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Civil Rights Movement Series

Searching for Today's Civil Rights Movement

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Date and time
Friday, September 18, 2015

Rev. Eugene Rivers moderates a discussion between two authors, Daniel Geary and Benjamin Hedin, who have documented their own examinations of the American Civil Rights Movement and the Moynihan Report. The three men discuss the impact and legacy of the movement, the report, and how to learn from what happened fifty years ago that can inform the new unrest today, as protests continue over police shootings and the new Black Lives Matter movement matures. Study Geary's [annotated version of the Moynihan Report](http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/the-moynihan-report-an-annotated-edition/404632/ "") in _The Atlantic_. (Photo: [Dan La Botz](http://www.anticapitalistes.net/spip.php?article5020 ""))

Youth activist Reverend Eugene Franklin Rivers, III was born on April 9, 1950 in Boston, Massachusetts. Rivers spent his early years in Chicago where his parents, Mildred Bell Rivers and Eugene F. Rivers, Jr. were members of the Nation of Islam. His father, as Eugene 3X, designed the masthead for Muhammad Speaks. Mentored by Reverend Benjamin Smith of Philadelphia's Deliverance Evangelistic Temple, Rivers graduated from Dobbins Vocational High School in 1968. He studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, while becoming active in street level organizing and black church politics. In 1970, Rivers was a part of the Black Economic Development Conference working with Muhammad Kenyatta. He joined Lucius Walker and James Forman in the Reparations Movement. He attended Yale as an unregistered activist from 1973 to 1976. Officially admitted to Harvard University in 1976, Rivers was mentored by Dr. Martin Kilson. Recognized as one of the most effective crusaders against gang violence, Rivers founded Azusa Christian Community in 1984 in the Four Corners section of Boston's inner city Dorchester neighborhood. As President of the National Ten Point Leadership Foundation, he is working to build new grassroots leadership in forty of the worst inner city neighborhoods in inner city America. Rivers has appeared on CNN's *Hardball*, NBC's *Meet the Press*, PBS's *Charlie Rose*, BET's *Lead Story*, and National Public Radio, among other programs. He has been featured or provided commentary for publications such as *Newsweek*, *The New Yorker*, *The New York Times*, *the Washington Post*, *the Los Angeles Times*, the *Boston Herald*, and the *Boston Globe*, as well as periodicals such as the *Boston Review*, *Sojourners*, *Christianity Today*, and *Books and Culture*.
Daniel Geary is the Mark Pigott Assistant Professor of U.S. History at Trinity College Dublin. He is the author of Radical Ambition: C. Wright Mills, the Left, and American Social Thought. Geary's book is titled [Beyond Civil Rights: The Moynihan Report and Its Legacy](http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/15361.html "") Study Geary's [annotated version of the Moynihan Report](http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/the-moynihan-report-an-annotated-edition/404632/ "") in \_The Atlantic\_.
Benjamin Hedin's fiction, essays, and interviews have been published by a number of publications, including \_The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Slate, The Nation, The Chicago Tribune, Poets and Writers, Salmagundi, The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg Review,\_ and \_Radio Silence\_. He is also the producer and author of a forthcoming documentary titled **The Blues House**[Your text to link here...](http://blueshouse.com/ ""). This movie tells the story of the search for two forgotten blues singers, carried out in Mississippi in June of 1964, during some of the most violent days of the civil rights movement. Hedin's new book is titled \_[In Search of the Movement: The Struggle for Civil Rights Then and Now](http://www.blogcitylights.com/2015/04/21/excerpts-from-in-search-of-the-movement-the-struggle-for-civil-rights-then-and-now/ "").\_ Follow this author on [Twitter](https://twitter.com/benjaminhedin "").