PACE – Library partnership pt. 3 of 3

This blog post features guest contributors Jordan Knight and Evelyn Tran, students in Dr. Margaret Fletcher’s Fall 2016 ENGL 1101 PACE class. To learn more about PACE, visit: http://clayton.edu/PACE.


In the News: Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle

On the 13th of September, the Clayton State Library Department presented the Freedom Summer film which is one of a five-part film series in the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle program. A large audience of students, professors, and community members were present to view the film, listen to the panel discussion, and participate in the open discussion which followed.

The film focuses on the struggles that African Americans had to endure during Freedom Summer of 1964 in Mississippi.  During this time African Americans were oppressed by Jim Crow laws such as literacy tests and poll taxes which kept them from voting. Civil rights activists like Fannie Lou Hamer and Robert “Bob” Moses as well as civil rights organizations such as the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), began hosting voter registration drives and local sit-ins to protest the unequal exclusion of minorities in the democratic voting process.

If you would like to learn more about the events and people highlighted in the film or the discussion, we suggest the following resources:

http://clayton.libguides.com/CreatedEqual/FreedomSummer (Event covered at Clayton State University).

http://crdl.usg.edu/events/freedom_summer/ (Civil Rights Digital Library – Freedom Summer)

Freedom Schools

Throughout the summer of 1964, Freedom Schools were opened in black communities to provide a richer educational experience than was offered in Mississippi public schools. African American children learned of their own heritage and the heroes such as Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass who fought for freedom and equal rights.  In addition they improved their basic skills such as reading and writing, which enabled them to better understand the historical movement that was taking place.  These schools allowed them to gain the knowledge and courage to become a force for change in their local communities. Some further readings on Freedom Schools include the following sources:

http://www.educationanddemocracy.org/ED_FSC.html  (Freedom School Curriculum website)

Adickes, S. (2005). Legacy of a Freedom School. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Electronic book available through GALILEO*

Emery, K. (2007). The lessons of Freedom Summer. Race, Poverty and the Environment, 14(2), 20-22. Available via JSTOR* or online open access.

Emery, K., Gold, L.R., and Braselman, S. (2008). Lessons from Freedom Summer: Ordinary people building extraordinary movements. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press. Available via InterLibrary Loan request.

Freedom Summer

From the achievements, the suffering, and the determination of civil rights activists during Freedom Summer, the Civil Rights Movement grew, and ultimately the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 radically changed the South to legally eliminate Jim Crow laws.

If you would like to learn more information about the influence and impact of Freedom Summer (1964), the Clayton State Library suggests the following resources:

Burrows, N., Helton, L.E., Levy, L.B., and McDowell, D.E. (2014). Freedom Summer and its legacies in the classroom. The Southern Quarterly, 52, 155-172.*

Edmonds, M. and Haller, S. (2014). Images from Freedom Summer, 1964. The Southern Quarterly, 52, 51-63.*

McDaniel, H. N. (2016). Growing up civil rights: Youth voices from Mississippi’s Freedom Summer. The Southern Quarterly, 53, 94-107.*

Norman, B. (2014). What are all these bodies doing in the River? Freedom Summer and the cultural imagination. The Southern Quarterly, 52, 173-178.*

Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle was made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

For more information about the Created Equal program, please visit: http://createdequal.neh.gov.

We invite you to look forward to the upcoming A Place for All People poster exhibit which will be presented at Clayton State University Library in 2017. This artistic presentation will celebrate the opening of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture by displaying A Place for All People, an exhibit of posters that exhibit the African American story through images of “pain and glory, power and civility, enslavement and freedom.” For more information about the future event, please visit the following link: www.sites.si.edu/exhibitions/exhibits/AfricanAmericanPosters/index.htm and stay tuned to the Clayton State Library blog.

 

Advertisements

PACE – Library partnership pt. 2 of 3

The following article was written by Evelyn Tran and Jordan Knight, students in Dr. Margaret Fletcher’s Fall 2016 ENGL 1101 PACE class and is the 2nd in a 3 part series of collaborative posts. See the first post here. To learn more about PACE, visit http://clayton.edu/PACE.


Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle

by: Evelyn Tran, Jordan Knight

Throughout the course of several decades, we, as a nation, have become disconnected from the history of our national consciousness/national identity. In order for our country to progress and strive to achieve true equality for all, it is extremely necessary that we learn to accept our past history, seek to gain a better understanding of others, and challenge ourselves to engage in open, honest conversations among our fellow peers. In the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle program hosted by Clayton State University Library, the main focus was to analyze the adversities that African Americans had to endure.  The final program in the series, Freedom Summer, dealt with the struggle for minorities to gain the freedom to vote.

The Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle program has spanned to encompass over 130 years of American History through their community programs. In the five-part film series, the Freedom Summer event specifically focused on the importance of the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project and the immediate effects of Freedom Summer. The program, which consisted of panelists Dr. Jelani Favors, Mr. David Peña (in lieu of Dr. Joshua Meddaugh), and hostess Ms. Erin Nagel, showcased the Freedom Summer film as an opening, followed by a panel discussion between the students and panelists. The Freedom Summer film displayed the harsh reality of racial violence that African Americans had to endure across the United States.

Dr. Favors, Assistant Professor of History at Clayton State University, focused on the long legacy of education, democracy, and citizenship from Black Colleges to Freedom Schools through his interpretation of several civil rights activists, such as Herbert Lee and Fannie Lou Hamer. Dr. Favors’ initial goal concentrated on inspiring young activists to challenge themselves to learn about the “missing pages of American History and to have dialogue around American history. This dialogue, in turn, could lead to enlightenment and hopefully to civic engagement as well.” From this, he was able to inspire the audience to want to gain a voice within their local communities as well as a sense of appreciation for the impact that voter registration drive in Freedom Summer  left on American history.

Another panelist of the evening was Mr. Peña, Lecturer in Political Science, who exhibited Dr. Meddaugh’s (Professor and Coordinator of the Political Science program at Clayton State University) presentation, which concentrated on the State and Supreme Court’s reactions and decisions to the voting movements. It was through the Supreme Court’s decisions such as the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that the true struggles in the fight for basic human rights were highlighted. Additionally, Mr. Peña’s focus on the legal and political reaction to the African American movement allowed for students and professors to educate themselves from a different perspective. This scholarly approach allowed the attending individuals to understand and observe how the American educational system was manipulated in order to favor a white majority. On the other hand, for Dr. Meddaugh the Clayton State University event was key for students to comprehend and be aware of how America has become a more inclusive society. He stated that it was “a multitiered event that allows for the dissemination of information on the Civil Rights Struggle throughout the campus and throughout the community.” This was the key: Freedom Summer and the panel’s presentations provided the individuals who attended the opportunity to enhance their views on the historical events as well as focusing their attention on current day racism and discrimination.

Following the panelists’ presentation, the audience was given three questions to spark discussions among both the students and the panelists. One of the questions raised was the objective of the Freedom Summer organizers’ motive in prioritizing education and voting. The Freedom Summer Movement played a key role in addressing the racially segregated school systems through the creation of Freedom Schools. The main purpose of the creation of the Freedom Schools was to educate the black community on the idea of black empowerment which in turn led to a greater voice in political participation. From this, these individuals were able to gain political liberation by breaking the barriers imposed upon them by Jim Crow laws. Overall, the 1964 Freedom Summer Project was a stepping stone in expanding not only African Americans’ right to vote but also their education, a fundamental right which they had been deprived of throughout history.

In the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle program, the panelists brought awareness to the concerns that modern society may face today, and the significant role that American history has played in defining equality in America. Education is the key to moving away from a racially profiled society. Even though the panelists had different approaches and tendencies towards activism and change, they all had one common goal: to end racism.

Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle was made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. For more information about the Created Equal program, visit http://createdequal.neh.gov.

PACE – Library partnership pt. 1 of 3

In the Fall of 2016, the Clayton State Library partnered with Dr. Margaret Fletcher’s ENGL 1101 class as part of PACE (Partnering Academics and Community Engagement), the university’s initiative to connect academic work with community engagement opportunities. Dr. Fletcher’s students attended the library’s film screening and discussion event, Freedom Summer, and conducted follow-up research on the events and people featured in the film and those discussed by the presenting scholars. In addition to course assignments, the products of this research include a visual display of the history of voting rights in America, an article summarizing the event, and blog post with recommended library resources for researchers. All artifacts will be featured here on the library blog.

Over the next week, we will highlight their contributions here to share the work of your fellow students.

Today, we are featuring the visual display. You can see it in person on the whiteboard in the Lower Level of the Library.

