Shocking the Conscience — A Civil Rights Conversation with Carol Booker

This edition of C-suite Blueprint Radio features a conversation with Carol Booker. She is the widow of Simeon Booker, the legendary reporter who was among the first to shine a light on civil rights injustices in the 1950s.

Together, they wrote Shocking the Conscience, which draws upon Simeon Booker’s first-hand reports telling the story of how the civil rights movement changed America. He was determined to communicate the message that Black lives mattered, and that every black victim of racism in America deserved the attention not only of the black press, but of the white, mainstream press as well.

Simeon Booker died in 2017 at the age of 99.

Carol served for almost 40 years as counsel to national nonprofit organizations and federal agencies, including Greenpeace, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and U.S. international Broadcasting.

She is also the editor of Alone Atop the Hill: the Autobiography of Alice Dunnigan, Pioneer of the National Black Press.

Here are some highlights of our conversation:

  • Parallels between the dangers Simeon Booker encountered and those faced by today’s journalists.
  • The significance of Mound Bayou, Mississippi, a little-recognized yet pivotal turning point in the struggle against racism.
  • Carol’s reaction to the outrageous, Stalin-like claim that the press is the “enemy of the people.”
  • Lessons from Simeon that address the turmoil we witness today.
  • Why there is reason to be optimistic about the future of journalism.

Carol Booker connects the dots between Simeon’s experiences in the 1950s and today’s Black Lives Matter movement. You would be well-advised to hear her take on where journalism stands today and where it is headed.

Of course, you’ll also learn how you can get your copies of Shocking the Conscience and Alone Atop the Hill.

I hope you benefit from our conversation. And remember to add to the dialogue by contributing your reactions in the “Leave a Reply” box below.

A reminder that on C-suite Blueprint Radio I’ll be interviewing a range of experts on matters related to communications and public affairs strategy.

Each program runs approximately 15 minutes — enough to give you the context you need without belaboring your schedule.

I invite you to suggest communications or government relations experts who would make intriguing guests.


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  • The Truth About Public Speaking: The Three Keys to Great Presentations.

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