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Category: Civil Rights History Project

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AFC and VHP Collections Featured in the New Exhibition, “Collecting Memories: Treasures from the Library of Congress” in the new David M. Rubenstein Treasures Gallery

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

On June 13th, a new exhibition titled, “Collecting Memories: Treasures from the Library of Congress,” opened to the public in the new David M. Rubenstein Treasures Gallery in the Thomas Jefferson Building. This post highlights items from the collections of the American Folklife Center and the Veterans History Project featured in the exhibition.

“Jail, No Bail”: Tactics of Protest in the Freedom Struggle in Rock Hill, South Carolina

Posted by: Guha Shankar

Sixty-one years ago this month, on February 1, 1961, the “Friendship Nine” – a group of African American college students at Friendship Junior College - adopted an unorthodox tactic termed “Jail, No Bail” during their appearance on trespassing charges in a Rock Hill, South Carolina court. The group had been arrested the previous day for trying to get service at a segregated lunch counter in the city (in other words, they staged a “sit-in”). Rather than paying a fine for violating a public ordinance, as was the norm, they chose instead to serve out their sentence of thirty days of hard labor on a county chain gang. In commemoration of Black History Month, my post today (number 999 in AFC blog history!) reaches into the Civil Rights History Project collection to illuminate this facet of the civil rights era as recollected by veteran activists.

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Freedom Summer 1964 – SNCC remembers

Posted by: Guha Shankar

At the conclusion of his 2014 keynote address on guarantees enshrined in the Constitution but historically denied to African Americans, Bob Moses – freedom rights activist, educator, and MacArthur Genius award winner – summarized the state of the nation thus: “And we are a country that lurches. We lurch forward and backward, forward and backward. …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Winding Down the Civil Rights History Project: A Retrospective and Appreciation

Posted by: Guha Shankar

As African American History Month concludes in 2020, the AFC is proud to announce the culmination of the Civil Rights History Project (CRHP) with the online release of the last batch of the 145 video interviews recorded with veteran activists for the collection. All the interviews are available on the Civil Rights History Project page, at …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

The Terrain of Freedom: Mapping Stories about People and Places in the African American Struggle for Justice, Rights, & Equality

Posted by: Guha Shankar

I wish I knew how It would feel to be free I wish I could break All the chains holding me I wish I could say All the things that I should say Say ’em loud, say ’em clear For the whole round world to hear Nina Simone, I Wish I Knew How It Would …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

“People Who Stood Up”: Mississippi Women in the Civil Rights Movement

Posted by: Guha Shankar

This guest blog post comes to us courtesy of Catherine Turner, a high school senior working at the American Folklife Center this Spring on her service project for Park School in Baltimore, MD. Catherine is entering Brown University in Fall 2017, and has spent the last six weeks diving into the collections at the Library …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Bringing the Church into the World: The Civil Rights Struggle & the Student Interracial Ministry

Posted by: Guha Shankar

(This guest blog is provided courtesy of our old friend, David Cline, assistant professor of history and director of the graduate certificate in public history at Virginia Tech. Many Library patrons will be familiar with David, through the dozens of video interviews he has conducted for the Civil Rights History Project (CRHP) and also because …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

AFC Congratulated in the Congressional Record

Posted by: Stephen Winick

On May 23, 2016, Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District took the time to commend the American Folklife Center for 40 years of service to the nation on the floor of the House of Representatives. His statement appeared in the Congressional Record. AFC is grateful to the Congressman for his work with us …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Consider Making Monday a Day On, Not a Day Off

Posted by: Lisa Taylor

Every year, on the third Monday of January, America pauses to celebrate the life and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His widow, Coretta Scott King, along with many civil rights leaders, public figures and everyday people campaigned against the odds—and many resistant politicians—to make Dr. King’s birthday a federal holiday. I …