The producer of an Oscar-nominated hour of the acclaimed PBS documentary series "Eyes on the Prize" called the civil rights movement relived in that series "nothing short of a social revolution, period."
The election and re-election of our first black president makes this early portion of the 21st century another significant time in the history of race relations in the United States, said Callie Crossley, the award-winning journalist who will deliver the 2013 Woodrow Wilson Lecture on March 6 at the Rogalski Center.
But recent progress cannot compare to the epic change that occurred between 1954 and 1965, she said.
"That period was incredible and amazing, a very short time period for a lot of extreme change to happen," said Crossley, whose talk will continue St. Ambrose's yearlong "Race Matters" project. "And extreme change did happen.''
What's more, she said, the civil rights movement paved a path for the anti-war and women's movements that followed. "It freed African-Americans, certainly," she said, "but it freed everybody else as well."
Currently the host of "Boston Public Radio" and program manager for Harvard University's Nieman Foundation, Crossley has been a producer for ABC's "20/20" and her work has been nominated for an Emmy, a Peabody Award and an Edward R. Murrow Award.
She recently followed Hillary Rodham Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Nora Ephron, Cokie Roberts and Diane Sawyer, among others, as a Wellesley College Alumnae Achievement Award winner.
Her March lecture will be titled "I Don't Mind Talking About It: Breaking the Silence About Race and Racism."
Not all talk is equal, she said.
"There is a lot of talking about it," she said "But there is very little interaction that takes you to a different place, to where you really get an understanding of the other person's point of view."