Exhibitions in Charleston and Greenville

A couple of great exhibitions of interest to Jubilee Project followers have recently opened in the Lowcountry and in the Upstate.

Here in Charleston, you can take in a remarkable art show featuring the beautiful work of Doris Colbert Kennedy, curated by Jonathan Green. Kathleen Curry in the most recent issue of the Charleston City Paper describes Ms Kennedy’s work as inspired by her reading about quantum physics, but her paintings have nothing of the academic about them beyond their titles: they are characterized as Curry writes by “rich, multi-layered colors” and have a vibrancy and movement that makes them feasts for the eyes.

The show, which also features work by Alvin Staley and Amiri Farris, is on display at Charleston’s City Gallery at Waterfront Park–surely one of the most beautifully situated art galleries around–and runs from January 25th through March 9th. For further details, call the gallery at 843-958-6484. You can read the City Paper‘s preview here.

For those in the Upstate, Furman University’s Upcountry History Museum, located at 540 Buncombe Street in Greenville, just opened a terrific exhibition entitled “Protests, Prayers, and Progress: Greenville’s Civil Rights Movement.”  The exhibition documents the struggles and victories of upstate civil rights activists of the 1960s.

As the recent Charleston historic marker series indicated, the story of South Carolina’s civil rights movement often gets lost in the broader national narrative.  South Carolinians, however, also did courageous and principled work to integrate this state’s institutions–our schools, our churches, our lunch counters. “Protests, Prayers, and Progress” allows visitors to the Museum to follow the journey of the activists whose commitment and bravery helped to lead Greenville out of the era of segregation.

The exhibition will be on display from January 18th to June 15th. For more details, click here or call the Museum at 864-467-3100.

 

 

 

 

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Follow-Up: Unveiling of Historic Marker Honoring 1969 Hospital Workers’ Strike A Success

On October 1st, the final marker of the Charleston Preservation Society’s project to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Emancipation was unveiled. The marker honors the efforts of Mary Moultrie and her fellow hospital workers in 1969 to receive fair working conditions and adequate pay. After 113 days, the strike came to a close with both sides reaching a compromise. And while great strides have been made, Moultrie reminded the audience at the ceremony that further improvements still need to be made for workers’ rights.

The event received a fair amount of attention with several news sources covering the event:

USC Commemorates 1963 Desegregation

The focus of the Jubilee Project shifts to Columbia today, September 11th, as the University of South Carolina begins its year-long commemoration of its desegregation in September, 1963. For an article on the commemoration, check out the State newspaper here.

The University’s official web-site listing all the commemorative events is here.

Lift Every Voice Project to Host National Forum to Address the Challenges of Preserving and Teaching the History of the Civil Rights Movement

Lift Every Voice will bring together experts and stakeholder communities to address the challenges of collecting, archiving, presenting, and teaching the history of the civil rights movement. The national forum, with support from The Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) will take place on May 14-18, 2013, in Columbia, South Carolina, and will result in a collaborative model and action agenda for libraries, museums, archives, and stakeholder communities which will be disseminated nationally.
There is a pressing need to collect and preserve South Carolina’s untold civil rights stories before a generation passes into history. South Carolina played a significant but largely unknown role in the civil rights movement. Time is of the essence in documenting the stories of elderly participants. Moreover, it is critical to help the next generation appreciate the struggles and the triumphs of this extraordinary period in our nation’s history.
The four-day national forum will bring together librarians, archivists, digital media specialists, members of the civil rights community, scholars, and educators to:
a. Develop a collaborative model for collecting, preserving, presenting, and teaching oral histories and artifacts related to the civil rights movement.
b. Develop a plan for utilizing the collaborative model to collect, preserve, present, and teach civil rights oral histories and artifacts in South Carolina.
c. Further develop the network of civil rights librarians, archivists, historians and other scholars, and educators in South Carolina to facilitate collection, preservation, presentation, and teaching of oral histories and artifacts.
At the end of the forum we will disseminate the collaborative model and information about the South Carolina plan to the civil rights and scholarly communities, including a national media release, a panel at a major national conference, and announcements through national e-networks for scholars, educators, and civil rights organizations.
The Lift Every Voice project will place learners at the center and support engaging experiences in libraries and museums that prepare people to be full participants in their local communities and our global society.

