The Marc Steiner Show

Archive for 50th Anniversary

Sen. Fred Harris: The Last Surviving Member of the 1968 Kerner Commission

March 6, 2018 – The Kerner Commission

On July 28, 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson created the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, known as the Kerner Commissionto investigate the causes of race-related uprisings that had taken place in Detroit and dozens of other cities, and to provide recommendations for the future. We are now in the midst of the 50th anniversary of the Kerner Commission.

The Kerner Report was released on February 29, 1968, after seven months of investigation, revealing that poverty, racism, and the police were the cause of the unrest in inner city Black communities. Its most famous passage states, “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.” President Johnson silenced the report, refusing to release it. It was nevertheless published by Bantam Books, under a pre-existing agreement, and became a national best-seller. When you read the report, it feels as if it could have been written today.

We talk with Former Oklahoma Senator Fred Harris, the last surviving member of the Kerner Commission.

I hope you enjoy this fascinating and timely conversation.


Reverend William Barber & Rev. Liz Theoharis: The New Poor People’s Campaign

February 13, 2017 – The New Poor People’s Campaign

We are approaching the 50th Anniversaries of the assassination of Martin Luther King and his last great movement, the Poor People’s Campaign. The Poor People’s Campaign in its 21st Century form is surging back as a national movement founded by Rev. Dr. William Barber, who created the Moral Mondays Movement and is chair of the chair of the NAACP’s Legislative Political Action Committee, and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, founder and co-director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice, and coordinator of the Poverty Initiative at Union Theological Seminary. Rev.s Barber and Theoharis are touring the country working with local groups breathing a new life into the Poor People’s Campaign.