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TV and Radio host Tavis Smiley interviewed me among many friends and colleagues for this broadcast.  The program was first presented on March 30, 2010.

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Jim Peppler, photographer for The Southern Courier, in the yard of the Bracy family in Elmore County, Alabama.

Jim Peppler, photographer for The Southern Courier, in the yard of the Bracy family in Elmore County, Alabama.

The cover photograph for At Canaan’s Edge was taken in 1968 by Jim Peppler, who was then a young photographer for a pioneering, student-led newspaper about the civil rights movement called the Southern Courier. In 2004, I found Peppler in New York and seached with him through many old prints stored in his house. Several of them appear in the book. He said he had always wanted to make sure his pictures were preserved somehow, and perhaps exhibited, which I thought was a terrific idea. On February 9 of this year, Jim sent happy notice that his entire catalogue has been archived by the Alabama Department of History. You can browse this wonderful collection at http://216.226.178.196/cdm4/peppler.php

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On MLK Day, January 18, President Obama and his wife Michelle invited me to join them in the Roosevelt Room for a small group discussion of the 1963 March on Washington. Most of the dozen other people there were elderly veterans of that event, including one couple who were both over 100 years old. Dorothy Height, who has since died to widespread notice for her long career in civil rights, was the only public figure among my fellow guests. Most of them told stories about the March and how it has affected their lives since. Both Obamas asked many questions, saying they wanted to hear stories inasmuch as they had been far too young to experience the March themselves.

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I will respect their request for privacy about the discussions, but following are some links to news stories with general comments. Below are President Obama’s remarks:

Obama on Martin Luther King Day, 2008 photo gallery of his visit to King Atlanta church, gravesite (SunTimes Media)

Marking King Day, From Oval Office to Soup Kitchen (New York Times)

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