Monthly Archive for April, 2010

May Events

Here’s a quick look at the upcoming events in May from the LCRM events calendar.

For more details on these events please visit either the event’s website or the LCRM event calendar. As there are fewer events scheduled in the summer months, we will not be posting events roundups during the summer. We will continue adding events to the LCRM calendar as we become aware of them, so you can continue to find information on  LCRM related events there. If you have an event you would like to see posted on the calendar, please send us an e-mail.

Bringing Bibliographies Alive

One of the things that we hope to test in the “Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement” online publishing pilot is how to make publications as interconnected as possible.  Scientific, technical, and medical publishers are way ahead of humanities and social science publishers in this area, and journal publishing is ahead of book publishing.  There exist vast aggregations of scientific publications that have useful hyperlinks imbedded in their references.  We envision a day when publications of interest to historians and others who work on the long civil rights movement also will be accessible online and deeply linked.

A linked bibliography entry can be quite impressive!  If you are a premium user of our publishing pilot, check out the “Articles” section of the bibliography in Bob Korstad’s Civil Rights Unionism.  Following some of the entries, a DOI link appears.  Click it, and it will take you to the online article, whether it is available in JSTOR, or hosted by Routledge/Taylor & Francis, or wherever.  If you work at an institution of higher education, your computer will likely know whether you have access to the full text via your library and will simply show it (otherwise it will show the publication’s landing page, with bibliographical information).  Click the back button to return to Korstad’s bibliography.

A “DOI” is a digital object identifier.   Continue reading ‘Bringing Bibliographies Alive’

Commenting Innovation in LCRM Site

If you use other aggregated e-resources via your library, you might recognize aspects of our newly launched LCRM online publishing pilot, such as the book shot (a picture of the book) and metadata (information about the book) on each book’s landing page.  The design of some features is unique, such as the way we show where the page break was in the original book, but the functions themselves occur in other resources.  Our main innovation is the commenting feature, which allows participants to comment on all of the publications in the site at the paragraph level.  We have a lot of ideas about how this feature might be used, which you can read about on the “Commenting Guidelines” page.

For an example of a comment, see chapter four of To Right These Wrongs.  Librarians whom we surveyed were enthusiastic about the potential of comments to lead readers to archival collections, so my first comment on the site included a link connecting this book to photographs by Billy Barnes, which are online at the UNC Special Collections Library.

CommentPress might be the most well-known system for commenting on books online; it is admirably thought out and seems to work well.  However, our site is the only one I know of that offers commenting on a multi-genre collection of publications that is also full-text searchable.  If you know about a similar offering, please let me know, because I would be very interested in it!  Seldom are innovations completely new.  Our particular version of commenting was based on DjangoBook.

I try to keep a list of annotation experiments online, and it is growing.  Some other interesting ones are:  VoiceThread, SharedBook, and Darwin’s Origin of Species from the New York Times, which continues to develop an annotation platform called Doc Viewer. We call our own Django-based experiment the Voice Publishing Platform.

Slightly Unusual Genre Mix in LCRM Site

Part of the LCRM Project’s online publishing experiment is to mix genres and see how people like that.  So far, the LCRM online publishing pilot contains 34 UNC Press books, 8 not-yet-published conference papers, 1 community-organizing manual, and 1 report.  We will add to this content soon by including some published journal articles and more working papers.  Would our users like to see more working papers?  Is it useful to search published articles together with the books and papers, or is it not worth the trouble to include the published journal articles, if they are available online elsewhere?  Do historians and other scholars working on the long civil rights movement like to share and read working papers pre-publication, the way scientists do?  We had some indications in our Faculty Survey that the answers would be Yes, but we are keen to revisit these questions in practice.

LCRM Live for a Week

The “Publishing the Long Civil Rights Movement” online publishing pilot was launched a week ago today.  It was what we might call a “soft” launch—no press release or grand announcement, just a Tweet and a blog post and some initial invitations to our project partners.  I wanted to test the site a bit, to make sure that deployment on the production server went smoothly.  I needn’t have worried; the site is solidly built and functioning well.   Soon we’ll do more publicity.  If you are reading this, consider yourself one of the “first to know”!

You can search all the books and papers and read chapter 4 of the newly published book To Right These Wrongs by Bob Korstad and Jim Leloudis without registering.  If you register, you can comment on the chapter.

Premium users whom we invite to participate during the eight-month test period have free access to the full text of the 40-plus books and papers in the site and can comment on all of them at the paragraph level.  If you are a professor, librarian, or graduate student and would like premium access, please contact us via the site.  (“Contact Us” is in the footer on each page.)

White Citizens Councils

You can’t understand the civil rights movement without understanding the opposition to it. White Citizens Councils, the jacket-and-tie complement to the Ku Klux Klan that did as much, if not more, to disrupt the path to full citizenship for African Americans.