For more information, visit Lift Every Voice’s website.

CofC Participates in International Reading of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”

16 April 1963
My Dear Fellow Clergymen:
While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely.” Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.

Thus begins Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”  On April 16, 2013, fifty years after its authorship, thousands around the world participated in an international commemoration of the letter.  Sponsored by Birmingham Public Library, the event included public readings in over two hundred libraries, museums, parks, churches, etc., around the world.  At the College of Charleston, the reading took place at Cougar Mall in front of a crowd of about a hundred and fifty.  For more information about the international event as a whole, please visit the Birmingham Public Library’s blog.

Charleston County Schools Superintendent Nancy McGinley issues apology to the students of desegregation

Nancy McGinley recently issued an apology on behalf of CCSD at College of Charleston’s commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the desegregation of South Carolina public schools, asking the first students of desegregation for forgiveness for the mistreatment they suffered during their education.

To read the Post and Courier’s full article, click here.

Join CofC for a worldwide celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail

On April 16th, 2013, the 50th anniversary of the day that Martin Luther King, Jr. began writing his Letter from Birmingham Jail, participants worldwide will read King’s Letter in celebration. Participants will host public readings from the Letter at various locations around the globe: libraries, museums, schools, universities, churches, synagogues, temples, work places, public parks, bookstores, street corners, coffee shops and anywhere people want to participate. Join the celebration! This event is sponsored by the Birmingham Public Library.

Locally, the event will take place at Cougar Mall on College of Charleston’s campus at 1:30 pm.  For more information, click here.  See you there!

PURE Theatre Presents The Mountaintop with Kyle Taylor and Joy Vandervort-Cobb

March 29–April 20 PURE Theatre Presents The Mountaintop with Kyle Taylor and Joy Vandervort-Cobb

Performances at 7:30 pm April 4-6, 11-13, 18-20; Matinee at 2 pm Sunday, April 7. 477 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403.

Set on April 3, 1968, The Mountaintop is a gripping reimagining of the night before the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. After delivering one of his most memorable speeches, an exhausted Dr. King retires to his room at the Lorraine Motel while a storm rages outside. When the hotel maid visits Room 306 with room-service coffee and some surprising news, King is forced to confront his destiny and his legacy to his people. Full details at http://puretheatre.org/ or(843) 723-4444

Summary of “The History of Education and the Black Freedom Struggle”

The College of Charleston and the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance was proud to host a series of talks on the history of education and the black freedom struggle on February 20th and 21st, “The History of Education and the Black Freedom Struggle: Resistance, Desegregation, and the Continued Struggle for Quality Education.” The lecture series featured renowned historians Dr. James Anderson and Dr. Christopher Span of the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. The lecture series addressed unfulfilled promises of the Brown v. Board of Education (1954) decision and the pressing demand for quality education and the continued need for continued educational reform in Charleston and across the country. This extended lecture series generated an important discussion about how the community can move forward in providing a quality education to all students.

Professor Christopher Span provided a thorough analysis of the achievement gap, the statistical differentiation in academic achievement between white students and students of color. His talk, “Addressing the Achievement Gap: Understanding Educational Inequality in American Education” also analyzed how the history of segregation continues to impact the quality of education in schools failing to meet the needs of all students. His analysis looked toward an intra-generational approach to understanding the achievement gap in an attempt to move away from the language of failure that stigmatizes many students of color.

Professor James Anderson addressed the role of Affirmative Action in educational policy at colleges and university in his talk, “Affirmative Action and the New Color Line: Fisher v. University of Texas and Public Discourse about Race in Educational Policy.” Anderson has served as an expert witness for the Supreme Court in the Michigan cases and shared his insights about why this policy is considered controversial and why it continues to be challenged today. His talk encouraged institutions like the College of Charleston to continue to promote diversity through institutional policy aimed at not only recruiting but retaining higher levels of enrollment among studnets of Color.

