Friday, November 11, 2011

The Freedom Rides, Monday, 6:30 at Su Teatro in Denver

On Monday November 14, a performance at Su Teatro will focus on the freedom rides. This will cast further light on this movement beyond the wonderful film from last May. See my post on the transcendent courage of the freedom riders here. The show will include the words of James Lawson, the great teacher from Nashville who organized the initial sit-ins there and taught, among others, Diane Nash, the man who later invited King to Memphis to support the sanitation workers strike, will be present and speak about these issues. For those of us in Denver, this is an opportunity to be part of an important dialogue on the role of civil disobedience and nonviolence in the great movement of the '60s and the new movement of the 99%.


DESTINATION FREEDOM SERIES CONTINUES WITH A Special LIVE PERFORMANCE at The El Centro Su Teatro 7 Santa Fe of “The Freedom Rides”

No Credits Productions and KGNU 88.5 FM, 1390 AM Boulder Community Radio present a live performance and broadcast at 7PM of, “Destination Freedom; Black Radio Days” on Monday, November 14, 2011

Tickets $10 Doors open at 6:30PM

From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives—many endured savage beatings and imprisonment—for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders’ belief in non-violent activism was sorely tested as mob violence and bitter racism greeted them along the way. “Freedom Riders” examines the 1961 Freedom Rides from many perspectives - that of the Riders themselves, the Kennedy administration, and the international community

This broadcast will feature guest James Lawson and other riders from the summer of 1961. They will join the audience for a community dialogue on race and other issues that face our nation plus share firsthand account of the rides. Plus musical guest Southern Journey performing songs from the Southern Freedom Movement.

The Southern Journey ensemble is quickly becoming known for their dynamic performances that explore the ongoing cross-cultural influences that is the heart of American folk music.

The series is the first and only radio drama series featuring stories about African Americans and their issues, the issues that affect all humankind heard nationwide, now streamed around the planet via KGNU.org. The series won the 2000, 01 and 2002 award for radio excellence from the Colorado Association of Black Journalists. Producer Donnie L. Betts was named 2002 Radio Journalist of the Year. The series has aired in 1999, 2000, 01, 02 and 2003 on Public Radio International.

Destination Freedom is sponsored in part by, Black and Read Books and Music, The Eulipions Fund of The Denver Foundation, and The Urban Spectrum.

This radio show is also part of: Moving Toward Liberation: Freedom Riders Exhibit & Events:

The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library of the Denver Public Library invites you to join us for “Freedom Riders” a traveling exhibition developed by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in partnership with PBS’s flagship history series, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. Major funding for the traveling exhibit ion is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library will offer a variety of free programs to complement the exhibition, including Educator workshops, Teach-ins for students K-12 focused on anti-bullying education, a film series, a live radio drama and lectures/discussions with Jim Lawson, Freedom Rider and other experts. The exhibit will be open to the public from Wednesday November 2nd to Monday November 28th 2011 at Denver Public Library’s Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library. Please visit our website http://aarl.denverlibrary.org


James Lawson was a leading theoretician and tactician of nonviolence within the American Civil Rights Movement. He continues to be active in training activists in nonviolence. Lawson moved to Nashville, Tennessee and enrolled at the Divinity School of Vanderbilt University, where he served as the southern director for CORE and began conducting nonviolence training workshops for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. While in Nashville, Lawson met and mentored a number of young students at Vanderbilt, Fisk University, and other area schools in the tactics of nonviolent direct action.[3] In Nashville, Lawson trained many of the future leaders of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, among them Diane Nash, James Bevel, Bernard Lafayette, Marion Barry, and John Lewis. In 1959 and 1960 these and other Lawson-trained activists launched the Nashville sit-ins to challenge segregation in downtown stores. Along with activists from Atlanta, Georgia and elsewhere in the South, they formed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in April 1960.

Lawson's students played a leading role in the Open Theater Movement, the Freedom Rides, the 1963 March on Washington, Mississippi Freedom Summer the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, the 1963 Birmingham Children's Crusade, the 1965 Selma Voting Rights Movement, and the 1966 Chicago Open Housing Movement over the next few years.

Lawson's expulsion from Vanderbilt as a result of these activities became one of the celebrated incidents of the era and eventually a source of deep embarrassment to the university. During the 2006 graduation ceremony Vanderbilt apologized for its treatment of Lawson; he is now a member of its faculty.

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