Monthly Archive for April, 2009

Weekly Events Round-up for 4/27 – 5/1

There are two events of note on the events calendar this week. First, on Wednesday the Triangle Labor and Civil Rights Working Group and Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies are co-sponsoring a showing of Victory at Moncure Plywood, the story of the recent strike at the Moncure, North Carolina, plywood factory as told by the workers themselves. Then, on Friday, the Frankling Humanities Institute will be holding the one day symposium “Histories and Humanities at HBCU,” which will include lectures and an exhibit in memory of John Hope Franklin. For more details on these events, please visit the events calendar.

What’s Next?

Where should long civil rights movement scholarship go from here?

We at the Southern Oral History Program are in the midst of planning our next interviewing initiatives and are drawing on what we learned at the conference to help us make sure that the first-person sources we create will be useful to scholars and will help to push the field forward in productive ways.  So we are especially eager to have your suggestions along those lines.  Our plan in general is to do a few more interviews on our themes of race and the public schools and economic justice campaigns and then to turn to issues of women and gender.  In the light of your own work and your sense of where the field is going, which topics, people, stories should we pursue?

Use the comments function to share your thoughts. Thanks for your input!

Center for Civil Rights Releases Education Conference Video

The education conference hosted by UNC’s Center for Civil Rights (CCR) took place on April 2, 2009, the day before the Long Civil Rights Movement Conference hosted by the Southern Oral History Program. Entitled “Looking to the Future: Legal and Policy Options for Racially Integrated Education in the South and the Nation,” the conference presented a multidisciplinary set of panels aimed at translating academic studies into practical advice for activists, policymakers, and education professionals as schools all over the United States—especially in the South—resegregate.  The CCR has just released videos of the entire conference, including every panel and the keynote.

The following highlights, while not a comprehensive report on this well-planned conference, are intended to offer a taste of what took place and a brief introduction to the videos. The CCR, the LCRM project team, and the University of North Carolina Press are working on making the papers available online and in book form in the future.


Continue reading ‘Center for Civil Rights Releases Education Conference Video’

The Supreme Court on Race

This week, the United States Supreme Court will consider a number of cases that address the legacies of the civil rights movement and the institutional legacies of what the movement sought to change. Of particular interest is a so-called “reverse discrimination” case in Connecticut, where white firefighters sued when they missed out on promotions because no blacks would have won advancement.

The suit gets at the tricky question of minority performance on standardized tests–such tests may not be designed to discriminate (like literacy tests or poll taxes), but the result discriminates nonetheless.

This case and others come before a Supreme Court increasingly invested in the language of colorblindness. Chief Justice John Roberts, in the news most recently for flubbing the swearing-in of our first black president, said of one voting rights case, “a sordid business, this divvying us up by race.” Indeed. All the more reason to challenge the renewal of the 1965 Civil Rights Act (right, Texas?).

Mapping Project Launched

Documenting the American South has just released an innovative online mapping project on the history of movie theaters in North Carolina. It is called “Going to the Show,” and you can see it here: Knitting together Sanborn fire-insurance maps from 1896 to 1922 and overlaying them on Google maps for contemporary context, the project pinpoints all North Carolina movie theaters of the period in 47 towns and cities and, via an ingenious clickable movie-ticket icon, leads the user seamlessly to archival documents and newspaper clippings related to the history of each theater.

As the “Going to the Show” project team delved into the maps and related archival material during development of the site, they recognized that they were about to reveal new, detailed information about patterns of segregation in the Jim Crow South. The racial policy of each theater is documented; many theaters were African American only. From the site: The project highlights the ways that race conditioned the experience of movies and urban spaces more generally for all North Carolinians — white, African American, and American Indian. Its collection inventories every known N.C. African American movie theater in operation between 1908 and 1963.”

The site is easy to navigate; links and image enlargements work quickly for this user. Congratulations to scholarly advisor Bobby Allen, UNC professor of American studies, history, and communication studies, and principal investigator Natasha Smith of Documenting the American South.

Weekly Events Update for 4/20 – 4/27/09

Here is a summary of the events on the events calendar this week. First, on Wednesday there will be a meeting of the Triangle Labor and Civil Rights Working Group. Then, on Thursday, Duke’s Theater Studies Department will be performing This is Madness: A Black Theatre Workshop. Check out the events calendar for more details on these events.

LCRM Conference Follow-Up

Congratulations to our Southern Oral History Program partners for a tremendous conference! (See the Conference section of this website for details on the Long Civil Rights Movement Conference held at UNC on Friday and Saturday, April 3 and 4.  All of the sessions made substantial efforts to propose changes to the ways in which the story of the civil rights movement is traditionally understood and taught, and the question-and-answer sessions were lengthy and lively. Several attendees said it was the best conference they had ever attended, and they hoped to carry on the discussions sparked by the sessions.

The LCRM project partners are working on some ways to follow up. Possibilities include posting video excerpts from the sessions online and sharing summaries of our notes. Also, watch this space for notes on the Center for Civil Rights education conference held on April 2 and on the digital history workshop for panelists that we held at the end of the LCRM conference on Saturday.

Weekly Events Update for 4/13-4/19

Here is a quick update of the events on the calendar this week. On Tuesday, Robert Cantwell will be giving a lecture as part of the Hutchins Lecture Series. On Wednesday, the conference “Monuments and Memories” begins at Duke. The conference will run through Friday. On Thursday, Duke will hold a Unity Through Diversity Forum. And finally, on Friday, Duke’s Law School will hold the event “Remembering John Hope Franklin.” For more details on these events, please visit the events calendar.

Weekly Events Update

There are several events that may be of interest to long civil rights scholars in the Triangle area this week. First, on Tuesday, Nancy MacLean will be giving the 2009 Ella Baker Lecture at Duke. Also on Tuesday, Anthony Bogues will be giving the spring African Diaspora lecture at UNC. Wrapping up a busy Tuesday, the course “Women and the Politics of Poverty” will take place as part of the UNC General Alumni Association’s lifelong learning program. Finally, on Wednesday, Jelani Favors will give a lecture titled “Let Me Live in the Heights of My Time” as part of the Wednesday’s at the Center series organized by Duke’s Franklin Humanities Institute. Visit the events calendar to get more details on these events.