participant and first black president of the Florida P.T.A., both of whom experienced racial discrimination early in their careers which drove each of them to perfection in their work.
"The Outside Inside Circle," airing May 22, 1997, focused on early attempts to desegregate the schools, with discussants Ruth Admire, Janet McAliley, and Gloria Simmons, black parents who relate the experiences of their children and themselves in the early days of school desegregation.
"The Efforts to be Encircled," airing May 29, 1997, focused on the challenges faced by the first black students to enter Edison Middle School, a white school. Discussants were three of those black students: Jacqui Colyer, Gayla Brown Munnings, and Diana Dyes Paschal.
"The Circle - A Necklace or a Nuisance?," airing June 5, 1997, continued the focus on desegregation of public schools. Discussants were individuals who experienced first-hand the effects of early desegregation efforts: attorney Darryl Payne, a white elementary school student in a predominantly black school; Judge Leah Simms, for two years the only black student in Robert E. Lee Junior High School; and attorney Detra Shaw, a black student who was bused to desegregated schools.
The seventh part of the series, an "epilogue" aired on June 12, 1997, focused on the current situation in Miami, a city which many consider to be one of the most highly segregated in the country. Discussants were Dr. Gordon Foster, retired head of the Desegregation Center, Southern District, who discussed the status of racial integration in the schools; and Harriet Simmons, program director of HOPE (Housing Opportunities Projects for Excellence), who discussed housing and neighborhood experiences and discrimination.

Date(s): 1997

Existing IDs: 900000

Finding Aid URL:,SPECIFIC=2894,DATABASE=SERIES, External Link

Language: English

Interviewees: John O. Brown, Jack Gordon, A. D. Moore, Howard Dixon, Shirley Zoloth, Thelma Gibson, Eugenia Thomas, Ruth Admire, Janet McAliley, Gloria Simmons, Jacqui Colyer, Gayla Brown Munnings, Diana Dyes Paschal, Darryl Payne, Leah Simms, Detra Shaw

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights


African Americans--Florida
Civil rights movements--Florida
Congress of Racial Equality
Florida--Race relations
School integration--Florida


Sound recordings


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   September 26, 2018
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