Skip to main content

tv   Lectures in History African American Women in Arts Literature  CSPAN  February 25, 2022 7:43pm-8:26pm EST

7:43 pm
little light in the east, you know? the sun is going to come up in a minute, and i've made it. and i look, and down that road comes vietnamese guy on a bicycle with a big package on the front, on his handlebars, and i have jacked around in that machine gun, and i have got it right on him, and i'm about to blow his dessert out, when the captain hits me on the shoulder and says, son, if you shoot that man, you're going to have to cook our breakfast! [laughs] oh! he was the cook! and our breakfast was on his handlebars! i tell you, you know, you can't make stuff like that up. so much for joining my class today at saint joseph's university today. we're going to explore five women who use their writing and
7:44 pm
thank you so much for joining my class today at st. joseph's university. today, we are going to explore five women who used their writing and singing to create a better future for black people in our country. pauli murray, billie holliday, lorraine hansberry, nina simone, and anne moody. why do these five women, you may ask? as writers they work to highlights a significant element of the civil rights movement. and it also broadens the more well known narrative on the key participants from this time. some of these women participated in sit-ins and other actions to be sure, but even wear their own work was very visible, such as holliday's and simon songs, hansberry's plays, and moody's encounter at, as we talked about last time, their full contribution to the civil rights study is not widely appreciated. it's those who have used the power of words, they are also a threat tying together the
7:45 pm
expanding protest of our time, and off their air up. interestingly,, all of them spent some time in new york city, echoing a theme first articulated in harlem renaissance novelist jesse jessie redmon fauset novice [inaudible] started over to leave with free, or for the left. he's five, reproof resisting the oppressive expectations of the time that they face because of the race and gender, especially small towns, that's chose to move in [inaudible] new york, especially when they were young. the causes are group embraced were essential for bringing rights for or people, and include such areas as ending discrimination, what we might call today expanding equity and inclusion, underlining the equal treatment under law that the 14th amendment guaranteed to all after the civil war ended slavery, as well as more specifically promoting access to voting, juries, and
7:46 pm
education, working to end and lynching a black man, as well as rape of black women, and dismantling discrimination in public accommodations, criminal does justice, employment, housing, and cultural access. well many of us associate civil rights activism with men like martin luther king and malcolm x, and feminist activism with women like elizabeth cady stanton, susan b anthony, betty friedan and gloria steinem, such activism needs to be disentangle to form these gendered and racialized expectations. black women you, can kind of see them in the background in that picture, right? black women, especially the rioters, here making significant efforts that were just as important, and their story helps balance and often male centered, white centered narrative. we will begin our story with pauli murray, the first of the five to be born in 1910. she plays a major role in our story here. both because of the long history of her activism, and because of the range of it,
7:47 pm
both before and after world war ii. can we do will include our top. she dug most recently in 2015. anna pauline pauli murray was born in baltimore, and our friend when she was four. and she was raised by her aunts and grandparents interim, north carolina. pauli and, she would later call herself, would later promote women's rights and black peoples rights and was instrumental in changing laws for by the. she went to college in new york, but at the end of the impression she struggled to. still, she graduated, and in 1933, she also met eleanor roosevelt at the camp for unemployment count for unemployment women. shortly after 1933, she met her. it's not, cute she-she-she camp, right? like ccc? you know that one first lady was going to come in class today, right. and the great granddaughter of a slave holder, pauli in her
7:48 pm
own body represented the systematic practice of white men's rape of black women that early activists like ida b wells had alluded to in her critique of lynching. wells, of course, is another early example of black women who wrote to emancipate. she laid the groundwork for the women we profile today. in 1919, her work to expose the truth about the race massacre even less known that the tulsa massacre of 1921 that we spoke about, this one in elaine, arkansas, in 1919, let the fbi to target her as a dangerous subversive, as you can see, on the slide. one of the most dangerous, as you can see here. to further her activism, pauli murray wanted to get a law degree, but faced many obstacles as a black woman. in the 1930s, she attempted to enroll at the university of north carolina, where one of her white ancestors, jay james strudwick smith, it was spent
7:49 pm
