In Search of the Movement

In Search of the Movement
The Struggle for Civil Rights Then and Now

"New documentary, initiated by Benjamin Hedin, blends civil rights murders with hunt for blues icons"
Oct 16, 2017

"The remarkable coincidence of these three historic events taking place on the same day in 1964 is the subject of the new documentary Two Trains Runnin', which hit the festival circuit last year and is now rolling out to theaters across America. The incredible story was going to be told in writer Benjamin Hedin's book In Search of the Movement: The Struggle for Civil Rights Then and Now, but once the focus of the work shifted, he was unable to fit it in. 'It pained me,' says Hedin, 'I had done lots of research and interviews, [but] there was no place in it for the story of the searches for Son House and Skip James set against the backdrop of Freedom Summer.'"—Andy Greene, Rolling Stone


"Hedin takes us along on his journey, acknowledging his innocence and his (sometimes quite erroneous) assumptions. With equal parts curiosity and humility, he intertwines history and current events with his own thoughtful reflections. After scores of interviews and many thousands of miles clocked on the odometer, he slowly comes to feel that he 'had gotten a glimpse into the heart of things, as if a panel had been lifted and I could see the gears and knobs, all the workings that made the machine go.'"—Elaine Elinson

"Interview with Ben Hedin on KBOO"
Oct 12, 2015

Hosts Celeste Carey and Cecil Prescod speak with Benjamin Hedin about his book, In Search of the Movement: The Struggle for Civil Rights Then and Now. Hedin discusses the history of the civil rights movement and current events, which can look like the past. For example today's schools revert to being all-black or all-white. African-Americans are denied access to the polls. Unarmed black men are killed by police. Has America progressed on matters of race, or are we stalled - or even moving backward?


"Brian Lampkin of Scuppernong Books recommends In Search of the Movement"
Jul 8, 2015

"We tend to think of paradigm-shifting history as isolated events of singular importance enacted by powerful individuals. In Civil Rights history, we identify Rosa Parks, the Greensboro Four at the Woolworth's Sit-Ins, or Martin Luther King Jr. at Selma as moments that everything began to change. Benjamin Hedin insists that we remember the hundreds of hours of meetings and planning sessions and forgotten beatings that led to the iconic event. The summer's here and the time is right for fighting in the streets. Or meeting in a church basement."

- Brian Lampkin, Co-Owner, Scuppernong Books, Greensboro, NC

"A Conversation with Benjamin Hedin"
Jul 9, 2015

Host Frank Stasio talks with author Benjamin Hedin about his new book In Search of the Movement: The Struggle for Civil Rights Then and Now which profiles legendary figures from the long civil rights movement, including John Lewis, Julian Bond and contemporary leaders like William Barber II of the Moral Monday movement.


"In Search of the Movement Excerpted on Alternet"
May 21, 2015

View a short excerpt from Ben Hedin's In Search of the Movement about how the civil rights movement never ended on Alternet.

- Alternet

"Interview on What Matters"
Jul 31, 2015

Interview begins around 1 hour and 6 minutes in.

- Freedom Action Network

"Interview with Ben Hedin"
Jun 26, 2015

Gregory Abdur-Rasheed interviews Ben Hedin on his "The Root and Roots Show"

- The Roots and Roots Show

"Interview with Benjamin Hedin"
May 7, 2015

In this interview, KGNU's Claudia Cragg talks with Benjamin Hedin who set out to look for the Civil Rights movement. Hedin wanted to find the movement in its contemporary guise which, he says, which also meant answering the critical question of what happened to it after the 1960s. In his new book (In Search of the Movement: City Lights) he profiles legendary figures like John Lewis, Robert Moses, and Julian Bond, and also visits with contemporary leaders such as William Barber II and the staff of the Dream Defenders.


Kirkus Reviews

"A journalistic foray into the work of unsung heroes in the civil rights struggle, then and now. In this slender disquisition, journalist, teacher, editor, and documentary film producer Hedin (Studio A: A Bob Dylan Reader, 2004) ponders why the civil rights movement has petered out when so much still needs to be done. The answer, of course, is that it has not ceased—though the changes are often wrought subtly and behind the scenes, as the author ably uncovers through his research. Traditionally, the perimeters of the movement range from Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 and Rosa Parks' arrest in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955, and end with Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in Memphis in 1968. While Hedin acknowledges the enormous changes that took place within that frame—nonviolent boycotts, sit-ins, marches, and demonstrations ultimately forced the government to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and begin the process of desegregation in schools and other institutions—so much still begs to be done. The evidence is abundant: intractable inequality in education, the killing of unarmed young black men by police forces, and the strictures on voter registration in such conservative states such as North Carolina. Hedin pursues the sadly dwindling members of the so-called Moses Generation—e.g., Robert Moses and David Dennis, former leaders of the Mississippi Summer Project of 1964, and Congressman John Lewis, who helped lead the marchers across Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7, 1965; and others now deceased and unheralded, such as Charleston native Septima Clark, who pioneered "citizenship schools" on Johns Island and elsewhere. Hedin champions the work of dogged current organizers like Jessie Tyler of Ruleville, Mississippi, who scours the direly impoverished Delta counties to help people sign up for health care, which the author firmly believes is a civil right. Thoughtful essays on this significant struggle, ongoing and continuous. "—Kirkus Reviews

"Book Trailer for In Search of the Movement"

View a short trailer of In Search of Movement on

- The Blues House