Tag Archives: Civil Rights

Opening TODAY @7pm: “The Civil Rights Struggle, African American GIs and Germany”

Opening TONIGHT at the Stone Center, this event is FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC:

“The Civil Rights Struggle, African American GIs and Germany” exhibition will open at the Robert and Sallie Brown Gallery and Museum, Thursday, September 8, at 7pm.

“The exhibition, on display thru October 28, features photos, cartoons and political posters that tell an intriguing story of how American and German history became intertwined in the struggle for civil rights.

The exhibition was curated by Maria Hoehn, Professor of History at Vassar College and Dr. Martin Klimke, Research Fellow at the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C.  This project expands the boundaries of the African American Freedom Struggle beyond the U.S. and depicts African American GIs as active participants in the victory over Nazism, the democratization of Germany after WWII, and in the advancement of civil rights in their own country and beyond.

The opening reception is set for 7pm on September 8 and is free and open to the public.   Professor Maria Hoehn will give a brief presentation at the reception.  Local representatives from the National Association of Black Veterans, Tuskegee Airmen, Montford Point Marines, and Buffalo Soldiers will attend the reception as special guests.”

More details about this exhibit are available HERE.

Interested in learning more? Come by the Stone Center Library and check out our latest display of related books. For example:

SCL Boredom-Buster #17: “The Help,” by Kathryn Stockett

Readers, you are in for a treat today! SCL Boredom-Buster #17 features a review by none other than Stone Center Librarian Shauna Collier, with a personal and lively discussion of best-selling novel The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. This book may be requested from UNC’s Davis Library or Undergraduate Library. Check out the review below:

At first, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to read the novel The Help.  It was one of my book club’s selections and although I admit I was a little intrigued when I saw it was set in my home state of Mississippi, I also noted that the setting was the 1960s;  a period when racism, hatred and extreme violence were sadly prevalent.  So when I first picked it up and read the premise I couldn’t help but groan and think, “here we go again.”  Don’t get me wrong, I am quite familiar with the events that unfortunately did happen during that time in the state and across the South (I remember some of them from my childhood), but I’m reluctant to read fiction that will downright depress me.  Boy, was I in for a surprise!  Author Kathryn Stockett does an excellent job of balancing the severity of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi with a surprisingly uplifting tone that doesn’t distract from the seriousness of the time period.

The Help is about the complex relationships that existed at the time between White housewives and their African-American maids and just how complicated and silly the relationships and rules could be.  The novel does include some of the major events of the time, such as the death of Medgar Evers, and Stockett gives these real-life events a respectful treatment, while at the same time knowing when and where to adeptly inject humor. As a result I often found myself literally laughing out loud on several occasions, often before I could dry away tears.  In other words, I simply couldn’t put it down.

Part of the uplifting tone comes from the three main characters who take turns narrating the novel. Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan is a 22 year old recent graduate of Ole Miss who aspires to be a writer, at a time when women were expected to marry well and have babies. In my opinion she is the “co-hero” of the story, along with Abileen, one of the African American maids who finds the courage to help “Miss Skeeter” tell the story of the maids. Last but not least is Minny, one of the maids who is best described as “mouthy” but also quite hilarious.  Together these three women help start a movement of their own.

There are also a host of other characters who range from compassionate to ridiculous who help to tell this multilayered story that touched me in so many ways, and compelled me to write this very personal review of the novel.

However, there’s also another reason I wanted to put a personal stamp on this review. You may be aware that a film version of The Help is coming out on August 10th, but I learned of the movie being in production long before many others. How? Last year my mom called to tell me about a movie being filmed in my hometown near her job, where she had met a “nice gentleman.” This gentleman turned out to be Steven Spielberg himself, and the movie turned out to be… well, you guessed it. :)

SCL Boredom-Buster #13: “Nobody Called Me Charlie,” by Charles Preston

Good morning, y’all! Today’s Boredom-Buster is:

Nobody called me Charlie: the story of a radical white journalist writing for a Black newspaper in the Civil Rights era, by Charles Preston.

