Traveling Exhibit in Springfield: Changing America

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Setting the stage for a program series exploring civil rights and race relations, this traveling exhibit portrays the impact these historic events had on equal rights for Americans, July 12-August 22, 2014, at the Library Center, 4653 S. Campbell Ave.

Two Sisters, A Cause and a Case that Changed America Linda Brown Thompson and Cheryl Brown Henderson share their story of “Brown V. Board of Education and How it Changed America,”7 p.m. Thursday, July 31, Central High School  auditorium, 432 E. Central St.

Exhibit Opening Ceremony Saturday, July 12, 1-3 p.m. Library Center auditorium. H. Wes Pratt, Missouri State University equal opportunity officer, will discuss how these historical events grew out of bold actions and vision. The band Geezer will perform protest songs that energized causes including the Civil Rights Movement.

Two Sisters, a Cause and a Case that Changed America

Linda and Cheryl Brown were children when their father the Rev. Oliver L. Brown joined other parents in a lawsuit challenging racial segregation in the Topeka, Kan., public schools. Their challenge became the landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, which held that racial segregation of children in public schools violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In this 60th anniversary year of the landmark case, sisters Linda Brown Thompson and Cheryl Brown Henderson will share the story of “Brown v. Board of Education and How it Changed America,” 7 p.m. Thursday, July 31, in the Central High School auditorium, 432 E. Central St. The program will include a short video about Brown v. Board of Education and an audience Q&A. The Browns have a personal connection to Springfield. In 1959 the family moved here and the Rev. Oliver Brown was pastor of Benton Avenue AME Church. Linda graduated from Central High School in 1961. When the Rev. Brown died that year, his widow moved the family back to Topeka. The Brown sisters’ visit is sponsored by the Friends of the Library and The Library Foundation.

This grant-funded exhibit, “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963” is presented by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History in collaboration with the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The tour of the exhibition is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor. The films are part of the Created Equal film series, developed by the National Endowment for the Humanities in collaboration with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Image credits: Front panel: J. J. Smith’s Plantation, Beaufort, South Carolina, 1862, courtesy of Library of Congress; Inside left: Emancipation Day, Richmond, Virginia, 1905, courtesy of Library of Congress; Inside center: Participants at the March on Washington, courtesy of U.S. National Archives and Records Administration; Inside right: President Lyndon B. Johnson Signs the Civil Rights Act, July 2, 1964, courtesy of Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum; Below: “We March, We Demand,” courtesy of Library of Congress.

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American Experience: “Freedom Riders”

Thursday, Aug. 7, 6-8 p.m., Springfield Art Museum, 1111 E. Brookside Drive. Not rated, 117 minutes. This 2010 PBS film documents the story behind a courageous band of civil rights activists called Freedom Riders, who in 1961 challenged segregation in the American South.

“Springfield’s Family Album”

The week of August 11, the Springfield Art Museum with Memphis, Tenn., photographer, installation and performance artist Richard Lou will produce a program exploring race and identity through images and stories. For details call 417-837-5700.

Slavery in America: The Final Chapters, 1863-1865

Monday, August 18, 7 p.m., Library Center auditorium. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation marked the beginning of the end of slavery, but it took two more years to disappear from American life, says Dr. Greg Renoff, associate professor of history at Drury University.

Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement

Tuesday, July 22, 7 p.m., Library Center auditorium. Dr. King’s rhetoric and the Civil Rights Movement transformed the nation. Dr. Richard Schur, professor of English at Drury University, will explore King’s speeches
and how his message changed over his lifetime.

“Slavery by Another Name”

Tuesday, July 29, 6 p.m., Library Center auditorium. Not rated, 90 minutes. This 2012 PBS documentary challenges the belief that slavery in the United States ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. Tolerated by both the North and South, forced labor lasted well into the 20th century.

Book Discussion

Wednesday, July 30, 7 p.m., Library Center auditorium. “March: Book One” by John Lewis.

American Experience: “The Abolitionists”

Sunday, Aug. 3, 1:30-4:30 p.m., Library Center auditorium. Not rated, 180 minutes. The 2013 PBS special dramatizes how abolitionist allies Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown and Angelina Grimké turned a despised fringe movement against chattel slavery into a force that changed the nation.

Images of the “Changing America” Exhibit

July 12-Aug. 22, Park Central Branch Library. See historical images from the larger exhibit on display at the Library Center July 9-Aug. 22.

Marching Towards Justice: Nannie Helen Burroughs and the Quest for Race Equality

Tuesday, July 15, 7 p.m., Library Center auditorium, for adults. Dr. Angela Hornsby-Gutting, associate professor of history at Missouri State University, will talk about race activist Nannie Helen Burroughs. She operated the National Training School for Women and Girls in Washington, D.C., from 1909-1961, instilling racial pride while promoting the dignity of black labor and black womanhood.

Book Discussion, “Kindred”

Thursday, July 17, 6:30 p.m. Brentwood Branch Library, “Kindred” by Octavia Butler.

“The Loving Story”

Saturday, July 19, 1 p.m., Moxie Cinema, 305 S. Campbell Ave., for adults. Not rated, 77 minutes. Free admission. This 2012 HBO documentary follows interracial married couple Richard and Mildred Loving, convicted of miscegenation in 1958. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the couple’s favor, overturning bans on interracial marriage.

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