J. Edgar Hoover was the first director of the FBI. He introduced fingerprinting and forensic techniques to the crime-fighting agency, and pushed for stronger federal laws to punish criminals who strayed across state lines. He also kept secret files on more than 20,000 Americans he deemed "subversive."
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Hoover saw Martin Luther King Jr. as an "enemy of the state," says author Tim Weiner.
Four years after Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tim Weiner published Legacy of Ashes, his detailed history of the CIA, he received a call from a lawyer in Washington, D.C.
"He said, 'I've just gotten my hands on a Freedom of Information Act request that's 26 years old for [FBI Director] J. Edgar Hoover's intelligence files. Would you like them?' " Weiner tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And after a stunned silence, I said, 'Yes, yes.' "
Actress Viola Davis has been nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal of the maid Aibileen in the film The Help, set in 1960s Mississippi. But not everyone has applauded the film, which has been criticized for its portrayal of black domestic servants in the civil rights era.
Alex Kotlowitz (left) is the author of There Are No Children Here, The Other Side of the River and Never a City So Real. Steve James is the director, producer and co-editor of Hoop Dreams. His other films include Stevie and At the Death House Door.
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Ameena Matthews, a violence interrupter with the Chicago organization CeaseFire, mediates disputes to prevent gang violence from escalating.