on the board of trustees. smith was the grandfather of pauli's grandmother, cornelia smith. but north carolina would not budge. there she is. grandmother's brought to one nervous smith in play slaved women, harriet, who had been raped by his son, sydney smith, was an outcome recently remarked a pond by caroline randall in her brilliant article, my body is a confederate monument, that read in class, where she wrote, i am the descendant of black women who were domestic servants and white men who've raped their help, unquote she. continues, quote, what is someone yet but to standing memory, an artifact way tangible? my buddy and polite are a tangible tweets of the south, and it's passed. i don't just come from the south, i come from confederates. with the rejection from north carolina because of her race,
7:50 pm
but pauli to howard university instead, where she was tops in her class, finishing her law degree there something which typically netted a scholarship to harvard university. but this, too, most of the. if you remember why? we mentioned this in class. >> she's a woman. >> she was a, woman right. so first is her race, and now it's her sex, yes. pauli word to the committee at harvard gentlemen, i would gladly change by sex to meet your requirements, but since the way to such change has not yet been revealed to be, i have no recourse but to view appeal to you to change or much. well, he was not successful. while at howard, she coined the term jane crow to entertain underline the kind of discrimination she faced. you today, using [inaudible] term, we would call the situation intersectionality. adding to complexity and against the cultural norms are here, and police sometimes dressed in minsk was, and her
7:51 pm
gentle fluidity would be something that that shaped her entire life at a time where there is bury the vocabulary of what. in 1940, she was arrested for refusing to sit in the back of a bus in virginia. well ahead of rosa parks and even jackie robinson, who was caught mile chilled himself for standing up to segregation at fort ord in 1944. a believer in civil disobedience, murray also participated in restaurants it into the early 1940s, and let a national campaign on behalf of a black sharecroppers, odell waller, who was executed for killing his landlord in self-defense in 1942. she and eleanor roosevelt both made passionate pitches on wall or's have. shortly after world war ii, she joined the congress on racial equality on an integrated journey of reconciliation, and early freedom like, right, if you like. she also set up a law practice in new york, and her work noted her the thorough review of many state laws and discrimination, culminating in her voluminous, states laws on race and color. interestingly, she was invited
7:52 pm
to do this by the methodist shirts, who wanted to, you know, understand policies around the country, and so that was really one of our first big contracts there. thurgood marshall refer to this work as, the bible that lay behind its arguments of the landmark desegregation case brown versus board of education in 1950. four by the way, he also required relied on one of her papers from law school that pauli had been to point out how discrimination was a badge of inferiority for black students. you may remember these studies of dolls, right, that were used in that, in that case. in 1956, pauli was hardware though from paul white. while there, she also published a family history, produce, highlighting the role of her enslaved ancestors that she would portray as well. is she mad irene barlow at the form. irene became her romantic partner until barlow died in 1976. so i wanted to ask if you had any reactions to her poem that you had for today, hope is a
7:53 pm
song in a worry throughout? did anything come out for you when you read that poem? anything that pauli was talking about? when she wrote that a little bit later, she wrote that 1970 or so, but i wondered if anyone wanted to comment on the palm, hope is a song anywhere he threw out? what she was hoping for, what she referred to? any thoughts about the sun? >> yes, thank you, sarah? >> i think that it was, it had a very sad tone but yet, through all of her struggles and the things she overcame, she still held on to hope. >> yes. yes, exactly. do you remember some of the, some of the things that she singled out there? it was almost like he was talking about the history of african americans, right? she went, even back toward the civil war days and if anyone wants your -- head, please. >> she said, opens upwards wing. >> yeah. exactly. she mentioned some of the 48 because a real, and some other
7:54 pm
things, that people have been asking for for a long time. kelly does just the last line about, i think the last little couplet there, it's beautiful. oh, you don't have it. i have it in front of me here i. think i could give it to be too. or i can give it to someone else who would like a turn. the last two lines, if you'd like to. >> these last two? >> and give me a, yeah. thank you. >> give me a song of hope and love, and a brown girls hard to. >> yeah. isn't it lovely? so she was so, she was so evocative in her writing, right? thank you so much. okay. so, these reactions, then, will help us see how many sided her writing was a. she was a lawyer, right? she was a poet. she was a biographer for her own family, right? and on and on and on. like [inaudible] marie was interested in pan-africanism. and went to teach law in ghana in 1960, 61. upon her return, she was appointed to the kennedy administration's commission on the status of women's committee,
