Celebrating Black History: 50 years After the Civil Rights Act

The UC San Diego Library has a number of activities planned to celebrate Black History Month, which this year falls on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. From February 6 thru February 28, exhibits on “Josephine Baker and the U.S. Civil Rights Movement” and “Washington, D.C.’s Fight for Home Rule” will be on display in Geisel West, 1st floor. Both exhibits are co-sponsored by the African and African-American Studies Research Center.

“Josephine Baker and the U.S. Civil Rights Movement” included Baker’s 1963 civil rights speech and various awards and memorabilia documenting her activism. An American-born French dancer, singer, and actress, Baker made significant contributions to the civil rights movement. The first African-American woman to star in a major motion picture (Zouzou), Baker refused to perform before segregated audiences in the U.S. Although based in France, she was a crusader for fair and equal treatment for African Americans, and collaborated with the NAACP to break down racial barriers.

“Washington, D. C.’s Fight for Home Rule,” traces the American capitol’s fight for Home Rule, culminating in Congress’ enactment of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act in 1973. In 1975, the District elected its first mayor and the first African-American mayor of a major American city, Walter E. Washington. The exhibit features vintage photographs of the civil rights era, campaign memorabilia, and a recent proposal for a Black Heritage stamp for the late Mayor Washington.

On February 13, from 12 noon to 1 p.m., the Library will hold a panel discussion, “Marching Forward/Rolling Back: The Legacy of the Civil Rights Act of 1964” in the Biomedical Library Events Room. The panel will include: Daniel Widener, UC San Diego History professor; Dayo Gore, UC San Diego Ethnic Studies professor; Dennis Childs, UC San Diego Literature professor; and Winkfield Twyman, a local scholar and lawyer. The panel, which is free and open to the public, will discuss current issues related to civil rights on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

For more information about the panel: http://libraries.ucsd.edu/blogs/blog/bhmpanel/ or call 858-534-8378.

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