The series also included a panel discussion with some of the first students to desegregate Charleston area schools. Dr. Millicent Brown, Ms. Clarice-Hines-Lewis, and Ms, Oveta Glover spoke about their experiences desegregating Charleston Country School District in 1963, nine years after the Brown decision. Minerva King also spoke about her experiences as being the first plaintiff on the case that eventually desegregated the schools in Charleston. Mrs. Joann Howard and Mrs. Alifay Edwards recounted their experiences desegregating Mt. Pleasant area schools as well. Memories of the historic desegregation of South Carolina public schools illustrate both the promises and problems of civil rights era educational reform. In commemoration of the historic desegregation of public schools, Dr. Nancy McGinley, superintendent of the Charleston County School District, concluded the panel discussion by issuing a formal apology to the panelists. Dr. McGinley then read a proclamation from Mayor Joseph P. Riley declaring February 21st as “School Access Toward Equity Day.” The transcript of the apology and proclamation can be found below.
The discourse generated around issues of educational reform and continuing the movement to provide a quality education to all students continues today. The Charleston County School District is hosting the students who desegregated Charleston schools on April 12. The College of Charleston continues to engage in the important work of educational reform. Please contact Jon Hale for more information, halejn@cofc.edu (843)953-6354

Transcript of the Apology for Desegregation and the Proclamation of School Access Toward Equity Day, as read by Dr. Nancy McGinley, February 21, 2013:

“Thank you Dr. Howard and thank you to the College of Charleston for hosting this event. This event for me, and I’m sure for many of you, is both a wonderful and a sad event to attend and an emotional story to listen to. And in my nine years here in Charleston, six as superintendent, I have read many books about segregation. I have read the very, very painful school board transcripts. I have seen some of your pictures and I have been enormously saddened by the pictures that I saw of you walking into James Simmons for the first time, with your father I believe. The fear in your face, what courageous children you were, I am honored to meet you finally face to face. So today before I read the proclamation I want to say that this is a day of reconciliation, as they say in South Africa. And reconciliation begins with an apology. And on behalf of the Charleston County School District, I want to say, we were wrong, we discriminated against children, represented by these ladies here today. We treated you badly. We will do better. We must do better. But let give you something that you’ve waited 50 years for, and that’s a personal apology.

Whereas in the 1950s, the State of South Carolina constructed over 200 “separate but equal” schools for African Americans, also known as equalization schools, in anticipation of a judicial order from the Supreme Court to desegregate; and

Whereas, the State of South Carolina stalled and avoided the process of desegregation until 1963 despite the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling to do so; and

Whereas in 1963, Millicent E. Brown, as chief plaintiff, and Cassandra Alexander, Eddie Alexander, Gerald Alexander, Ralph Dawson, Jacqueline Ford, Barbara Ford, Gale Ford, Oveta Glover, Clarisse Hines, and Valerie Wright, as co-plaintiffs in a case against Charleston County School Board District 20, were the first African American students to desegregate South Carolina’s public schools; and

Whereas 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the pioneering act of these brave “first children”, many of whom have yet to be personally identified or publicly recognized, who courageously entered segregated schools alone or in small groups because the forces of history demanded that young African American children carry forth the struggle for a quality education; now

Therefore, I, Joseph P. Reily, Jr. Mayor of the City of Charleston do hereby proclaim February 21, 2013 as School Access Toward Equity Day.”

Recap of the Tenth International CAAR Conference

Reflections on Dreams Deferred, Promises and Struggles: Perceptions and Interrogations of Empire, Nation, and Society by Peoples of African Descent
The 10th International CAAR Conference

Like all CAAR conferences, the 10th biennial conference in Atlanta provoked deep analysis of the cultural, emotional, mental, and socio-economic state of Black people throughout the African diaspora. Spanning a wide array of topics, the papers made us laugh, cry, strategize, and ponder deeply the importance of our work as scholars, teachers, and what Toni Cade Bambara called “cultural workers.” Indeed, the inaugural CAAR conference in the US accomplished its mission, and thus was a watershed moment in this important year that commemorates such important milestones in the African American historical narrative—the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, the 50th years anniversaries of the March on Washington, the death of W.E.B DuBois, and the desegregation of South Carolina public schools.

