Film and Discussion: Nashville: We Were Warriors
Facilitated by Bucknell Professors David Ragland (education) and Jennifer Thomson (history)
Inspired by the works of Gandhi, James Lawson, a minister from Ohio goes to Nashville to assist young black college students deal with the inequality of segregation and the state-sponsored "Jim Crow" laws. Employing Gandhian tactics, Lawson organizes peaceful protests at lunch counters to bring about change. The violent reaction to the peaceful protestors, the heavy handed approach of the local authority coupled with the futility of the mass arrests and the negative national publicity the events generated, prompted the mayor of Nashville to desegregate the lunch counters. Diane Nash played a pivotal role in the Nashville protests and is featured in the film.
Student Workshop with Diane Nash on Nonviolent Activism
This lunch event is for Bucknell students and has limited seating.(NOTE: change from earlier announced location.) Reservations are required. Contact Martha Shaunessy (firstname.lastname@example.org) to reserve a space.
The 28th Annual Black Experiences Lecture
The Movements of the '60s: A Legacy for Today
Diane Nash, Civil Rights Pioneer
Diane Nash, a Chicago native who had never experienced segregation in public accommodations before moving to the South, went on to become one of the pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement. Nash's involvement in the nonviolent movement began in 1959 while she was a student at Fisk University. In 1960 she became the chairperson of the student sit-in movement in Nashville, Tennessee — the first southern city to desegregate its lunch counters — as well as one of the founding students of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee. In 1961 she coordinated the Freedom Ride from Birmingham, Alabama, to Jackson, Mississippi, a story which was documented in the recent PBS American Experience film Freedom Riders. Her many arrests for her civil rights activities culminated in Nash being imprisoned for 30 days in 1961, while she was pregnant with her first child. Undeterred, she went on to join a national committee-to which she was appointed by President John F. Kennedy-that promoted passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Nash later became active in the peace movement that worked to end the Vietnam War, and became an instructor in the philosophy and strategy of non-violence as developed by Mohandas Gandhi.
Reception to follow. Learn more about the Annual Black Experiences Lecture.
Pizza and Policy Forum: "Origins and Aftermath of the 1964 Civil Rights Act"
Panelists: Michael James (political science), Scott Meinke (political science) and Leslie Patrick (history) || Event poster
Film Screening: Freedom Summer
In 1964, despite the best efforts of local civil rights activists, Mississippi remained virulently committed to segregation, underscored by the systematic exclusion of African Americans from the political process. In response, Robert Moses of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee developed a campaign to bring a thousand volunteers — primarily enthusiastic young white supporters — to the state to encourage voter registration, provide much-needed education, and convene a more representative delegation to attend the Democratic National Convention.
Freedom Summer captures the volatile months of that summer through remarkable period footage and the firsthand testimonies of volunteers who were transformed by their time in Mississippi. With the Supreme Court recently striking down a key section of the Voting Rights Act, the film is a potent reminder of the sacrifices made half a century ago to ensure civil rights for all and the vigilance needed to protect what they accomplished.
Pizza and Policy Forum: "The 1965 Voting Rights Act: Challenges Then and Now"
Additional Spring 2015 events to be announced.
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