Visual depiction of the history of voting rights in America with

Constitutional amendments and Jim Crow laws related to voting and civil rights. Images and description of the Selma to Montgomery march and text from Dr. King's Letter From Birmingham Jail. Images and short biographies of individuals who died during the fight for Voting Rights in America: Rev. George Lee, James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Henry Schwerner, Jimmie Lee Jackson, Herbert Lee, Lamar Smith, Jonathan Myrick Daniels, Vernon Ferdinand Dahmer

Quote from Dr. Jelani Favors: "When we inspire people, we can't just inspire them to say 'I'll vote at the next presidential election,' but we have to look at local politics, local issues, and we’ve got to find a way to improve our immediate community: for students at Clayton State that means not just Morrow, not just Atlanta, but that means Clayton State as well. How can we improve Clayton State, make it more inclusive, make it speak to our dreams, our desires? The whole theme of this year and last year was ‘Dreams. Made Real,’ but what are those dreams? When we think of the Civil Rights Movement, of social movements, these were really predicated upon the idea of Freedom Dreams, wanting to aspire and move our nation towards a more free society. Well, we can have a more than just a free campus; what other interests do students have? We can actually make those interests come real through activism, engagement, dialogue, but also through learning, which is another important part. I cannot tell you how many times that I’ve spoken with or consulted with local activists, students who become engaged. I tell them it is important that you read so that you can arm yourselves with history, knowledge of what has taken place before you, and by doing so, you can see the missteps that people have made, you can understand the failures that they’ve encountered, you can also understand their successes. In doing so, we can create better and more effective forms of social activism even today.” Summaries of the effects of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 including increased voter turnout and greater diversity in Congress. Summary of the 2013 Shelby County vs. Holder decision which overturned key elements of the Voting Rights Act. After effects of the Holder decision included voting roll purges and increases in new restrictions in states previously covered by the Voting Rights Act.

Created Equal: Freedom Riders

The Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle film screening and discussion series returns this week with an event focused on the documentary film Freedom Riders. To explore this moment in our nation’s history, we have invited three veterans of the Freedom Rides of 1961 to share their stories.

The upcoming program will take place on Thursday, Oct. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Harry S. Downs Center and will feature selected clips from the film and facilitated discussions. Veteran Freedom Riders Joan Browning, Charles Person and Hank Thomas will share their personal stories of the historic Freedom Rides and how they risked their lives to challenge the system of segregation in interstate travel in the Deep South. The forum is free and open to the public. For those unable to attend in person, the event will be streamed live online at http://clayton.libguides.com/CreatedEqual.

All members of the campus and surrounding community are invited to view the film Freedom Riders in its entirety online at http://clayton.libguides.com/CreatedEqual. The film will also be shown prior to the Oct. 16 event, starting at 4 p.m.

About Created Equal

Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) that uses the power of documentary films to encourage community discussion of America’s civil rights history. The Clayton State Library is one of 473 institutions across the country awarded a set of four films chronicling the history of the Civil Rights Movement. NEH has partnered with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to develop programmatic and support materials for the sites.

Each of the Created Equal films was produced with NEH support, and each tells remarkable stories of individuals who challenged the social and legal status quo of deeply rooted institutions, from slavery to segregation. Created Equal programs bring communities together to revisit our shared history and help bridge deep racial and cultural divides in American civic life. Visit http://www.createdequal.neh.gov for more information.

The Created Equal film set and public programs have been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

About the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Founded in 1994, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a nonprofit organization that promotes excellence in the teaching and learning of American history. Programs include publications, teacher seminars, a national Affiliate School Program, traveling exhibitions, and online materials for teachers, students, and the general public. http://www.gilderlehrman.org.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities. NEH grants enrich classroom learning, create and preserve knowledge, and bring ideas to life through public television, radio, museum exhibitions, and programs in libraries and other community places. http://www.neh.gov.

Created Equal – Slavery by Another Name Viewings

Slavery by Another Name

Slavery by Another Name : Jon Van Amber and Omni Studio

Please join the Clayton State Library for a screening of the film Slavery by Another Name in advance of our next event in the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle discussion series on Apr. 16, 2014.

All screenings will be held in room UC 272 in the James Baker University Center. Dates and times of the screenings are as follows:

  • Tuesday, Apr. 1: 4:30 pm and 7:00 pm
  • Friday, Apr. 4: 1:00 pm
  • Thursday, Apr. 10: 12:00 pm, 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm

The film can also be viewed in the Clayton State Library or online from the national Created Equal website.

Check out our Created Equal LibGuide for information on upcoming events.