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Word Warrior: Richard Durham

Stock photo of a book
Horia Varlan
Flickr Creative Commons

When producer Sonja Williamsbegan researching for the radio series, Black Radio: Telling It Like It Was, she found very little African-American radio drama from the 1940s. What little she found reinforced negative stereotypes.

A colleague eventually suggested she look into Destination Freedom, a series of weekly broadcasts created by journalist and activist Richard Durham that featured African-American leaders and heroes of the day.

Williams became enthralled with Durham’s life and work and eventually wrote a biography of Durham, "Word Warrior: Richard Durham, Radio and Freedom" (University of Illinois Press/2015).

Host Frank Stasio talks with Williams about Durham’s life and career.

She reads at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh on Sunday, September 27, The Regulator in Durham on Monday, September 28 and at the Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke University on Tuesday, September 29.

Laura Lee was the managing editor of The State of Things until mid February 2017. Born and raised in Monroe, North Carolina, Laura returned to the Old North state in 2013 after several years in Washington, DC. She received her B.A. in political science and international studies from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2002 and her J.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law in 2007.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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