Kentucky Archives Month
October is Archives Month and in Kentucky the theme was Civil Rights. This year members of Library Special Collections celebrated by co-hosting a Pecha Kucha about Civil Rights with the Kentucky Museum.
A pecha kucha is a powerpoint presentation consisting of 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each so the talk lasts six minutes and forty seconds. Speakers have to hone in on the point and talk fast!
Pecha Kucha Participants
Suellyn Lathrop – Civil Rights @ WKU – gave an overview of the WKU response to several civil rights issues through the years and resources for research housed in WKU Archives.
April McCauley – October is American Archives Month – discussion of archives that hold civil rights materials around the nation.
Karen Hogg – Kentucky Marriage Equality Oral History Project – presentation regarding Kentucky attorneys and plaintiffs involved in the recent marriage equality court cases.
Nancy Richey – Introducing the Kentucky African American Encyclopedia – an interesting overview of local people included in this hot off the press volume.
Jonathan Jeffrey – Juliette H. Morgan: A Librarian Civil Rights Hero – a brief biography of Montgomery, Alabama librarian turned activist.
We hope you enjoy our presentations and learn something new. Library Special Collections is housed in the Kentucky Building and our collections are open to everyone Monday – Friday 9 to 4 and most Saturdays 10 – 3.
No, Rosa Parks was never in Glasgow, KY but her defiant and freedom loving spirit was there ten years before her own historic act. It is noted she was not the first person to resist bus segregation and this article from the April 27th, 1944 edition of the Glasgow, (KY) Republican highlights this fact. Lucy Franklin and Enna [Emma] Collins, sisters, who were in their early 30s, were visiting their hometown and grandmother, Harriet Allan in Barren County. Little did they realize, they were also a part of the birth of the Civil Rights movement and “mothers” also of the movement. They refused to move to the back of the bus, “We’ll sit just where we are. We paid our fare same as anyone else.” The newspaper report notes their arrest for this defiant act and that they “missed the bus.” Thankfully, their brave act in our local community finally allowed others to never “miss the bus” again. Lucy and Emma’s act, like many others, “strengthened blacks’ resolve and ability to resist their “second-class” status in the United States. Thus, their efforts in the period during and after the Second World War, aided by the international attention to race brought by that war and the Cold War, led to a modern civil rights movement. [This] would dismantle legally sanctioned segregation and discrimination in public accommodations within two decades. (CIVIL RIGHTS IN AMERICA: RACIAL DESEGREGATION OF PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS, p.31.)
Find materials about this topic and other subjects in the Department of Library Special Collections by searching TopSCHOLAR andKenCat or request more information from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Filed under General, People
Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the Kent State massacre. In light of that, let’s look at protest movements at WKU. Lowell Harrison in Western Kentucky University describes the affect of Kent State on WKU. “The Volunteers, an ad hoc committee of student activists, called for a general strike on Friday, May 8, but most classes met, although often with diminished attendance. “Strike Western” T-shirts quickly appeared. Protests demonstrations were countered by an anti-protest rally. . . President Downing met with a group of students on the steps of the administration building; a graduate student who was active in the peace movement . . . A “sleep-in” Friday night on the lawn next to the administration building attracted about a hundred participants, including some small children and one dog.”
The Agitator, one of the first underground student newspapers debuted in 1964. After it came The Skewer , The Expatriate  and we still have The Big Red Tool in 2010. The issues discussed in these publications include prostitution, freedom of speech/press, Vietnam war, and campus issues. Students held a sit in regarding the racial issues in September 26 and a Vietnam Moratorium October 15, 1969. In more recent years students have gathered to protest against the Ku Klux Klan and the Gulf War. The 1971 political paper Spread Eagle has been digitized.
Some images from the period are available on KenCat. Finding aids for the underground student newspapers and demonstration/protest photographs are available on TopScholar. Read about protests in the Board of Regents minutes and the College Heights Herald. Check out the online exhibit, Get on the Bus. Share your memories of these and other events. Visit the Harrison-Baird Reading Room in the Kentucky Library to see these and other primary sources regarding protests and demonstrations.