7:55 pm
the status -- it's a complicated name. the committee on the status of women, and they had their own committee on civil and political rights. while she continued to press the point that women so active on the ground were left out of too many roles in the leadership of the civil rights movement. so we've been studying in our cause so many women who are active on the ground. some of the women named, right, in our book, the dark and of the street, or, of course and rudy and others. so in 1963, she wrote, the negro woman in the quest for equality. and she pointed out to civil rights leader a. philip randolph who was here at the march on washington that no women were invited to make a major speech or be part of the delegation of leaders who went to the white house that day in august of 1963. so, i wondered if anyone had any thoughts about that. where you struck by that? yes, barbara. >> yes, this reminds me of how black women were not, like, really included in women's suffrage, because the white
7:56 pm
women were trying to appeal to the people empower who were, like, in these institutions that were, you know, white men, and so, for their, already, like, their gender was making it harder for them to make their case. >> yes. >> so, if you add an arrest gender and an race, so black women, they are not going to, get it's not going to be listened to as much, unfortunately. >> exactly. these men seem to think, they had it under control, they were not going to be the win, despite the fact women were doing all this work. yes [inaudible] . >> [inaudible] women are an integral part of history, and they're often ignored. but i think it's so important that usually when you see strongman at the front of these movements, and like, these marches, it's usually due to the fact that, like, the women's also in the home creating the strong environment for them, taking care of the children. >> right feeding them when they come home, giving them a hobo over their heads. so i think they're so integral in that way. >> yes. >> and i think that at the very least, for that, they deserve
7:57 pm
[inaudible] room to speak, because there is the phrase, like, behind every strongman is an even stronger woman. so i think it's like, something like that, where they also deserve recognition for, kind of, the basis of what all these men are doing exhibit. >> exactly, yeah. demers going on from julia's point, i just thought women were seen as [inaudible] like those black women were not seen as leaders. that's why they [inaudible] to be involved it all. they saw them's helpers. and it is true that the work they were doing was invaluable and leadership, but it just, was it was undervalued work, because it was women's, women's work. >> right and i just feel like that's the reason they were so often ignored, or not seen as leaders. you know, you are doing leadership right. >> yes, exactly. very, good point right? all the things you are saying help exactly explain this rather important [inaudible] here. yeah, so in 1960, for pauli murray help prepare a legal brief to argue that sex along with race should be included in the civil rights act of 1964, as it, was that she soon helped launch the nationalization for
7:58 pm
women betty frieden and others. although later like feminists, as you may know, found such groups generally, not always as helpful, helpful and hospitable as they had hoped. murray graduated with her doctorate of laws, first woman black woman to do so adl in 1965. later she had a school named for her, as you may know. she also or -- i'm sorry, it's called a college there, it's a residential college. she also published jane crow and the law, six criminal shun entitle seven, comparing the discrimination against women to the jim crow discrimination, as of course many men as well people of color in general because they were not on the voting ranks, right so they were left out of juries in those days. so ruth vader ginsburg later credited murray and her fellow attorneys who had helped her when presenting herself ginsberg another gender discrimination case in front of the supreme court in 1971. we're standing on their
7:59 pm
shoulders. she explained we're saying the same things they said, but now it lasts society is ready to listen. now as you can see here murray was later the first black woman ordained a priest by the episcopal church in 1976. she gave communion at the same church in north carolina where her grandmother the then enslaved cornelia had been baptized in 1954. i'm sorry 1854. pardon me all the strands of my life had come together. she recalled descendant of slave and a slave owner now. i was empowered to minister the sacrament of one in whom there is no north or south no black or white no male or female in 2010 25 years after her death pauli murray officially became an episcopal saint. now while polly was in college in the 1930s horrific spectacle lynching occurred in marion, indiana the murder of thomas ship and abram smith a school teacher in the bronx named abe mirupal. saw the widely circulated
8:00 pm
