Voices of the Civil Rights Movement began as an online project called His Dream, Our Stories, created by Comcast in 2013 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The highlight of that important event was civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.’s impassioned “I Have a Dream” speech that became the rallying cry for the movement.
The March on Washington is now seen to have helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and also motivated the Selma-to-Montgomery, Ala., marches that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
His Dream, Our Stories presented interviews with people who organized and fought for justice and equality in 1963 leading up to the March on Washington, those who were there, and those who have continued to work for social justice ever since. Viewers were also invited to share their own stories and comments.
In 2014, Comcast partnered with the Equal Justice Initiative to create 52 historic spotlights that illustrate significant incidents in America’s journey to civil rights, from our country’s founding to the present day. These video spotlights, called Moments in Civil Rights History, are hosted by the late D’Army Bailey, notable American lawyer, circuit court judge, civil rights activist, author and film actor.
The media from both projects was combined in 2015 to form Voices of the Civil Rights Movement, providing the richest context from which to explore this ongoing social struggle that involves all of us. This combined archive of interactive videos is available online and at a walk-up kiosk in the “Make Some Noise: Students and the Civil Rights Movement” exhibit at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Visitors are encouraged to continue the experience at home and upload their own video memories and comments on the website.
The His Dream, Our Stories project has been recognized with many awards, including a Multicultural TV Frontrunner Award, Worldfest Houston Independent International Film Festival Award, Radio Television Digital News Association UNITY Award, CINE Golden Eagle Award and National Association of Black Journalists Award.
About Our Partners
The Equal Justice Initiative is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair and just treatment in the legal system.
They litigate on behalf of condemned prisoners, juvenile offenders, people wrongly convicted or charged with violent crimes, poor people denied effective representation, and others whose trials are marked by racial bias or prosecutorial misconduct. EJI works with communities that have been marginalized by poverty and discouraged by unequal treatment.
EJI’s calendar, “A History of Racial Injustice,” focuses on African-American history and is part of an EJI series of reports and documents that explore the legacy of racial bias in the United States and its continuing impact on contemporary policies and practices. The lives of African-Americans have been profoundly shaped by the era of slavery, the era of racial terror that continued from the end of Reconstruction until World War II, the era of Jim Crow and racial apartheid that produced the civil rights movement, and now the era of mass incarceration. Too often we have appropriately celebrated black achievement and triumph in the face of these obstacles without exploring the very difficult reality of racial inequality and subordination. EJI believes a deeper understanding of this history is necessary for us to achieve the truth and reconciliation that overcoming historic injustice requires.
The late D’Army Bailey was a circuit court judge, civil rights activist, author and film actor born in Memphis, Tenn. He also served on the City Council in Berkeley, California, from 1971-73.
Bailey founded the National Civil Rights Museum which opened in 1991 at Memphis’ Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr. was slain in 1968. His 1993 book, “Mine Eyes Have Seen: Dr. Martin Luther King’s Final Journey,” focused on that period. A later book, “The Education of a Black Radical,” published in October 2009 by LSU Press, recalled Bailey’s own history in the civil rights movement.
From 1967 to 1968, Bailey worked in New York as National Director of the Law Students Civil Rights Research Council, providing hundreds of volunteer law students to assist civil rights lawyers primarily in the South.
His interest in civil liberties issues also led Bailey to film, where he portrayed a judge in the 1999 film “The People vs. Larry Flynt.” He had roles in seven other movies, including portrayals ranging from a minister to a street-hustling pool player. He was a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
As a lawyer, Bailey practiced law for 16 years in Memphis before being elected as a judge on the Circuit Court of Tennessee’s Thirtieth Judicial District in 1990. He presided over a nationally recognized trial lasting four months in 1999, in which three major tobacco firms were acquitted of wrongdoing in contributing to the deaths of smokers. He was also twice nominated to serve on the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Bailey lectured at law schools, including Harvard University, Loyola in California, Washington and Lee, Washington University in St. Louis, Vanderbilt, and Notre Dame University. He also published legal articles at the law schools of Harvard, the University of Toledo, Washington and Lee, and Howard University. Bailey served on the executive committee of the Tennessee Judicial Conference. He received his law degree from Yale University in 1967. On May 23, 2010, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Clark University in Worcester, Mass.
Bailey appeared regularly on television as a weekly “Political Insider” guest commentator on FOX13 in Memphis.
Bailey passed away on July 12, 2015, at the age of 73. He is survived by his wife, Adrienne Marie (Leslie), and two adult sons, Justin and Merritt. In his honor, the Shelby County Commission in Tennessee voted to rename the county courthouse the Judge D’Army Bailey Courthouse.