Charles Abrams

Sunday, January 15, 1956

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Abrams, of the New York State Commission Against Discrimination chairman, answers questions.

Marvin Sleeper moderates.

Panelists: Paulette Singer, Larry Barrett, Jim Farrell


State Commission Against Discrimination was set up in 1945 to check discrimination in employment.

Explains the methods of investigating and acting on complaints.

Instances of Negroes not engaging in training because they know they won't be accepted for employment. Employment for Negroes in railroad industries.

New York City is one of the most tolerant cities in the country, if not the world.

A person has the right to discriminate in his personal life. But this right ends when you begin to step on the rights of others. At the present time, we should see what success they've had in housing.

A club with any public influence will not be allowed to discriminate. Example of pools.

President's recent civil rights proposals are too little and too late.

Example of a chain of dynamitings of Negro churches that were stopped when the FBI became involved.

No positive leadership taken at the executive level. Maintenance of moral atmosphere. The thought of disobeying a Supreme Court decree came up because of the talk of gradualism and the executive faltering.

Governor Harriman believes in the integrity of the Supreme Court decree, that it's incumbent upon the executive to get behind the Supreme Court decision.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 72277
Municipal archives id: LT7064


Charles Abrams, Lawrence Barrett, Jim Farrell, Paulette Singer and Marvin Sleeper


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About Campus Press Conference

This is not your run-of-the-mill 'student conference.'

"For the answers to these and other questions..." Each Campus Press Conference (1951-1962) begins with a slew of questions from the student editors of New York City college newspapers, delivered with the controlled seriousness of a teenager on the radio for the first time. Despite their endearing greenness, the student editors pose sharp inquiries to guests from the fields of science, finance, culture, and politics. 

With the country on the cusp of radical cultural and political change, these recordings offer insight to student empowerment movements, flower power, and hippie culture – a time when the youth of America began to realize their tremendous impact and ability to shape their futures. The passion and curiosity of young people is heard through interviews with elected and appointed officials and experts.

Notable guests include Jackie Robinson, Joseph Papp, Averill Harriman, and Senator Jacob Javits.


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