  • In the 1940s, at the height of segregation, Charles Preston became the unlikely newest worker at a black owned-and-operated newspaper. Preston, a white man and, unbeknownst to most of his colleagues, a member of the Communist Party, quickly came face to face with issues of race and injustice that would profoundly impact his life and change the way he understood United States society. This fictionalized account . . . takes on the central question of this nation’s history: can a truly human and humane society be built on a foundation of profound and pervasive racial inequality? Of course, the answer is no. Yet how do we make such a society? Or put another way, how must white people try to live their lives and how must they connect with their black brothers and sisters, personally and politically, to make a world in which the horrible scars of racism are healed once and for all? The answer that shines through Preston’s book–whether he is writing (and reporting) about work, local politics, the civil rights struggle, housing, education, entertainment,travel, sports, business, child-rearing, friendship, or intimate relationships–is that whites must do what he did: give up their whiteness. This is a book you will not forget.” (Source Syndetic Solutions)

Enjoy! And don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for our next pick! :)

SCL Boredom-Buster #11: “The pecan orchard: journey of a sharecropper’s daughter,” by Peggy Vonsherie Allen

This week the SCL Boredom-Busters series continues with summer reading recommendations in non-fiction, as a complement to the fiction and poetry titles we’ve highlighted thus far. Today’s pick is:

The pecan orchard: journey of a sharecropper’s daughter, by Peggy Vonsherie Allen.

  • “This is a true story of the struggle, survival, and ultimate success of a large black family in south Alabama who, in the middle decades of the 20th century, lifted themselves out of poverty to achieve the American dream of property ownership. Descended from slaves and sharecroppers in the Black Belt region, this family of hard-working parents and their thirteen children is mentored by its matriarch, Moa, the author’s beloved great grandmother, who passes on to the family, along with other cultural wealth, her recipe for moonshine. . . Told in clean, straightforward prose, the story radiates the suffocating midday heat of summertime cotton fields and the biting winter wind sifting through porous shanty walls. It conveys the implicit shame in “Colored Only” restrooms, drinking fountains, and eating areas; the beaming satisfaction of a job well done recognized by others; the “yessum” manners required of southern society; and the joyful moments, shared memories, and loving bonds that sustain-and even raise-a proud family.” (Source: Syndetic Solutions)

Happy reading! :)

New display at the Stone Center Library!

Come by the library and check out our newly updated display! Featuring recent acquisitions in literature, history, politics, women’s studies, and music. Selections include Young Mandela, Cooking in Other Women’s Kitchens, Terry McMillan’s Getting to Happy, and Jay-Z’s memoir, Decoded.

Dr. Manning Marable (May 13, 1950 – April 1, 2011)

Reknown Malcolm X scholar Dr. Manning Marable passed away last Friday, April 1 at the age of 60.   Dr. Marable studied at Earlham College (A.B. ’71), the University of Wisconsin-Madison (M.A. ’72), and earned his Ph.D. in American History at the University of Maryland in 1976.  Dr. Marable would go on to pursue his scholarship at Cornell University, Fisk University, Colgate University, Ohio State University, University of Colorado at Boulder, and most recently, Columbia University, where he served as M. Moran Weston and Black Alumni Council Professor of African American Studies.

A prolific researcher, Dr. Marable produced nearly 300 articles and close to 20 books over the course of his storied career in African American studies.  His latest work, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, was published today and is on order at the UNC Undergraduate Library.  In the meantime, here at the Stone Center Library, we encourage you to make use of our resources if you’re interested in examining Dr. Marable’s academic legacy in more detail.  For example, here are a handful of his books available here at the Library:

A full list of our holdings authored and/or edited by Dr. Marable is also available here.

 

 

FREE film screening TOMORROW (2/8) at the Stone Center: “Frederick Douglass and the White Negro” (2008)

The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History kicks off the spring semester of its FREE Diaspora Festival of Black and Independent Film TOMORROW (2/8) evening at 7pm with a showing of “Frederick Douglass and the White Negro” (2008), directed by John Doherty.

 

“This documentary tells the story of this important 19th century leader and his escape from slavery, leading to refuge in Ireland on the eve of the Great Famine. The film focuses on the powerful influence Ireland had on him as a young man. It also explores the turbulent relationship between African Americans and Irish Americans in general. The relationship is exposed as a complex and tragic sequence of events culminating in the bloodiest riot in American history. This transatlantic story covers the race issue and is as relevant today as it was when Douglass escaped to Ireland—“I can truly say, I have spent some of the happiest moments of my life since landing in this country. I seem to have undergone a transformation. I live a new life…I am met by no upturned nose and scornful lip telling me ‘We don’t allow niggers in here!’””


This semester’s other screenings will be held on 2/10, 2/17, 2/24, 3/3, and 3/15.  Screenings generally feature commentary by the directors and/or relevant scholars and are held in the Stone Center’s Hitchcock Multipurpose Room.  For a full calendar of the films to be shown, click here.

 

Hope to see you there! :)