Civil rights histories (multiple responses)

Thu, 20 Mar 1997 14:00:56 -0500


From: "Ivan Kruh" <IKRUH@GP.AS.UA.EDU>
Subject: Re: Civil rights photo history

>Does anyone know if there are local histories of the movement in, for
>instance, Florida or Texas?

Thanks for the book review. I plan to pursue that one. Just to
let you know, here in Alabama, there is a wonderful Civil Rights
Institute in Birmingham. I am sure that someone there could direct
you to some texts about the local Alabama civil rights movement above
and beyond the "big" events. Youc an call them at (205) 328-9696.
By the way, I *highly* recommend visiting this museum to anyone who
find themselves in Birmingham.

Ivan Kruh, M.A.
Ph.D. Candidate
Clinical Psychology
University of Alabama


From: (benjamin berry)
Subject: Re: Civil rights photo history

Ditto on the exhibit. I even took myh class on the Civil Rights Movement to
view the exhibit in Norfolk (the African-American/Jewish Coliation, of which
I am a member, sponsored the exhibit here so it was not a surprise to me).
My only problem was the with some of thestaff of the Chrysler Museum where
it was housed. They were not prepared for the exhibit even though several
persons offered to have training sessions with them. If you have students
visit the exhibit, be sure to accompany them to fill the gaps that museum
staffs often leave.

Benjamin Berry

Benjamin Berry, Professor of History
Virginia Wesleyan College
1584 Wesleyan Drive
Norfolk/Virginia Beach, VA 23502


From: (Robbie Lieberman)
Subject: Re: Civil rights photo history

One of the struggles that took place later was in Cairo, Illinois (at the
southern tip of the state). There is a book of photographs called Let My
People Go, by Preston Ewing, that you might want to check out. These
symbolic ending points to the movements of the sixties (resurrection city,
Altamont, the Greenwich Village townhouse explosion, Kent State) all need to
be challenged. It didn't all go up in flames...

Robbie Lieberman


From: Gregg Michel <>
Subject: Re: Civil rights photo history

On the movement in Texas, Doug Rossinow has written quite ab it about
the student movement coming out of th University of Texas at Austin.
You can find some of his work in an issue of _American Quarterly_ a
couple years back and in a recent issue of _Radical HIstory Review_. On
Florida, there are a couple of fine unpublsihed works on the civil
rights movement in two universitiey towns. Glenda Rabby (I think) has
written a dissertation on the movement in Tallahassee and Marshall
Jones, a former U of FLorida professor who was run-off the campus, has
written about the movement in Gainesville in the aptly titled "Berkeley
of the South."

BTW, other good photo accounts of the civil rights movement in include
Danny Lyon's recent book (the name of which escapes me) and _Powerful
Days_, which presents the civil rights movement photography of Charles

Gregg Michel
University of Virginia


From: "Melinda M. Schwenk" <>
Subject: Re: Civil rights photo history

I've read the book, too, and find it quite moving - the pictures do
their job both in recreating the moments and the emotions of the times.
But, of course, a movement must have big events as well as "recorders" who
take pictures in order to have an impact beyond the immediate moment. Many
of the those pictures were seen around the world and caused the US
government much embarrassment.

>The one weakness I'd see is that the book ends with the National
>Guard dispersal of Resurrection City. In a sense, that touches on
>part of the same problem as the weighting toward the "big"
>struggles. The media never knew what to do about the civil rights
>struggle after 1968. With no central figure like King to focus
>on, and with the "Black Power" movement dominating their limited
>attention spans in New York and Los Angeles, the continuing
>struggle in the South in particular for civil rights simply
>vanished from coverage.

Also, the peace marches and the general race riots took the focus off the
ethical aspects of the civil rights movements. The book's weaknesses are
not the author's but the way we remember such events and how such events are
constructed and interact with historical events and figures. It's a bit
humbling to realize how important it is to have great ideas embodied in
great men's and women's actions, and to have those ideas articulated by
orators such as Martin Luther King.

Melinda Schwenk
Univ. of Pennsylvania