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Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library Presents Freedom Riders Exhibit Destination Freedom Special Live Performance; Get On The Bus Art Exhibit

John Lewis

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for its treatment of Lawson, who is now a member of its faculty. Major funding for the traveling exhibit ion is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, call Erin Lally, Library Program Assistant at 720-865241, e-mail elally@denverlibrary.org or visit www.aarl.denverlibrary.org. Destination Freedom Series continues with a special live performance of the Freedom Riders at El Centro Su Teatro, located at 7 Santa Fe. No Credits Productions and KGNU 88.5 FM, 1390 AM Boulder Community Radio will present a live performance and broadcast of, Destination Freedom; Black Radio Days on Monday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Broadcast on KGNU 88.5 FM and 1390 AM

No Credits Productions, LLC and donnie l. betts in association with KGNU 88.5 FM, 1390 AM Boulder Community Radio

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From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives—many endured savage beatings and imprisonment—for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders’ belief in non-violent activism was sorely tested as mob violence and bitter racism greeted them along the way. “Freedom Riders� examines the 1961 and earlier Freedom Rides from many perspectives - that of the Riders themselves, the Kennedy administration, and the international community.

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events for the public in connection with the exhibition, including educator workshops, teach-ins for students K-12 focused on anti-bullying education, a film series, a live radio drama and lectures/discussions with Freedom Rider Jim Lawson, and other experts. James Lawson was a leading theoretician and tactician of nonviolence within the American Civil Rights Movement. He continues to be active in training activists in nonviolence. Lawson moved to Nashville, Tenn. and enrolled at the Divinity School of Vanderbilt University, where he served as the southern director for Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and began conducting nonviolence training workshops for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. While in Nashville, Lawson met and mentored a number of young students at Vanderbilt, Fisk University, and other area schools in the tactics of nonviolent direct action. Lawson also trained many of the future leaders of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, among them Diane Nash, James Bevel, Bernard Lafayette, Marion Barry, and John Lewis. In 1959 and 1960 these and other Lawson-trained activists launched the Nashville sit-ins to challenge segregation in downtown stores. Along with activists from Atlanta, Georgia and elsewhere in the South, they formed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in April 1960. Lawson’s students played a leading role in the Open Theater Movement, the Freedom Rides, the 1963 March on Washington, Mississippi Freedom Summer, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, the 1963 Birmingham Children’s Crusade, the 1965 Selma Voting Rights Movement, and the 1966 Chicago Open Housing Movement. Lawson’s expulsion from Vanderbilt as a result of these activities became one of the celebrated incidents of the era and eventually a source of deep embarrassment to the university. During the 2006 graduation ceremony Vanderbilt apologized

This broadcast will feature guest James Lawson and other riders from the summer of 1961. They will join the audience for a community dialogue on race and other issues that face our nation plus share firsthand account of the rides. Musical guest Southern Journey will perform songs from the Southern Freedom Movement. For tickets or more information, call 720-748-1388 or 720-318-9895 or visit www.blackradiodays.com/shop. Join Art Blaque for the opening of Get On The Bus, an art exhibit and panel discussion moderated by Holly K. Hurd to examine art, activism and leadership in the black community in the 21st century. Get On The Bus is an art exhibit of interpretations by local AfricanAmerican artists on important components, individuals and ideas related to activism of the past, present and future. Get On The Bus will be on display from Nov. 2 through 30. Exhibit and panel discussion are free and open to the public and will be held Wednesday, Nov. 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information, e-mail artblaque@gmail.com or call 720-3644492. 

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Special guest James Lawson and other riders from the summer of 1961. They will join the audience for a community dialogue on race and other issues that face our nation plus share firsthand account of the rides. Featuring singers from ‘Southern Journey’ performing songs from the Southern Freedom Movement.

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The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library will host the national traveling exhibition “Freedom Riders� which tells the powerful, harrowing and inspirational civil rights story in 1961 when more than 400 courageous Americans old and young, black and white, men and women, Northern and Southern risked their lives to challenge segregated facilities in the South. The exhibition will be on display from Nov. 228 and is a companion to the May 2011 PBS broadcast of American Experience film Freedom Riders, directed by Stanley Nelson. “Freedom Riders� combines powerful photography and news coverage of the 1961 Freedom Rides and examines the movement from many perspectives - the Riders, the Kennedy administration, and the international community. To enhance the experience, visitors may use their cell phones to access 54 powerful firsthand audio accounts of this dangerous experiment in the fight for civil rights. The Freedom Riders had a simple but daring plan: to board buses in small interracial groups to test and challenge segregated facilities in the South. The Freedom Riders endured savage beatings, humiliation, and imprisonment, but ultimately, their brave actions and commitment to nonviolence changed American forever. Freedom Riders explore this littleknown chapter in civil rights history, and explain how the selfless actions of the Freedom Riders laid the groundwork for some of the most important civil rights legislation in our nation’s history. The exhibition, created by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and PBS’s flagship history series, American Experience, is funded through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. “We are pleased to have been selected as a site for this exhibition,� said Shirley Amore, city librarian. “The 1961 Freedom Rides are an inspiring example of what ordinary individuals can accomplish. The actions and the bravery of the Freedom Riders provide invaluable lessons for our young people today, and for anyone who hopes to make a difference in our community, country, or world.� The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library is one of 20 sites nationwide selected to host the “Freedom Riders� exhibition. The site is sponsoring programs and other

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Denver Urban Spectrum â&#x20AC;&#x201D; www.denverurbanspectrum.com â&#x20AC;&#x201C; November 2011

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DUS November 2011  

Denver Urban Spectrum November 2011 Issue