Radio personality discusses civil rights history with CCCC students
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Margaret Bagley Murchison, news and public affairs director of WWGP-WFJA radio in Sanford, knows well ... (more)
SANFORD -- Margaret Bagley Murchison, news and public affairs director of WWGP-WFJA radio in Sanford, knows well about the civil rights movement as she was on the front lines in her hometown.
Mrs. Murchison recently visited with Bianka Stumpf's American history students and Vadrin Colvin-King's sociology students at Central Carolina Community College and talked about her experiences as a local civil rights activist.
She noted that the civil rights movement began in Sanford in the summer of 1963, with the formation of a Biracial Committee led by Mayor E.W. Fields. Her presentation included detail on the Sanford movement, including the good work of Blandonia Presbyterian minister the Rev. J.R. Hampton, who she referred to as Sanford's Martin Luther King Jr.
Mrs. Murchison said that young people would meet at the church to take part in Dr. King's non-violent civil rights movement, as they were taught how to protest and practiced freedom songs.
"We were inspired, and after each meeting we felt more proud and determined to keep moving," she said.
Mrs. Murchison remembered a march to a local restaurant as a protest for equal service. When it was learned the protesters would not be served, they sat on the floor and began singing, "We Shall Not Be Moved." She recalled one of her friends being shot in the leg.
Mrs. Murchison said it was a long time before restaurants began serving to all citizens.
"We've got a long way to go, but it's a whole lot better than it was," said Mrs. Murchison.
"This world is a world of color," she said, noting that that we all bleed red, "which makes me know that we're all equal."
She added, "When we start living like that and treating our fellow man like we want to be treated, then we'll have a better world."
Mrs. Murchison noted that if we don't learn our history, we tend to repeat it. "I admire teachers like Bianca Stumpf who get out of the box and feed their students the positives and negatives of society, then and now. I was honored to be a part of her programs," she said.
"Many young people are not aware of civil rights movements in their own backyards. They've heard about it, but many of them see it as something that happened 'somewhere else.'"
Mrs. Murchison is the only African American and female to have served as President of the North Carolina Associated Press Broadcasters. After stepping down as secretary of the Radio-Television News Directors Association of the Carolinas, she was immediately named Secretary Emeritus and afforded lifetime membership.
She has served on the Lee County Board of Education and the CCCC Board of Trustees. In addition, she has served in various other leadership roles.
Mrs. Murchison is recipient of numerous awards and commendations, including the RTNDAC News Director of the Year (the award was later named for her and she was given lifetime membership in the organization), Outstanding Citizen Award from the Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce, and the 2011 Sanford Herald Lifetime Achievement Award.
She is married to Fred Bennett Murchison Jr., and they are the proud parents of one son, Fred III.
For more information on Central Carolina Community College, visit www.cccc.edu.
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