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The Inspiring Life of Texan Héctor P. García

The following is a guest post by Christy Chason, Liaison Specialist for the Veterans History Project (VHP). Until recently, Dr. Héctor P. García was someone about whom I knew precious little. In fact, knowing what I know now, I am embarrassed to say that I had only ever heard his name in the context of […]

Consider Making Monday a Day On, Not a Day Off

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 […]

Lead Belly, Alan Lomax and the Relevance of a Renewed Interest in American Vernacular Music

The following is a guest blog post by Dom Flemons, a musician and singer who currently tours and records as “The American Songster.”  Dom was one of the founders of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, with whom he has played at the Library of Congress’s Coolidge Auditorium, and with whom he won a GRAMMY Award.  Dom […]

Marching In Montgomery, 1965, Reconsidered

Montgomery in March, 1965, Reconsidered:
The Perspective from the Other Side of the Lens

Marchers with "One Man, One Vote" signs & watchful police, 03/17-18/1965, Montgomery, AL; Glen Pearcy Collection (afc2012040_067_13.jpg)

Marchers with “One Man, One Vote” signs & watchful police, 03/17-18/1965, Montgomery, AL; Glen Pearcy Collection (afc2012040_067_13.jpg)

This week’s blog is a companion piece to my previous post on the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Campaign in Alabama. Both blogs have provided a great opportunity for the AFC to share examples of Glen Pearcy’s singular photo documentation from the front lines of the freedom struggle in Montgomery from March 15 to 19, 1965.  Glen’s reflections below on his experiences in Montgomery help draw a frame around the scenes he photographed during those dramatic days. He also offers an interesting self-critique of his fledgling documentary skills and approach to documentary photography.

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Marching in Montgomery, 1965

Montgomery in March, 1965: Images from the front lines of the freedom struggle Selma has been much in public consciousness in recent months, owing to the release of the movie of the same name, the city’s historical place and symbolic importance in the (renewed) contention over voting rights in the nation and, of course, this […]

Q & A with Journalist Vern Smith on the Voices of Civil Rights Project Collection

Two weeks ago, Beth Domingo of AARP’s Life Reimagined Institute and journalist Vern Smith came to the American Folklife Center to talk with us about their work on the Voices of Civil Rights project (AFC 2005/015), sponsored by AARP and donated to the Library of Congress in 2005, and to hear about our recent work […]

Symposium Spotlights Interracial and Interfaith Coalitions

On September 25th, the American Folklife Center and the Library of Congress’s Hispanic Division brought together eight scholars and activists for a day-long symposium titled Organizing Across the Boundaries: Strategies and Coalitions in the Struggle for Civil Rights and Social Justice. It was the last event for this fiscal year in our public programs series, […]

Civil Rights Act of 1964 Exhibit Now Open

The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom opened at the Library of Congress on September 10th. This exhibit draws from collections across the library to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the act. It covers America’s long history of discrimination and segregation, the grassroots movement for civil rights, and the efforts of […]

Teaching with the Civil Rights History Project

This summer, 125 teachers from around the country came to Washington to participate in five Library of Congress Summer Teachers Institutes to learn more about using the library’s primary sources in the classroom. At each week-long institute, staff from the American Folklife Center and the Veterans History Project participate in an open house, where curators […]