Recovering Lost Voices: Rare Interviews with Civil Rights Leaders
You can now hear and read first-hand accounts of the sit-ins that happened in Nashville and all over America during the Civil Rights movement by way of a new website crafted by Mona Frederick of Vanderbilt University. On Saturday, January 19 at 2 p.m., Mrs. Frederick will share some of these extraordinary stories and how she tracked down these forgotten reel-to-reel interviews that were archived in several university libraries and how the new state-of-the-art digital resource can be used in classrooms and for personal enrichment.
James M. Lawson, Jr. is one you can hear on the site, www.whospeaks.library.vanderbilt.edu.
He was in the Vanderbilt School of Divinity at the time and helped organize the Nashville sit-ins. He met with the mayor of Nashville, who had instructed the Chief of Police to “find what laws could be used” to arrest sit-in participants. Hundreds had been arrested and Lawson defended them saying the law was used as a “gimmick.” Lawson said, “If the law was used simply to oppress people, then it wasn’t really a law. It wasn’t justice. It wasn’t consistent with democratic thought, and certainly was inconsistent with Christian thought.” Ironically, Vanderbilt University expelled Lawson for his involvement in Civil Rights, regardless of the support from the Divinity department.
In addition to personal experiences, the interviews shed light on the doubts and fears expressed key leaders including Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. As well you’ll hear their personal opinions on history, race relations, and more, like those expressed by Avon Williams, Jr. who believed the race problem in America at that time was essentially one of “brain-washing” and indoctrination.
“I find these interviews a window into my parent’s world,” Children’s Librarian Marsha Gallardo said. “Both my father and mother tried to make a difference, marching, reaching out locally. When you listen to these inspiring men and women you are there in the midst of the early 60’s. I’m so thankful to them for making the world a better place for all of us.”
For more information about the Spring Hill Public Library, go to www.springhilllibrary.org or call 931/486.2932.
Everyone’s asking why we don’t have tax forms and when they can make an appt. so here’s the scoop on that.
A week from Saturday we have a speaker from Vanderbilt that has created an amazing public access website that can be a great tool for students and anyone interested in the true stories of Civil Rights activists.
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