picture of this horrific event and through his outrage and sadness into a poem called strange fruit, which he then put to music. he also by the way later adopted the children of julius and ethel rosenberg as you may know when their parents were executed billie holiday, of course made the song famous as her best-selling recording and one she sang for 20 years. she recalled that her father had been denied medical treatment because of his race something still happening as she would note in the 1950s when as well lynchings like that of emmett till were also sadly still occurring so i'm just going to play a little bit of this song. blood only leaves and let it go through. black body swinging in the southern breeze strain s hanging
8:01 pm
from the tree holiday who had been born such a motionally moving song isn't it to here? and i'm so glad we had a chance to play it for you. i should listen to the whole song though when you have a chance. in 1915 and singing in harlem by the time she was a teenager had a rocky childhood, but the renown of strange fruit set her up for a successful career through the 40s and beyond like murray holiday too had relationships with women and men. sadly her promise was cut short by many personal challenges including struggles with drugs and alcohol and she died of cirrhosis at a new york hospital at only 44 in 1959. meanwhile that very year
8:02 pm
playwright lorraine hansberry mounted her play a raisin in the sun the first one ever written by an african-american woman to appear on broadway class. you recall where the title came from from some of our previous discussions? yes lizzy the langston hughes poem. yes, which was called. right. yeah, i think or a dream deferred i think was the one yeah exactly. thank you so much. wonderful. this this play was based on her family's own experiences her father had faced racial covenants against his purchase of a home in washington park chicago it then became a supreme court case hansberry versus lee in 1940 lorraine always said that her father who died when she was 15 had been killed by american racism. a plate concerns housing discrimination, but also pan-africanism at that moment when africans were tearing down imperialism hansberry was equally interested in us civil rights and freedom for africans from colonialism. proactivism had first emerged at the university of wisconsin
8:03 pm
where she integrated a dorm and joined the communist party becoming active in the cause of willie mcgee a black man sentenced to death in 1951 for having a relationship with the white woman. does anyone want to share anything about that poem which was called lynch song and i have it here if there's anything you want to or actually it might still be there. thank you if anyone wants to cite anything interesting from that poem that struck them she wrote the poem in 1951. yes demarest. i just thought i liked when she was talking because she uses like dark nights and then at the like near the i guess the middle of the end she talks about like white faces in the dark nights, and i think even if it's just words like the contrast of like dark and white was just really i don't know touching in her and her and her a poem about lynching and she was so young when she wrote that poem and so young when she was an activist in this way now her work i should add like i to be wells elicited the of the fbi was of course. she had joined the prime minister's party and especially
8:04 pm
when she went to montevideo for a peace conference in 1952 taking the place of paul robeson who had been denied a passport by the state department at that time to go to the same conference. so she went instead now. she married in 1953, but she was a closeted lesbian and she later divorced her husband. she would continue her activism on many fronts until her death very premature death from pancreatic cancer in 1965 before she died hansberry had become friends with nina simone a neighbor of hers in mount vernon, new york a suburb of new york city and indeed she inspired simone to activism. born in 1933 to a poor family and try on north carolina nina. simone's talents is a singer and pianist were soon apparent. she was a prodigy and her hometown friends helped get her to juilliard as a child later in 1951. she auditioned at the curtis institute in philadelphia, but was rejected. she was sure because of her race, but apparently only three
8:05 pm
of the 72 applicants were taken that year as we have mentioned she then turned to singing in nightclubs in atlantic city and eventually found success with i loves you porgy. which billie holiday had made famous. she was conflicted about this still seeing herself as a classical musician and not a jazz performer, but it became a top 20 hit. settling down with her husband and becoming a mother and meeting hands very too simone was horrified by the 16th street baptist church bombing of september 1963 in birmingham, alabama, which resulted in the deaths of four girls at choir practice followed soon after by the murder of civil rights activists, edgar evers. 64 in jackson, mississippi, all of which prompted simone to write her important call to action a song about mississippi and alabama and the rest of the south mississippi --, which picked up on some of martin luther king's themes in his 1963 letter from birmingham jail.
