Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Wichita NAACP to launch a new "Black History is American History" initiative

Weekly Black History Presentations dealing with various under-reported areas of American History will be Free and open to the Public

Last Friday marked 47 years since the infamous "stand in the schoolhouse door" of then Governor George Wallace. He had pledged to fight any effort to integrate the University of Alabama, even if that meant that he'd have to stand and block the doorway. June 11th, 1963, was that day. Two young African Americans, James Hood and Vivian Malone, were set to enroll... Governor Wallace called up the State Troopers and had them provide a perimeter to keep the Black students out. President Kennedy responded by federalizing the Alabama National Guard to provide security and to escort the two young students; thus staging the only stand-off of American Forces outside of the Civil War. 

Here was the President of the United States and the Governor of a large State squaring off, each under arms with their own branch of law enforcement, wrestling over the implementation of a Supreme Court Decision. By ANY objective measure, this was a pivotal moment in our Democracy. Yet, this, and a thousand other moments that deal with our Nation's troubled history on Race are largely omitted from public school history/social studies curricula. You see, Vivian Malone and James Hood were both Black, therefore this isn't "History", this is "Black History" - relegated to a special "Black History Quiz" question in February, or a 'Saturday school', or church play...

We say NO MORE...

Beginning July 1st and running every Thursday evening through August 26th, the Wichita Branch NAACP and the Wichita NAACP Youth Council will host a series of weekly presentations on Black History. These presentations are intended to shed light on critical and pivitol moments in history and also to clearly demonstrate that "Black History" IS "American History".

Presenters will come from various fields and areas of expertise, each detailing the history, role, or siginificance of our History-makers or institutions.

Want to learn more about the Dockum Sit-In? Or maybe learn more about the history of Blacks and Education here in Kansas? Or perhaps you'd be interested in hearing more about the founding of the Divine 9 Black sororities and fraternities? Or maybe you'd like to learn more about Tulsa, or Tuskegee, or Nicodemus... Whatever your curiosity, this summer initiative is designed to educate and inspire.

So please come out and join us, beginning July 1st as we unveil our newest initiative. We welcome and encourage participants of all ages to come, learn, and dialolgue with us...

We are also accepting proposals for new presentations as well. If you have a piece of History you'd like to share, please Click HERE to contact us...

This initiative is a companion project to a full length presentation of the same name, currently being developed by the Wichita Branch NAACP Youth Council, to challenge school social studies curriculums to teach the fullness of our history in a comprehensive and chronological manner. So fasten you seatbelts... it's going to get exciting!

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