Monday, September 29, 2008

Southern Liberalism at the Public Library

On Sunday, September 28th the Russell Library hosted, “Highlander Folk School & the Southern Front: Worker Education and the Growth of the Civil Rights Movement,” at the Athens-Clarke County Public Library. Speakers at this event, the second in the Weaving the Threads of Justice program series, examined the roots of Highlander Folk School and its co-founders, Myles Horton and Don West.

Guest speaker Dr. Randy Patton, Professor of History at Kennesaw State University, began the program by setting the scene for the audience – describing the climate of southern liberalism from the decade of Highlander’s founding (1930s) and into the Civil Rights Movement.

Noted historian Dr. Jim Lorence followed, using Dr. Patton’s talk as the backdrop for a more focused discussion on Don West, the lesser-known co-founder of the Highlander School. Although Lorence’s talk remained centered on West’s role at Highlander and his tumutumultuous relationship with Myles Horton, the author’s most recent publication,
A Hard Journey: The Life of Don West, expounds on the long and varied life of West – a highly controversial social activist. Following the program, audience members mingled with the speakers at an informal reception and Dr. Lorence generously signed copies of his book.

Another successful event -- Thanks to everyone who attended! Next on the agenda, "Seeing Red in Black: White Southern Leaders Fight Desegregation" – a multimedia presentation by Jill Severn & Craig Breaden of the Russell Library – this coming Sunday, October 5th from 3-5pm at the Demosthenian Hall, North Campus, University of Georgia. Following what is sure to be a great presentation at a fantastic venue (with delicious snacks & drinks as always) .

Mingling at the Reception....

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