8:06 pm
this is a very famous letter. i'm sure you have heard of it, but i wanted to just highlight the emphasis. he puts here on the word. wait right how you must wait how you must be slow. and of course he is disagreeing with the ministers mostly the white ministers of birmingham who are telling him to wait before integration, and he's saying for years now, i've heard this word. this weight has almost always meant never it has been a tranquilizing thalidomide remember that was a pill they gave to mothers in those days which led to horrible birth defects relieving the emotional stress for a moment only to give birth to an all-in. sorry an ill formed infant of frustration. justice too long delayed is justice denied and again the pan-african reference right the nations of asia and africa are moving the jet-like speed toward the goal of political independence and we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward the gaining of a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. so this theme of gradualism and
8:07 pm
going slow. what's also pillaried by simone and her song which starts like this? and then i'm going to play a little clip from it, but you can see how it builds here. and there's the record from the old days. i understand vinyl is coming back. anyway, you can see right. did anyone want to read the the words that they see here? somebody want to jump in aiden. do you want to read maybe the first couple of stanzas? sure. um, alabama's gotten me so upset tennessee made me lose my rest. and everybody knows about mississippi --. i can't you see it. can't you feel it? it's all in the air. i can't stand the pressure much longer. somebody say a prayer good anyone want to follow up on that? yes coming. round dogs on my trail school children sitting in jail black cat crossed my path. i think every day is gonna be my last lord have mercy on this
8:08 pm
land of mine. we all gonna get it in due time. i don't belong here. i don't belong there. i've even stopped believing in prayer. don't tell me i tell you thank you. and now this is where that picks up. don't tell me i'll tell you me and my people just about do i've been there so i know they keep on saying go slow. you hear the theme right? that's just the trouble washing the windows pick in the car. just playing around. so tia she does a very good job there. i thinking up on that theme of martin luther king. oh, sorry. then in 1965 alongside sammy
8:09 pm
davis jr. mahalia jackson harry belafonte and joan baez simone sang at the stars for freedom rally which accompanied the famous march for voting rights from selma to montgomery. in 1966. she wrote a poem called four women, which was later made into a song as a tribute to the birmingham girl who had been killed her four women in the song were purposefully stereotypes. she noted in order to underline how white america made black women invisible. she hoped to spur. her black sisters who control their own destinies until they had the confidence. she said to define themselves, they'd be stuck in the same mess forever, and i wondered if any of the students wanted to say anything about either of the songs because you also have the four women song in front of you or did have you could pass around. yeah, julia. slow narrative kind of brings me back to the beginning of the semester when we were talking about booker t, washington and how his suggestion of gaining
8:10 pm
more traction for civil rights was to go slow like he kind of said like except the smaller victories and have it contribute to a bigger picture. so it's interesting how there's so many contradicting views within the same subject and i think it's really interesting to kind of pick apart how different people saw the means to an end, right? exactly. and of course, it's a good point you're making too because it wasn't only the white ministers who were saying go slow, you know a number of black leaders were also too slow for martin luther. others right? thank you, katie. did you want to add something to that? no, okay, or i'll brag did you i just had some thoughts on her song for women which and like nina simone in general. so yeah, that song is definitely like i think i her acknowledging like the stereotyping is all so like empowering and like it because like stereotypes exists for a reason and it's like recognizing that like people women being put in these boxes is like like she knows what that's like and and like giving it a platform to like sharing
8:11 pm
that art with like the rest of the world around it and then like i think nina simone too, we still see in culture today like she sampled a lot in rap music but like um black artists today, so she's very i'm relevant to today as well in your presentation. i think yeah. thank you. great. thank you. very good points, very helpful. exactly. i think you know exposing the stereotypes can help to demolish them. so her next activist album was to honor martin luther king after his assassination in 1968 when she wrote the king of love dead soon after though she gave up on activism. she blamed the music industry for turning on her for her protest songs and mostly lived abroad sadly plagued by a number of financial and health challenges until her death in 2003. the year that simone released her king album 1968 was the same year that anne moody wrote coming of age in mississippi, which of course we've been reading in class this week her memoir of growing up poor and black under jim crow and
8:12 pm