Penn Center’s “Tribute to the Civil Rights Movement” by Natalie Daise

“Tribute To The Civil Rights Movement” by Natalie Daise

Date: February 28, 2013 Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Event Description“Tribute To The Civil Rights Movement” by Natalie Daise on February 28th 6-8 PM at Penn Center’s Darrah Hall.  Natatlie Daise will perform a soulful tribue to the Civil Rights Movement.
Visit the York W. Bailey Museum to view “Civil Rights Throught The Lens of Cecil Williams following the performance and enjoy light refreshments.
Puchase Advance Tickets By February 18th:  $18.00/Adult & $9.00/Student
Tickets For Sale At Event: $25.00/Adult & $10.00/ Student
Tickets Include Museum Entry

Locals Come Together to Discuss and Commemorate Fifty Years of Desegregation in South Carolina Schools

The College of Charleston recently hosted a panel of current and former South Carolina residents to recount their personal experiences during the initial desegregation  of public schools.  To read The Post and Courier‘s coverage of the panel, click here.

Witness to History: Civil Rights Era Photographs by James Karales

Image

Image Credit:
Lewis Marshall Carrying U.S. Flag, Selma to Montgomery March for Voting Rights, 1965
By James Karales (American, 1930-2002)
Vintage gelatin silver print
©Image courtesy of the Estate of James Karales

The Gibbes Museum of Art is showcasing an iconic collection of Civil Rights era photographs by acclaimed photographer James Karales. Engaged as a photo-journalist for Look magazine, Karales witnessed and documented many historic events during the Civil Rights movement and created some of the era’s most iconic images. Between 1960 and 1965, Karales covered stories on the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) conventions in Birmingham, and finally, the Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights. Karales traveled extensively with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and captured rare and poignant images of the leader in both public and private moments.

On view January 11 through May 12, 2013, this exhibition features forty-five vintage photographs from the Estate of James Karales that offer insight into this remarkable period of history—a period in which the visual image was crucial in communicating the struggle for justice to the world.

CSO Spiritual Ensemble’s “Freedom Rides On” MLK Tribute Captivates Audience

mlk-freedomrideson-940x4101

Under the direction of Dr. Jeffery Ames and David A. Richardson, CSO Spiritual Ensemble and Charleston Symphony orchestra’s multi-media performance dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was well received by the capacity audience in the historic Morris Street Baptist Church’s sanctuary, a congregation Dr. King provided a sermon in 1968 before his death the same year. The CSO Spiritual Ensemble and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra merged European masterworks with dramatic aria’s and the African-American spiritual. The weaving of two enthralled the audience as the classics and the indigenous A cappella sounds of the Spiritual told the incredible legacy Dr. King gave the world.  Through the eyes of the freedom riders fifty-one years ago, the timed photo images connected all the senses in on of the most moving performances producer Lee Pringle has ever conceived.

SC National Heritage Corridor’s SC Traveler Newsletter’s Coverage of the Jubilee Project

“The SC Traveler Newsletter,” South Carolina National Heritage Corridor’s guide to the most unique spots in South Carolina, has included coverage of the Jubilee Project in the January/February 2013 issue.  To read the article, as well as other interesting information about travel sites related to African American history, click here.

 

CofC’s “History of Education and the Black Freedom Struggle” Lecture/Workshop Series

The Department of Teacher Education and the College of Charleston is pleased to welcome Dr. James Anderson and Dr. Christopher Span from the University of Illinois for a series of workshops and lectures, entitled “The History of Education and the Black Freedom Struggle: Resistance, Desegregation, and the Continued Struggle for Quality Education.” Drs. Anderson and Span are renowned historians of black education who have examined the long struggle to obtain a quality education. Beyond extensive publication records, their work has included diversifying higher education and serving as Supreme Court expert witnesses on Affirmative Action cases.

February 20, 4:00-6:00 pm: “Understanding Educational Inequality in American Education” 4:00pm – 6:00pm in the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance Alumni Center (86 Wentworth) This is workshop and student-panel led by Dr. Christopher Span that addresses the history of the Achievement Gap and its implication for schools today.

February 21, 11:00 am-12:30 pm: “Fifty Years of Desegregation in Charleston: A Panel Discussion with the First Students to Desegregate South Carolina Schools,” 00pm in the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance Alumni Center (86 Wentworth). This is a community panel discussion with Millicent Brown and the other students who were the first to desegregate South Carolina schools in 1963.

February 21, 6:00-7:30 pm, “Affirmative Action and the New Color Line: Fisher v. University of Texas and Public Discourse about Race in Educational Policy” at the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture (125 Bull Street). This lecture by Dr. James Anderson will address the history of Affirmative Action, how this policy continues to promote diversity in American society, and the ongoing threat this policy faces today.