George Gonis – who entered the University of Wisconsin-Madison the year of Fredric March’s death and received his degree in history and journalism there – grew up in the 1960s in a civil rights-marching family well aware that UW alum March was for decades one of the movement’s staunchest, most conspicuous activists. He’s worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer, museum educator, Parents’ Choice Award-winning/Ebony Magazine-featured toy designer and Underground Railroad public historian. His long features have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Baseball Digest, History News, Cobblestone Magazine, the Indianapolis Star, the Indianapolis News, the Akron Beacon Journal, and Milwaukee Magazine. In addition to writing and broadcast work years ago for Wisconsin Public Radio, he has more recently provided storylines for two ESPN programs – two of his long features served as the basis for these shows, one enlisting him in front of the camera as a featured historian for an entry in ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary series.
Fredric March stands alongside four other mid-century drum majors for civil rights during the 1943 national radio broadcast of “Race-Relations Sunday.” Left to right: concert soprano Dorothy Maynor, actor Canada[…]