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Last Witness: The Kerner Commission

Fred Harris, seated third from right, is the only surviving member of the Kerner Commission, created by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967 to investigate the causes of racial unrest.

Decades before our current debate over critical race theory, the 1968 Kerner Report pointed the finger at structural racism for creating the conditions that had triggered a series of protests in Black communities across the United States in the summer of 1967.

Former Senator Fred Harris is the last surviving member of the Kerner Commission, a group appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the protests and author the report.

The story is a part of our Last Witness series, audio portraits of the last surviving witness to major historical events. You can find the full Kerner Report here.

 

A full transcript of this episode is available here.

 

 

 

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