A series of evocative lectures, films and a national traveling exhibit exploring two major civil rights movements that changed America is planned July 12-Aug. 22 in Springfield. The series includes a July 31 talk by two sisters whose father lent his name to the landmark, 1954 U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education.
A detailed schedule is available at thelibrary.org/changingamerica.
The national traveling exhibit, which opens with guest speakers and music at 1 p.m. July 12 at the Library Center, 4653 S. Campbell Ave., is called “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963.”
The exhibit launches a six-week series that includes the talk at 7 p.m. July 31 at Central High School by sisters Cheryl Brown Henderson and Linda Brown Thompson. Cheryl graduated from Central High School in 1961 while the family lived in Springfield. Their late father Oliver L. Brown joined other families to challenge racial segregation of children in Topeka, Kan., public schools. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that such segregation violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
In this 60th anniversary year of the case, the sisters will share the story of “Brown v. Board of Education and How it Changed America.” Their visit is sponsored by the Friends of the Library and The Library Foundation.
The event is free and open to the public. A handicapped-access entrance is located on Jefferson Avenue. The program will include a talk, a short video about the case and an audience Q&A.
The series is sponsored by the Springfield-Greene County Library District and the Greater Springfield Race & Faith Collaborative. It caps the collaborative’s yearlong focus on race and race relations.
“We are pleased to have been selected as a site for this exhibition,” said Gay Wilson, Planning & Development Librarian. “The dramatic story of how these two pivotal events came into being, a century apart, and how each helped put the nation on a course toward fulfilling its commitment to liberty and justice for all, is one that can inspire all Americans.”