becoming an activist for civil rights as a girl and had worked as you know to help her struggling family by cleaning and babysitting for white women many of whom treated her with disdain or worse while they attended meetings to assure white supremacy. meanwhile her mother quaked in fear to even comment on such events as the horrific murder of emmett till, which we've mentioned already today in 1955 and other depredations against black people in centerville itself one and would ask her mother about them. jackie robinson pointed to the same fear in a letter. he wrote about anne in 1964 and literally could not go home. and of course had been happy to leave for oppressive town an excellent student. she got a basketball scholarship and eventually graduated from tougaloo college there. she joined the naacp and the student nonviolent coordinating committee also known as nick and among many other actions. take took part in the sit-in in 1963 at the woolworth in
8:13 pm
jackson, mississippi, which you have seen this picture already in class. i didn't know if you'd seen that one, which is on memphis norman one of the other young men who was with them and he was you know, almost killed in that moment. it was an extremely tense and dangerous three hours in which this man almost died. she was of course horrifically treated with all kinds of disgusting items being poured on her and so was her friend joan trump power and her teacher john salter. he also was viciously attacked with brass knuckles and very bloody attack there. the police were outside many of them, but did nothing to intervene. so i wanted to ask you since you have looked at this and we've talked about this anything you want to say about why this is so significant why this this moment and of course there were many other moments like this, so i certainly ann was not alone in doing these kinds of things, but anyone want to comment about that what strikes you about this? why was this moment so important and course the next year, right the civil rights act of 1964 ended this kind of
8:14 pm
discrimination and accommodation. but does anyone want to yeah, julia something that i'm just kind of noticing now about the picture is that they're all men all white men. so, i think it's interesting to look at it. not only from a racial perspective, but also from a male versus female perspective. it looks like in this picture specifically, you know, i don't know if that's if that's the whole picture. it could have been the women were in the back and maybe men had pushed them out of the way or not really sure because certainly we've seen plenty of women at the forefront of the attack people saying is all white men, so it's interesting to see not only the gender discrimination but also the racial discrimination all in one side. it's very striking it certainly very striking. thank you. would anyone else like to come it? yes. i was just gonna say it probably took a lot of strength not to move at all and never get up and just sit there and i feel like in doing that you definitely show how trivial hate is that you're receiving because you're just trying to get a cup of coffee like martin luther king said and then people are like
8:15 pm
pouring things on you and harassing you throwing on the ground and beating you up. like they look like the crazy people so i get why but i do feel like the amount of resilience has to go into just letting people pour sugar saw and catch up and yelp obscenities at you. and dehumanize you is probably way more than i could be doing. right right, i think most of us and one of the themes that was raised remember in our little video. we saw joan trump our looking back much older woman now referring to the fact that you know, they were just average people and they did this right they were not martin luther king. they were not rosa parks. they were just average people they put themselves in this position hoping, you know to kind of wake people up a little bit and of course they built on the work that so many others had done up until that point. i'm including the two glue 9, right who were at the library in tupelo trying to integrate it just a couple of years earlier, but ada recently say something. yeah. also just think it's important in showing like the sort of since that people would get out of like non-violent demonstrations, and i think that they saw the use of non-violent
8:16 pm
demonstrations as like a positive way or like a powerful way to get their message across because they knew that if they were to act out and like turn around and hit someone through coffee at them. they knew like they wouldn't get anywhere with that because the the legal system at the time wouldn't allow that i mean they write they might have been even worse treated right? but of course even when not fighting they were horribly treated actually. yeah just to add on to what demare said like, it really does highlight the amount of racism and hatred and these people's hearts because like we touched on the other day most if not all of these men probably have jobs families school to attend. they could have been doing anything else other than bothering innocent people who were just trying to enjoy a meal in their own free time. it's really just unnecessary and cruel. yeah. yeah exactly and she comments about that. that's what i'm glad you brought that because you know, we we know about scenes like this. we've we've seen these pictures but working i think is that we have her memoir as well where she talks about being in the middle of it and what it was
8:17 pm
