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146. Momentum: The Ripples Made by Ordinary People, Part 1

Welcome to the first episode of our new special series, Momentum: Civil Rights in the 1950s. Today, Sharon introduces us to a few key people who became the driving force behind early Civil Rights activism. We meet a young man named Thuroughgood–a bit of a troublemaker who put his curiosity and sense of justice to work and sought incremental change through the legal system. Joining him in the fight against the longstanding legality of “separate but equal” was the McLaurin family. Together, they sued the University of Oklahoma, which gave George McLaurin admission to the graduate program alongside white students… but the journey to true equal learning had only just begun. Sharon also introduces us to another important person–arguably America’s most powerful man in the mid-20th century–who was both a help and hindrance to the Civil Rights Movement.