Black History Month

Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Al Attles, Rev. Amos Brown, Willie Brown

Getty Images and AP

Comcast NBCUniversal's Voices of the Civil Rights Movement platform honors the legacy and impact of America’s civil rights champions.

Here are eight voices from California:

Al Attles, Retired NBA Player and Iconic Coach of the Golden State Warriors

Navigating the Pressures of a Warrior

Alvin Attles, retired NBA player and iconic coach of the Golden State Warriors, grew up in a predominantly Jewish high school in New Jersey. Attles recognized the importance of education through support and encouragement from his high school basketball coach, leading him to graduate with a scholarship to North Carolina A&T State University. Motivated by sports legends Muhammad Ali, Wilt Chamberlain and Vince Miller, Attles navigated the demands of playing for a professional team, and ultimately became coach of the Golden State Warriors.

Rev. Amos Brown, Civil Rights Activist

Bearing the Burden of Racial Intolerance

Civil rights activist the Rev. Amos Brown grew up in the historic African American district of Jackson, Miss. Brown reflects on a lifetime of bearing the burdens of African Americans – including the deaths of Emmett Till and the Rev. George Washington Lee. The impact of those deaths led him to organize the youth council of the NAACP, and later become the President of San Francisco NAACP.

Willie Brown, San Francisco's First Black Mayor

Blazing a Political Trail in San Francisco

Willie Brown grew up in a small Texas town, working as a shoeshine boy. Leaving behind a segregated Texas to attend San Francisco State University, Brown experienced a culture of diversity and acceptance for the first time. After becoming actively involved in the NAACP and the Young Democrats, Brown was urged to run for office. After losing his first election, Brown persevered, and was elected to the California State Assembly in 1964. Brown ultimately became San Francisco’s first black mayor, serving eight years in office.

Rep. Judy Chu, California Congresswoman

Inspiration for Other Movements

U.S. Rep. Judy Chu of California, Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific AmericanCaucus, discusses the impact of the civil rights movement on other movements for equality in the U.S. "The Civil Rights Movement that was started by The March on Washington had a profound impact on other movements in this country ... the Women's Movement for equality, Latino equality and ... Asian American movements for equality."

William Lucy, Former President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

A Force to Create Change

William Lucy, Former President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists discusses the union's role in assisting with mobilization efforts for the March, and efforts to build a coalition. He stated, "Strong labor participation, rooted in, sort of, the moral teachings of the church, and generating activism in the community, could affect legislative issues at a local level and at a national level."

Stephen Perry

Witnessing the Movement on Television

Steve Perry discusses growing up in California during the civil rights movement, and witnessing key events of the struggle for equality on television. Perry recalls, "My first exposure to the worst parts of racism and the worst parts of the genesis, if you will, of the civil rights movement was watching the dogs and the water on TV [...] It was particularly scary that this was real."

Bern Nadette Stanis, Actress in "Good Times"

Groundbreaking Television Sitcom

Best known as portraying Thelma on the hit TV series Good Times, actress Bern Nadette Stanis discusses the groundbreaking television sitcom as well as becoming aware of discrimination as a young child.

Sandré Swanson, former California State Assembly Member

Cultivating the Next Generation of Political Leaders

Sandré Swanson, former California State Assembly Member, reflects on pivotal events that sparked his journey to leadership — including the traumatic death of a close college friend and protests against the Kent State shootings. Swanson went on to work alongside former U.S. Rep. Ron Dellums, whose mentorship set him on a path to the California State Assembly.


Viewers may be directed to the following channels to view all 17+ hours of Voices content in full — and for free:

  • Available to Comcast customers on Xfinity On Demand. Just say "Voices of the Civil Rights Movement" into your X1 Voice Remote or navigate to the Black Film & TV destination on Xfinity Stream.

Video content owned and funded by Comcast Corporation, parent company of NBC Bay Area.

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