like and the sickness of this this hatred right that she felt exactly and it's so i think revealing an important to understand and see that so i'm very i'm very very glad that you brought up that the point because we see it from the inside because of her melbourne again that brings back our theme of the writing the writing is emancipation, right? yeah, sarah, this event that she organized was. especially significant because she didn't have support from her family and it's not that they didn't want to support her but they just felt like they couldn't raise their voice in their hometown just they didn't want to face any backlash. so i think it's that especially highlights the the racial tensions in her hometown yet. she was so brave and organized this through her college, right exactly. she and as jackie robinson said right she could not go home because she would be attacked and her own family right was so afraid of these things. so thank you for raising that point. now 1964 she was part of that large army of registry
8:18 pm
registering activists, right who went around to try to get people to vote and you'll recall this in the book. it's a little bit later on from where we were just the other day, but she is this is in a town called canton, mississippi and she's going in and one of the things that she really highlights here is really exactly what you're all referring to is the fear the fear that these people had about signing up to vote because they were afraid something would happen to them if they signed up they're constantly confronted with they meaning that her the registrants right who are trying to register people to vote are constantly confronted with the fear of the white man more in madison here in madison county. this seems an everlasting fear. so we have to remember that just two years later the voting rights act was passed, but would that have happened without this kind of on-the-ground painful really dangerous, right? we know people died doing this doing this right in 1964, so she was she led left in 1964. she went to new york, but she was in the middle of this and i
8:19 pm
just thought this is a separate issue. this is a protest at a high school in canton, but i just thought it was interesting to kind of put those together to see how difficult life was for african-american's living in canton whether they were in school or trying to vote right? it was a very really a very very difficult time. so one of the things she said about her work even though her family as you say sarah was targeted and she was targeted by the kkk. she said this effort gave her life fuller dimension quote something happened to me as i got more and more involved in the movement. i had found something outside myself that gave meaning to my life. so it was though a kind of a thing that could really exhaust you, right? so she does move to new york in 1964. she lives a client life there. she writes her memoir a few years later eventually. she moved back to mississippi where she died in 2015 and just two years ago. she was honored in centerville of all. is right by these people who came together and this is actually mostly her family
8:20 pm
members here. you remember adeline in the book? that's that's adeline her sister and her brother. they came together and the city or i get the highway department honored her i guess with a highway segment and centerville there anne moody memorial highway, so i thought that was kind of a nice tribute. from archival. yes, please. i just have a question about the about the about the last photo yes when they were doing the when they were doing. i won the memorial for i didn't notice that in the background. i thought i saw the confederate flag in the background. oh, it's just oh, yes that flag in the back. yes. yes. it's from 2015. see if i can right i wondered about that too.
8:21 pm
i know good good spotted. yeah, i i don't know in 2015. yeah. that's an interesting question. perhaps that was so they only changed their flag very recently right didn't we talk about this? yeah, i'll sort of an ironic piece if that is the case. thank you for noticing. okay. i just have one more slide to show you because we are we are about to conclude. to that there we are there they all are again, right? not long before her death in 1965 lorraine hansberry underlined the importance of her own creative impulse when she met with several young black writers telling them though. it is a thrilling and marvelous thing to be merely young and gifted in such a time because remember it was a time of great activism a lot going on. it is doubly so doubly dynamic to be young gifted and black. and this phrase too became a song that nina simone would record in 1969 as one of her final civil rights recordings as this lecture has noted all of these women were at various times young gifted and black and
8:22 pm
with their creativity and their music their writing talent and their activism all building on the work of each other and sometimes directly with each other. they brought into opportunities for so many with their poetry their lyrics their literature their memoir and their legal arguments. they use writing to emancipate thus leaving an important record of their activism that we can continue to explore. even though both billie holiday and lorraine hansberry died much too young and nina simone stopped singing songs of activism and moved abroad and and moody became kind of burned out on change. you may remember at the end of her books. she says we shall overcome. well, maybe will we wondering about that the important breakthroughs they're writing an activism made possible including the legal challenges laid down firmly and securely by pauli murray all speak to their lasting contributions. thank you all so very much. thank you. you are
8:23 pm
8:24 pm
8:25 pm
this week professor natalia mehlman petrzela teaches a class about the 1980s fitness industry and culture in the united states. >> high, and welcome to fit nation. we are talking about 1980s workout culture. this is our third week together virtually. i hope you all are doing well. i will share my screen with you and we can get started. as always what we are looking at in this class is about


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on