This new online archive of The Citizens Council newspaper, published from 1955 to 1961, is a big step in that direction. The archive is complete and, according to its creator, fully searchable. Crystal clear scans and a fluid reading mechanism make it easy to get lost in the sinister poetry of the Council’s propaganda. “NAACP Plans for Police State Revealed” crows one headline; “Africans Not Ready to Govern Selves ‘Liberal’ Writer Finally Admits,” reads another.

The Citizen’s Councils, like their rivals in the civil rights struggle, saw themselves as part of a “movement.” They were “organizing for victory” (well, they weren’t, but that was the idea). Their efforts reveal the ways in which even groups in opposition to one another share strategies, whether they like it or not. Today’s Tea Party protesters owe as much to the traditions of civil rights protests as they do to their philosophical godparents in the Citizens Councils.

Guest Post: Bernard Timberg on SNCC Conference

Bearing Witness and Meeting Old Friends: Notes on the First Day of the the 50th Reunion of SNCC at Shaw University in Raleigh, NC

By Bernard M. Timberg

They came from all across the country to attend this 50th anniversary of the founding of SNCC: greybeards of blacks and whites, integrated again fifty years later, and “children of the civil rights movement” as those born in the sixties often described themselves, as well those of the student generation.  Teachers, students, social workers, those who had retired, often still doing good work in their communities.  And in addition to two sessions with everyone in large halls (almost 1000 people by then having signed up to attend), there were breakout sessions on “The Early Student Movemment Philosophy and Activism,” “From Student Activists to Field Organizers,” “SNCC Builds and Organization” (a panel primarily made up of the women who ran the Atlanta central office), “The Raleigh Civil Rights Movement,” “The Societal Response to SNCC,” and “Up South” (SNCC projects in the North).

I came as a friend of the Southern Oral History Program and someone who had helped document the 40th Anniversary of SNCC with a team of students from Johnson C. Smith University in 2000, working with a team organized by SNCC activist and historian Connie Curry.  I had been a “foot soldier” in the civil rights movement, first in high school with Washington, D.C. CORE and then with the “Freedom House” project in San Francisco working to save low-cost housing in the Fillmore district from the bulldozers of “urban removal.”  But this was a conference for foot soldiers as well as leaders, though there were plenty of leaders in attendance as well.

The first night I went to Crabtree Marriott hotel in Raleigh simply to observe what was going on.  What I saw was fellowship, reunion, a lot of hugging, people who hadn’t seen each other in years and were glowing in the ability to re-establish connections with people they hadn’t seen in years.

Continue reading ‘Guest Post: Bernard Timberg on SNCC Conference’

SNCC Reunion Day 2

Sat in on a special live-audience taping of the State of Things with guests Charles Cobb (SNCC field secretary), Frances Beal (SNCC member and head of its Black Women’s Liberation Committee), and student activist Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson today. Cobb and Beal shed some light on their experiences with SNCC, including these nuggets:

*The alleged tensions that roiled SNCC’s relationship with other organizations were totally absent on the ground, according to Cobb. Mississippi sharecroppers didn’t care who was squabbling with whom over what. They wanted the vote. To them, everyone was a “freedom rider” or a “non-violent.”

*On SNCC’s dissolution–Beal thinks it was a victim of its own success. “We set out to destroy Jim Crow and in fact … we did it.” So what was next. Cobb reminded us that these kids were just tired, too.

*Beware! “Academicians,” according to Beal overemphasize nonviolence. The fight was for racial equality. Period.

And there’s more. You can listen to the segment here.

Later in the day, a panel on Black Power, Education, and Pan-Africanism, revealed an interesting tidbit about environmental justice.
Continue reading ‘SNCC Reunion Day 2’

“The Societal Response to SNCC”

Civil rights veterans, students, and scholars–and not a few camerapeople and photographers–gathered in the chapel on Shaw’s campus to discuss “The Societal Response to SNCC.” Panelists were Larry Rubin (who worked in southwest Georgia), Timothy Jenkins (Mississippi), Dottie Zellner (Mississippi), John Doar (civil rights division of the Justice Department), and Peniel Joseph (Tufts historian).

John Doar (right), escorting James Meredith onto the campus of Ole Miss.

It was, in SNCC style, a loosely formatted panel that emphasized questions from the audience. John Doar opened the discussion by recalling his role in the Justice Department and how
“the SNCC kids” inspired him and his fellow lawyers to try to enforce the law in Mississippi, where the “system was absolutely corrupt.”

“If you were white and you were 21 and you could breathe, you could vote,” he remembered. Not so for blacks.

Timothy Jenkins cited the Freedom School’s as SNCC’s crowning achievement, because they taught black kids for the first time that they could be somebody, that not everyone was out to crush their dreams, and that they could choose success. “That was the impact of SNCC.”

Continue reading ‘“The Societal Response to SNCC”’

The SOHP at Shaw

The SOHP's David Cline and Duke's Karlyn Forner prepare for an interview.

The Southern Oral History Program has set up shop at Shaw University to record the memories of civil rights veterans in town to attend the conference marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Our colleagues from the Duke University Oral History Project are there with us, and we’re hoping to preserve the memories of the many unsung civil rights heroes who are in attendance.