All Weekend, Every Weekend. On C-SPAN3.

Ernest Withers: Civil Rights Photographer and FBI Spy

Photo taken by Ernest Withers in 1968

Photo taken by Ernest Withers in 1968

Washington, DC
Monday, November 4, 2013

Photographer Ernest Withers covered some of the most important figures and events of the 1960s civil rights movement. Trusted and respected within the movement, Withers was given complete access to prominent Civil Rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. However, during this time Withers was secretly spying on the Civil Rights movement for the FBI.

In this program, we hear about the double life of Ernest Withers from the team of journalists and attorneys that discovered and fought to reveal his FBI involvement. They detail their investigations into Withers, and elaborate on the history and motivations behind the FBI's spying on the Civil Rights movement. 

      

Updated: Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 2:48pm (ET)

Related Events

The Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Saturday, April 2, 2011     

Hampton Sides recounts the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and profiles his assassin, James Earl Ray. The author details Ray's escape from the Missouri State Penitentiary in 1967, his travels throughout the South, Mexico, and Los Angeles under the assumed name Eric Galt, and his assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis on April 4, 1968. Following the assassination the FBI conducted a sixty-five day manhunt. Hampton Sides presented his book at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Lectures in History: 1955 Murder of Emmett Till
Friday, August 23, 2013     

Emmett Till was a 14-year-old African American boy from Chicago who in the summer of 1955 was visiting family in Mississippi. A few days after an incident at a local grocery store, Till was kidnapped from his relatives’ home and murdered. In this program, George Mason University professor Suzanne Smith and her class discuss the Emmett Till case, including details of his murder, the investigation and trial, race relations in Mississippi in the 1950s, and Till’s emotional funeral, which included an open casket so the damage done to him could be seen and photographed.

J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI
Sunday, October 28, 2012     

FBI Historian John Fox examines the career of J. Edgar Hoover, who served as FBI director for 48 years - from 1924 until 1972. Fox talks about Hoover’s role in domestic security, and the changing perception of Hoover as a result of decisions he made toward the end of his career. This speech is from the Raleigh Spy Conference, held at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Lectures in History: Civil Rights Movement 1955-1968
Saturday, June 1, 2013     

Goucher College professor Jean Baker teaches a class on the Civil Right Movement, from Rosa Parks refusal to move to the back of the bus in 1955, to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. The class also engages in a discussion on a book of oral histories by journalist Howell Raines titled, “My Soul is Rested: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement in the Deep South.” Goucher College is in Baltimore, Maryland. This class is an hour and 15 minutes. 

The Presidency: First Ladies & Fashion
Sunday     

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library hosts author Annette Dunlap as she explores the evolution of first ladies’ fashion. She chronicles the impact fashion had on the public image of the women living in the White House and what their wardrobe choices reveal about the times in which they lived.  

"The Classical Liberal Constitution"
Sunday     

This is a conversation about the new book, “The Classical Liberal Constitution: The Uncertain Quest for Limited Government.” Featured are the book's author, New York University Law School professor Richard Epstein, and University of Pennsylvania Law School professor, Theodore Ruger. They debate the ideas put forth in Epstein's book about the powers of the federal government outlined in the Constitution. The National Constitution Center hosted this event and its president, Jeffrey Rosen, moderated the discussion.  

American Artifacts: JFK Assassination Records
Sunday     

A visit to National Archives in College Park, Maryland to learn about the vast collection of artifacts related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  Martha Wagner Murphy, Head of the Special Access and Freedom of Information Act staff appears to discuss how records are preserved, including the so-called "magic bullet," Oswald's rifle, and the Zapruder film.

Missouri’s German-American Community During WWI
Sunday     

Author and history professor Petra DeWitt talks about the Missouri home front during World War I. German-Americans made up one of the largest immigrant groups in the state at the time and were often scrutinized merely for being German. Professor DeWitt argues that this was not just because of federal doctrines like the Espionage Act and Sedition Act, but that local authorities and individuals were harsher judges of patriotism. The Kansas City Public Library hosted this event.

Reel America: "The City" - 1939
Sunday     

This documentary was originally produced for the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair. The film argues that modern cities are unhealthy, and that planned communities such as the new Greenbelt, Maryland with clean air and safe areas for children to play are a better option. The Library of Congress selected the film for preservation as part of the National Film Registry in 1998.  

U.S. Military Tactics in Vietnam
Sunday     

Author and West Point history professor Colonel Gregory Daddis discusses U.S. military strategy during the Vietnam War, focusing on the leadership of General William Westmoreland.

Share This Event Via Social Media
C-SPAN Gifts (late 2012)