Sonja D. Williams
' book Word Warrior: Richard Durham, Radio, and Freedom
(University of Illinois Press, 2015) connects its subject to some of the most important events and social movements of his time, including what we now call the Civil Rights Movement and the Great Migration. Durham's life path, like that of many other African Americans born in the early part of the 20th century, goes from the Jim Crow South, to Chicago, where his family builds a solid middle-class existence founded on educational attainment and hard work. Durham's writing career included poetry, newspapers, radio, television, and a celebrated biography of Muhammad Ali. Durham also played a significant role in the election of the first black mayor of Chicago, his high school friend, Harold Washington. In this engaging interview, Sonja Williams sheds important light on an unassuming man who was most comfortable quietly but forcefully serving the causes he believed in from behind the scenes.