Civil Rights, Civil Society


February is Black History month and a serendipitous encounter with a local community leader in January gave me the opportunity to honor that important occasion. I’ve known James Nathanial Hunter Jr. for years. However, I knew him as “Hunter” when I served with him on the Fairbanks North Star Borough Library Commission. In his life, Hunter and his wife Sharron have braved the chilly, if not hostile, emotional dynamics of race relations. The couple is trans-racial. Hunter is African-American, Sharron is white. But they are both united in careers and vocations that sought to bridge divides and heal social wounds. In 1985 he, Sharron, Dick Farris and Jean Ambrose formed the Breadline in Fairbanks.

Also on the show: More than a year ago I interviewed local poet Nicole Stellon O’Donnell about her first book: Steam Laundry. The volume draws on the life and diaries of an early Fairbanks resident Sarah Ellen Gibson. The work displays adept writing, as Nicole gives voice to several characters. In March, the Alaska Reads Project launched its latest initiative to link Alaska communities together with a common text by tapping Nicole and Steam Laundry. I invited Nicole back on the show to explain the program and to describe her current projects.

And Chris Lott provides another stimulating edition of Katexic Clippings.

Finally, I’m pleased to share a new find with my podcast listeners. I’m always looking out for music to use between the show segments – music that I can afford. Since, the show receives very limited funding, I need to be as frugal as possible and adhere to copyright laws. A quick internet search turned up a the perfect site: Jukedeck. This podcast is the first, but certainly not the last, to take advantage of the company’s fine products.

Music from Jukedeck – create your own at

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