The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories
[Martin Luther King Day commemorative programs collection]
Repository: Vermont Historical Society
Collection Description (CRHP): More tapes may be available that are not cataloged.
Collection Description (Extant): 1986: Speakers include Father Edward Fitzsimons, former Vermont governor Philip Hoff, Vermont Rep. Francis Brooks (Montpelier), and current Governor Madeleine Kunin. Speakers address Vermont civil rights issues of the 1960's and of the current times as they participated in them.
1988: Speakers include Gov. Madeleine Kunin and the members of the Vermont Advisory Committee of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission (Samuel Hand, Kim Cheney, Eloise Hedbor, Gerald Diamond, and Sen Philip Hoff) summarizing the report as approved by the Commission.
1989: Gov. Madeleine Kunin speaks first and talks about the program to be presented, the Vermont-New York Youth Project (identified in other sources as the New York City-Vermont Youth Project or the Youth Project of Vermont (1968-1970), Ben Collins, executive director). Karen Lane introduces the formal program and introduces excerpts of films that were created under the Project : "The First Step" and "We Are Not Afraid," the first film originally airing in 1968 on Vermont Educational Television. Former Governor Philip Hoff is introduced and also speaks about the project. Discussion is then turned over to the audience, which includes speakers who participated in the Project.
1992: Carl Rowan, a prominent African American journalist, nationally syndicated op-ed columnist, and author, speaks about his life and civil rights at the Old South Church in Windsor, Vermont, for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
1995: Features a talk by James Sessions, executive director of the Highlander Research and Education Center in Tennessee. Formerly known as the Highland Folk School, this institution played a key role in training and serving as a meeting place for many leaders of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Among those who attended strategy sessions at Highlander were John Lewis, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Sessions made five presentations about Highlander during his visit to Vermont. Sessions talks about the continued civil rights problems in the United States, the Highlander center, and recommends several books to read on civil rights and the Highlander.
1996: Features a talk by Atlanta journalist Melissa Fay Greene, author of "Praying for sheetrock : a work of nonfiction." Her book, which her talk is based on, is about the corruption in McIntosh County in 1970's Georgia. It features the first African-American county commissioner, Thurnell Alston, a retired boilermaker, and the struggle that went on due to the corruption of Sheriff Tom Popell. Alston initiated voting rights lawsuits, fought drugs and introduced medical clinics, plumbing and running water to "a forgotten county needy in every way." Greene was a paralegal that worked Legal Services lawyers to clean up the county. Unfortunately, Alston himself was caught in a government sting and sent to Federal prison in 1988. A question and answer session follows her talk.
2005: Featured speakers are: Paij Wadley Bailey, diversity consultant and anti-racism trainer and director of the Vermont Anti-Racism Action Team; Irving Adler, educator, mathematician, science writer and activist, who, in the early 1960's became active in the Vermont Civil Rights Union; and Liz Blum, an early civil rights worker who traveled to Mississippi to register Black voters in 1964.
Digital Status: No
Extent: audio cassettes
Interviewees: Carl Rowan, Father Edward Fitzsimons, Philip Hoff, Francis Brooks, Madeleine Kunin, Samuel Hand, Kim Cheney, Eloise Hedbor, Gerald Diamond, James Sessions, Melissa Fay Greene, Paij Wadley Bailey, Irving Adler, Liz Blum
Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights
African American journalists
African Americans--Civil rights--Vermont
Civil rights movements--Vermont
Civil rights workers--Vermont
Highlander Folk School (Monteagle, Tenn.)
Martin Luther King, Jr., Day
Mississippi Freedom Project
Vermont--Politics and government