Growing Up Segregated: Three Witnesses to the Struggle for Civil Rights


Mary Bush, Freeman Hrabowski, and Condoleezza Rice grew up and were classmates together in segregated Birmingham, Alabama, in the late 1950s and early ’60s. After taking a brief visit with Rice to her childhood home, we gather them again for a second conversation in Birmingham’s Westminster Presbyterian Church, where Rice’s father was pastor during that period. In this second part of our interview, the three lifelong friends further recount what life was like for Blacks in Jim Crow Alabama and the deep bonds that formed in the Black community at the time in order to support one another and to give the children a good education. They discuss how they overcame the structural racism they experienced as children to achieve incredible successes as adults. Lastly, they discuss their views on the recent reckoning with racism in today’s culture and weigh in on the 1619 Project and other social programs.

Recorded on December 12, 2023

Published in General
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