Also There: Unsung Voices from the Crossroads of Freedom & Equality

On display February 1 – April 15, 2013
Geisel Library West, main floor
Open to all

Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race,
until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men’s skins,
emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact.

— Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963

150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation granting freedom to those enslaved. By 1963, 100 years later, that promise had yet to be realized. But its time had come. From grassroots protests to Supreme Court cases, activists demanded freedom and equality for all. Boycotts were organized. Speeches were made. Students occupied lunch counters and Freedom Riders rode interstate buses through the South, risking their lives to test new anti-segregation laws. But even as activists gathered to challenge institutionalized racism, some stood in the spotlight and others were relegated to the wings, where they struggled with a sudden recognition that discrimination reached far beyond the bounds of race.

Big Bessie’s feet hurt like nobody’s business,
but she stands- bigly – under the unruly scrutiny,
stands in the wild seed.
In the wild weed
she is a citizen,
and, in a moment of the highest quality, admirable.
It is lonesome, yes. For we are the last of the loud.
Nevertheless, live.
Conduct your blooming in the noise and whip of the
— Gwendolyn Brooks, from “The Second Sermon on the Warpland”

Visit the UC San Diego Library’s exhibit which celebrates the March on Washington and the stories of many of the organizers and participants in the Civil Rights Movement who aren’t always recognized in textbooks and the dominant narratives about those turbulent times. The exhibit also reaches back to offer a fresh take on Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation. Highlighting the library’s rich resources, materials have been gathered from our print and online collections.

Speaker Series Event:
On Freedom’s Front Line: Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement Speak Out

February 22, 2013
Seuss Room, Geisel Library building

12:00 – 1:30 pm
Open to all. Refreshments will be served.
Please register for the event.

The Social Sciences & Humanities Library invites you to a stimulating discussion with three veterans of the Civil Rights movement. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Thurgood Marshall made the headlines, but the battle for civil rights was waged by ordinary Americans, made extraordinary by their steadfast convictions, courageous actions, and untiring dedication to the ideal of freedom and justice for all. Sometimes risking their lives, our panelists and countless others challenged the government to enact and truly enforce Civil Rights legislation. Jim Garrett, Bob Filner, and Carroll Waymon—who have stood on the front lines of freedom then and now–will share their own experiences and the stories of other organizers and activists who didn’t make it into the spotlight. This should prove to be an unforgettable afternoon.

UCSD History Professor Daniel Widener will moderate the discussion with the following panelists:

James Garrett, an early activist in the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, directed the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) offices in Watts and Hollywood (1965).  As a student, he founded the first Black Student Union at San Francisco State University. A retired scholar and legal consultant who holds JD and PhD degrees, he continues to work in human rights organizing and advocacy.

Bob Filner, City of San Diego Mayor, was only an 18-year old student at Cornell University when he joined the Freedom Rides in Nashville. In 1963, he was arrested in Mississippi on a Freedom Ride, and spent several weeks in the Mississippi State Penitentiary. After receiving his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1969, Filner moved to San Diego and embarked on a 20-year long teaching career at San Diego State University. Always the activist, he warned his students that their “grand” thoughts were futile unless they put them into action to help people and improve the world. Filner went on to serve in a variety of elected positions, including San Diego City Council, the U.S. Congress, and now Mayor of San Diego.

Dr. Carrol Waymon was the founder and first director of the Citizens Interracial Committee (CIC), San Diego’s first human relations agency. When Waymon came to San Diego in 1964, conditions in the city were so intolerant that he branded it the “Mississippi of the West.” Among his committee’s achievements: the removal of restricted covenants so that African Americans and other people of color could live anywhere they wanted in San Diego; and writing the first Equal Opportunity ordinances for the city and county, opening up opportunities for employment. In 2013, Waymon was named a San Diego Civil Rights Hero honoree.

The Panel Discussion is generously co-sponsored by the LAUC-SD Committee on Diversity.

The Library is excited to feature the 2013 Opportunity Quilt created by the San Diego People of Color Quilt Guild. Raffle tickets will be available for $1. The raffle ticket will be drawn on March 2nd at the Guild 2013 Quilt Show.

SDPOC 2013 Opportunity Quilt (82.5″ x 83″)

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