March 14, 2014 (REVISED April 2, 2014) Library of Congress Celebrates the Struggles and Achievements of the Civil Rights Movement
Year-round Activities Include Exhibition, Scholar Roundtables, Web Portal Launch
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WHAT: The Library of Congress celebrates the struggles and achievements of the Civil Rights Movement through a series of year-round activities, including a major exhibition, public programs and web-portal launch. Events are anchored by the exhibition, “The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom,” which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the landmark legislation, and the web-portal launch of the Civil Rights History Project, a congressionally mandated joint project of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture to document the oral histories of movement participants.
WHEN: CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Tuesday, March 18, Roundtable: Adriane Lentz-Smith of Duke University and David Cline of Virginia Tech University discuss “The Long Black Freedom Struggle: African- American Soldiers in WWI and Korea” at noon in the Mumford Room. The event is presented as part of the public program series “Many Paths to Freedom: Looking Back, Looking Ahead at the Long Civil Rights Movement” presented by the American Folklife Center as part of the Civil Rights History Project.
Thursday, April 17, Roundtable: Hasan Kwame Jeffries of Ohio State University and Thomas Jackson of UNC-Greensboro present a discussion on “Localizing the Movement: Comparative Perspectives on Alabama and Mississippi” at noon in the Whittall Pavilion. The event is part of the series “Many Paths to Freedom: Looking Back, Looking Ahead at the Long Civil Rights Movement” presented by the American Folklife Center as part of the Civil Rights History Project.
May, Civil Rights History Project Launch: The Library of Congress launches the web portal on the Civil Rights History Project. Curated by the American Folklife Center and congressionally mandated, the portal features streaming video interviews, related digital resources from the Civil Rights History Project and other Library collections and a searchable database of more than 1,500 repositories nationwide with civil-rights content.
Wednesday, May 14, Lecture: Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey gives her final lecture at the Library of Congress with a discussion of Robert Penn Warren’s book “Who Speaks for the Negro” at 7 p.m. in the Coolidge Auditorium.
Wednesday, Sept. 10, Exhibition Opening: “The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom” opens, including 200 items, featuring correspondence and documents from civil-rights leaders and organizations, images captured by photojournalists and professional photographers, newspapers, drawings, posters and in-depth profiles of key figures in the long process of attaining civil rights. The exhibition is on view Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., through September 12, 2015. The exhibition is made possible by a generous grant from Newman’s Own Foundation and with additional support from HISTORY. Additional public programs in conjunction with this exhibition will be announced at a later date.
Thursday, Sept. 25, Lecture: Lauren Araiza of Denison University in Ohio gives a talk on the United Farm Workers Movement in California at noon in the Mumford Room. The event is part of the series “Many Paths to Freedom: Looking Back, Looking Ahead at the Long Civil Rights Movement” presented by the American Folklife Center as part of the Civil Rights History Project.
Some of the collections held by the Library of Congress for the study of the 20th-century Civil Rights Movement include the original records of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Urban League, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. The Library also holds the microfilmed records of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).
On May 12, 2009, the United States Congress authorized a national initiative by passing The Civil Rights History Project Act of 2009. The law directs the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture to conduct a survey of existing oral-history collections with relevance to the Civil Rights Movement and to record new interviews with people who participated in the movement. The interviews will become a permanent part of the national library and the national museum.
The American Folklife Center was created by Congress in 1976 and placed at the Library of Congress to "preserve and present American Folklife" through programs of research, documentation, archival preservation, reference service, live performance, exhibition, public programs and training. The center includes the American Folklife Center Archive of Folk Culture, which was established in 1928 and is now one of the largest collections of ethnographic material from the United States and around the world. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/folklife/.
The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds more than 158 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov.