Civil Rights Historical past: New Interpretations

Last month, the Diversity, Justice and Inclusion Committee and a group of distinguished faculty members came together to present a stimulating, literature-based dialogue about the civil rights movement. The discussion emphasized new interpretations and books that offer more perspective to this monumental movement. As lifelong learners, we must grapple with the fact that the story taught in childhood and adolescence does not capture the depth and nuance necessary to fully understand the events associated with this movement. It is our job to use the resources made available to us in literature and embark on a harrowing academic journey.

The committee consisted of Dr. Vanessa May (Department of History), Dr. Larry Greene (Department of History), Dr. Kelly Harris (African Studies Program), Dr. Matthew Pressman (School of Communication and Art) and Rev. Dr. Pritchett (Senior Advisor to the Provost on Diversity, Justice and Inclusion). The panel sought to fill the knowledge gap by devoting its afternoon to planting seeds of wisdom from critical texts that encouraged readers to broaden their understanding of the movement beyond traditional boundaries.

The civil rights movement is often associated with combating voter suppression and the disenfranchisement of black people in the workplace and in society. Dr. May’s extensive research and book recommendations focused on women, especially black women, in the movement. A poignant statement from Dr. May read, “A real account of women’s experiences and a real account of how gender and race shaped the past requires that we change history ourselves. So it’s a whole new recipe – not just adding women and women . ” stir. “Participants learned that women in traditional civil rights accounts are often less recognized, which has a negative impact on women’s progress. For women, fighting for civil rights has been synonymous with fighting for human rights.

Dr. Larry Greene and Dr. Kelly Harris shared major events such as the widespread repression of black voters and the details of the first Washington march organized by A. Phillip Randolph in the 1910s. Dr. Greene compared the apparent rejection of black voters in polling stations to ethnic cleansing through various discriminatory methods. In addition, Dr. Greene initiated the anti-lynching process, led by Ida B. Wells Barnett. Black people charged with crimes have been targeted and violently attacked, thereby depriving them of the rights of the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments. In the post-war period, civil rights were inextricably linked with human rights. Dr. Harris presented exciting information about William Patterson, a political activist and civil rights congress member from Patterson’s memoir. It cannot be emphasized enough that reading the memoirs and diaries of individuals while studying the civil rights movement offers a perspective that today’s biographers and researchers cannot convey.

It is worth studying newspapers from this period which can be found in digitized form in the Walsh Library at Seton Hall. Dr. Matthew Pressman’s expertise enabled him to study the civil rights movement through the lens of journalism, which set him apart from his peers. Dr. Pressman stated, “I would also like to point out to faculty members some of the excellent library resources. We have digitized newspapers and other publications, but these newspapers have been central to advocating equality and discussing these issues Foreground. “Rev. Dr. Pritchett concluded this stimulating conversation with a reference to recent events that rocked the United States. Dr. Pritchett stated, “Five weeks ago in Washington DC we saw things that many people found hard on their television screens (while watching them), but many of us knew we lived with a lucid and vulnerable presence. We I do has been for hundreds of years so if we understand the struggle it is not limited to the early 20th century. This will literally be a struggle that is 500 years old Spend time understanding the internal conflict over the civil rights movement and how this is reflected in contemporary struggles.

The recording of this event can be found on the Seton Hall Center for Faculty Development blog.

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