Recent Talks: Civil Rights and Responsibility
During “Freedom Summer,” 1964, three brave young men, James E. Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman volunteered through the Congress Of Racial Equality (“CORE”) to help African Americans in Mississippi gain the right to vote. They were murdered in cold-blood. In this internationally acclaimed presentation, Barry tells the story of a teacher, three high school students, and a dynamic newspaperman bringing about justice in a 41-year-old crime. Barry created and led a diverse group that helped persuade the State of Mississippi to reopen the country’s most notorious cold case – a case that was closed with the conviction of an unrepentant Ku Klux Klan leader. Barry Bradford, who persuaded the Klan leader to allow Barry to interview him, the only interview the man had given before or since. It was a decision he would come to regret.
IS IT EVER TOO LATE TO DO THE RIGHT THING?: THE MURDER OF MEDGAR EVERS AND THE 30 YEAR QUEST FOR JUSTICE
Barry shares the exciting, frustrating, uplifting and unprecedented story of the thirty year quest to convict the murderer of civil rights leader Medgar Evers. It took the combined efforts of a dogged newspaperman, a brilliant prosecutor, some amazing surprise witnesses and, most importantly, his unstoppable widow Myrlie, to secure a conviction that two all-white juries in 1964 were unable to do, despite overwhelming evidence.
Beginning in 1956, Clyde Kennard, a black Korean War veteran, tried to enroll in the still segregated Mississippi Southern College under the GI Bill. Kennard was twice arrested on trumped-up charges, and eventually convicted and sentenced to the state prison. Though he was paroled, he was never pardoned while he was alive. In 2006, Barry Bradford, working with a team of his high-school students, an award-winning investigative reporter, and a professor, spearheaded a movement to convince Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour to issue Kennard a full pardon.