Tag Archives: Civil Rights

IAAR Faculty Fellow Lecture – ‘Traffic Stops in Black and White’

IAAR Lecture - Traffic Stops Flyer

The UNC Chapel Hill Institute of African American Research (IAAR) is sponsoring a lecture by Dr. Frank R. Baumgartner, Richard J. Richardson Distinguished Professor of Political Science at UNC Chapel Hill, on the racial disparity in traffic stops in North Carolina between the years 2002 and 2013.

The lecture takes place on Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at 7pm in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room of Wilson Library on the UNC Chapel Hill campus.

In collaboration with Professor Baumgartner, the Stone Center Library has prepared a list of resources that have informed this presentation.

More information can also be found on Professor Baumgartner’s dedicated website: http://www.unc.edu/~fbaum/traffic.htm

SCL Picks: Oscars Edition

The 84th annual Academy Awards will take place this Sunday and among this year’s contenders is The Help, which has been nominated for four awards, including nods for Viola Davis (Best Actress) and Octavia Spencer (Best Supporting Actress). This film takes place in 1960s Mississippi and chronicles the intersecting lives of white women and their African-American maids against the backdrop of major social upheaval nationwide. Of course, before it was an Oscar-nominated film, The Help was a best-selling book, as reviewed by Stone Center Librarian Shauna Collier in a previous SCL blog post, and available here at the Library.

Interested in learning more about African Americans and the film industry? Here, in no particular order, are ten titles to get you started:

The books listed above are but a sampling of related items available here at the Stone Center Library. Come by and check us out!

Black History Month Profile: James Weldon Johnson (1831-1938)

First performed publicly in February of 1900, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” was composed by brothers James Weldon (text) and J. Rosamand Johnson (music). Originally conceived as a poem to commemorate Lincoln’s birthday, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” as a musical work has become a powerful symbol of the U.S. Civil Rights movement. Termed “the Black National Anthem” by some, this song also inspired a short-lived sculpture (“The Harp”) commissioned for the 1939 New York World’s Fair and created by Augusta Savage Jefferson. Given its cultural significance, and in honor of Black History Month, here at the Library we thought we would briefly spotlight the poet, educator, and activist behind the poem: James Weldon Johnson.

James Weldon Johnson (1831-1938) was born in Jacksonville, FL and went on to attend Atlanta University. The son of a schoolteacher, he returned to his alma mater Stanton Elementary School as principal. Concurrently, he purused legal studies and became the first African-American to pass the bar exam in the state of Florida. In addition to his significant contribution to the fields of education and law, Johnson was a prolific writer of poems, song texts, and fiction such as The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man. Active in the political arena as well, in 1920 he was appointed executive secretary of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), which ultimately adopted “Lift Every Voice and Sing” as its official song.

For a sampling James Weldon Johnson’s poetry available here at the Library, we recommend checking out:

For more on the artwork inspired by “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” consider this book, also available here at the Library:

And for a full list of books authored by James Weldon Johnson and available here at the SCL, check out the following list in the online catalog. Happy reading!

Sources consulted:

SCL Pick: “The Curse of Caste, or, the Slave Bride: a rediscovered African American novel”

Today marks the anniversary of the start of the Greensboro sit-ins in 1960 (and we encourage you to take a look at last year’s blog post about the history of the movement here).

Today also marks the start of Black History Month 2012, which was founded by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). This year’s theme is “Black Women in American Culture and History” and the ASALH has kindly prepared a summary of this topic which is available here.

Here at the Stone Center Library, we thought we’d jump-start this month with a little-known gem in our collection:

The Curse of Caste,or, the Slave Bride: a rediscovered African American novel, by Julia C. Collins

Considered “the first novel by an African American woman,” it takes place in antebellum Louisiana and Connecticut “and focuses on the lives of a beautiful mixed-race mother and daughter whose opportunities for fulfillment through love and marriage are threatened by slavery and caste prejudice.”

Take a look at the full summary here, or come by the library and check it out!

SCL Picks: MLK Day Edition!

Happy MLK Day, everyone! In commemoration of this day of service and reflection, here’s a quick list of recent books related to the path-breaking Martin Luther King Jr. All titles are available here at the Stone Center Library and we encourage you to come by and check them out!

All Labor Has Dignity: “An unprecedented and timely collection of Dr. King’s speeches on labor rights and economic justice”

Behind the dream : the making of the speech that transformed a nation: “a thrilling, behind-the-scenes account of the weeks leading up to the great event, as told by Clarence Jones, a co-writer of the speech and close confidant to King himself.”

Burial for a King : Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral and the week that transformed Atlanta and rocked the nation: “Compelling and original, Burial for a King captures a defining moment in America’s history. It encapsulates King’s legacy, America’s shifting attitude toward race, and the emergence of Atlanta as a new kind of Southern city.”

Interested in U.S. Civil Rights more generally? Check out these recent SCL acquisitions:

For even more resources available here at the Library, take a look at last year’s MLK Day post, as well as the Civil Rights section of the Stone Center Library’s Guide to the Web. Happy reading!

UNC Chapel Hill 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration

Reposted from UNC’s office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, here’s a listing of activities taking place on campus next week in celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. 

Join us at Carolina for a week of cooperatively planned events to commemorate the ideals of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact UNC-Chapel Hill Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at (919) 962-6962 or by email.

Click on a date in the list below to see details, times, and locations for all events.

2012 UNC-Chapel Hill MLK Celebration Schedule

SUNDAY, JANUARY 15

TWENTY SEVENTH ANNUAL UNIVERSITY/COMMUNITY MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BANQUET

MONDAY, JANUARY 16

DAY FOR SERVICE
MLK YOUTH LEADERSHIP PROGRAM
RALLY, MARCH, SERVICE
UNITY DINNER
HE WAS A POEM, HE WAS A SONG

TUESDAY, JANUARY 17

CANDLELIGHT VIGIL

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18

KAPPA OMICRON CHAPTER OF DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.’S ANNUAL MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. ORATORICAL CONTEST

THURSDAY, JANUARY 19

QUIZ BOWL
POPULAR MOVEMENTS: A PANEL DISCUSSION

FRIDAY, JANUARY 20

SCREENING AND DISCUSSION OF DOCUMENTART “PRECIOUS KNOWLEDGE”
“I, TOO, SING AMERICA”

NEW SCL DISPLAY!

Have you been by the Stone Center Library lately? If so, you’ve hopefully noticed our new display:

Our latest selection of recently acquired books features titles related to African Americans in American culture, in keeping with our recent event with UNC history professor “Fitz” Brundage:

All titles are available here at the library and we encourage you to come by and check them out. Happy reading, and have a great weekend!

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! 🙂