Below is a press release from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History:
On April 14, 2021, Anne Farris Rosen presented “A Journalist on the Frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement” as part of the History Is Lunch series.
An award-winning freelance journalist, Rosen worked with her father the reporter John N. Herbers (1923-2017) on his memoir Deep South Dispatch. Herbers's career began in 1942 at the Greenwood, Mississippi, Morning Star, and would go on to include long tenures with United Press International and the New York Times. In 1951 Herbers covered the brutal execution of Willie McGee, a Black Mississippi man convicted for the rape of a white housewife, and went on to cover the 1955 trial for the murder of Emmett Till, the Freedom Summer murders in Philadelphia, and the bombing of Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and murder of four Black girls there. He traveled extensively with Martin Luther King Jr. and covered marches and riots in St. Augustine and Selma that led to the passage of national civil rights legislation.
“When I became a journalist, my father was my mentor, giving me advice when I sought it on my own articles about government, politics, and race relations,” Rosen said. “The story in Deep South Dispatch follows his own journey as a man dedicated to his southern heritage but who also rejected the prescribed laws and mores of a prejudiced society.”
Congressman John Lewis (1940-2020) wrote “I got to know John when he was a reporter. To me, he was more than a reporter. Smart and gifted, he used his pen in the search for the truth. If it had not been for reporters like John, I do not know what would have happened to us as we fought for civil rights. He was not afraid to get in the way, often risking his life to uncover the truth. He made a lasting contribution to the movement and to America.”
Anne Farris Rosen is adjunct professor at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. She holds a BA in English from Rhodes College and an MA from St. Louis University’s Center for Urban Studies.
Rosen has worked for the New York Times, Washington Post, and Pew Research Center.