“The Voting Rights Act at 50,” by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee 1960's activists Judy Richardson and Charlie Cobb
On April 30, 2015, civil rights activists Judy Richardson and Charles Cobb spoke at UMass Lowell about their involvement in the struggle for civil rights and voting rights as part of UMass Lowell’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.
A documentary filmmaker and civil rights activist, Judy Richardson was Distinguished Visiting Lecturer of Africana Studies at Brown University and is a visiting scholar at Duke University. A veteran of the southern Civil Rights Movement and staffer with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) from 1963 to 1966: in Maryland; Mississippi, during 1964 Freedom Summer; and in Georgia and Alabama, she ran the office for Julian Bond’s successful first campaign for the Georgia legislature; co-founded Drum & Spear Bookstore in Washington, D.C., then the country's largest African American bookstore; and was Director of Information for the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice. She worked on the Academy Award-nominated, 14-hour PBS series, Eyes on the Prize. She is a leading scholar with the SNCC Legacy Project and co- author of Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC (2012).
A journalist, professor, and former SNCC activist, Charles Cobb is a senior analyst at allAfrica.com, and was a visiting professor at Brown University and Duke University. After joining the sit-in movement during his freshman year at Howard University in 1961, in 1962, Cobb worked as a field secretary for SNCC in the Mississippi Delta. As a SNCC field secretary he conceptualized and proposed the Freedom School program for the 1964 Freedom Summer. He is the author of This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible (2014). He began his journalism career in 1974 as a reporter for WHUR Radio in Washington, D.C. In 1976 he joined the staff of National Public Radio as a foreign affairs reporter, bringing to that network its first regular coverage of Africa. From 1985 to 1997, Cobb was a National Geographic staff member, traveling the globe to write stories on places from Eritrea to Russia's Kuril Islands.
“The Voting Rights Act at 50,” by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee 1960s activists Judy Richardson and Charlie Cobb. Recorded on April 30, 2015, at UMass Lowell.
On Monday, April 27, 2015, from 4-6 p.m. in the department common area of Dugan 106, the History Department will sponsor an informal reception to honor graduating seniors. Seniors and their families, as well as department faculty and all History majors, are welcome to attend. Pizza will be available. Some prizes and scholarships will be announced. Senior Bernard Trubowicz will be the student master of ceremonies.
On Wednesday, April 29, 2015, from 5-7 p.m., the River Hawk Shop at University Crossing, 220 Pawtucket St, will host a book launch for professor Shehong Chen's new book, "Daughter of Good Fortune: A Twentieth-Century Chinese Peasant Memoir" from University of Washington Press. Copies will be available for sale and signing by the author; please join the History Department and other co-sponsors of this celebration! (Details for this event can be found on the History Department home page under "Events"; details on the book can be found below on this page under "Faculty").
On June 1, 2015, professor Robert Forrant will receive the Massachusetts Endowment for the Humanities 2015 Massachusetts History Commendation, in recognition of his work on the centennial celebration of the 1912 Bread & Roses Strike in Lawrence as well as his involvement in numerous public humanities programs over the years. The commendation points out that Forrant "has done outstanding work to make Massachusetts history more accessible and relevant to the people of the Commonwealth."
Throughout the spring 2015 semester, the History Department will play a major role in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Events include a photo exhibition, a film series, a set of concerts, a pair of lectures, and a day-without-violence, as well as student projects in Graphic Arts, Music, and Creative Writing. Details at: http://www.uml.edu/FAHSS/VRA-Commemoration.aspx
In Spring 2015 the History Department expects to offer two Study Abroad scholarships to History majors in the amount of $400 each, for use in the summer or fall of 2015. Details are available from Chair Lisa Edwards.
On March 12, 2015, the History Department co-sponsored the 2015 Zamanakos Lecture in Hellenic Studies, which featured a lecture by Prof. Jonathan M. Hall of the University of Chicago, on the topic of "Hellenic Homelands: The Greek Diaspora, Ancient and Modern." The talk, followed by a reception, occurred at 5 pm at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center. For more information, see www.uml.edu/hellenic-studies.
On March 5-6, 2015, the History Department hosted three external reviewers as part of the AQAD process that occurs every seven years. The Department has prepared a comprehensive self-study that examines its teaching, scholarship, curriculum, service, and other topics. Details are available from Prof. Christopher Carlsmith, AQAD Chair.
Senior Megan Shea will be presenting a conference paper summarizing her research on the history of the non-profit organization Save Venice, Inc., at the April 18, 2015 annual meeting of the New England Historical Association (NEHA) at Worcester State. Fabiane Kelley co-organized an exhibition in December 2015 about the history of immigration in Lowell, attended by more than 300 people at a gala reception. Under the supervision of Prof. Robert Forrant, Kelley plumbed the archives of the International Institute in Lowell to find stories of recently-arrived immigrants in Greater Lowell.
Patrick Young has recently been named the North American editor for the scholarly journal "Modern and Contemporary France." Jonathan Liebowitz (emeritus) has recently published a book chapter: "The French Parliamentary Inquiry of 1884: A Response to Multiple Crises" in The Golden Age of State Enquiries: Rural Enquiries in the Nineteenth Century," edited by Nadine Vivier (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers, 2014). Chad Montrie delivered the Gottshcalk Lecture at the University of Louisville on March 26, 2015. Titled "Hidden in Plain View," Montrie's talk examines the various means and warped justifications whites used to exclude blacks from thousands of towns and suburbs across the United States during the twentieth century. It also considers how this past racism continues to mark local geography, shape social social institutions, and condition our relationships with one another. Details at http://louisville.edu/history/the-2015-gottschalk-lecture. Christopher Carlsmith presented a paper exploring conflict between Spanish and Italian university students in 17th-century Bologna, at the annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America in Berlin on March 27-29, 2015. Details at http://convention2.allacademic.com/one/rsa/rsa15/. Carlsmith has also been invited to speak at an international conference in Bologna, Italy on May 6-8, 2015, sponsored by the Department of Pedagogy and Childhood Studies at the university there.
Robert Forrant co-edited a book in 2014, The Great Lawrence Textile Strike of 1912: New Scholarship on the Bread & Roses Strike. As detailed in a UMass Lowell News story of Dec. 12, 2014, Forrant worked closely with a pair of UMass Lowell history majors, each of whom published a chapter based upon their own primary source research. Details at: http://www.uml.edu/News/stories/2014/Alumni-Forrant-Book.aspx. In January 2015, Forrant was nominated for the Martin Luther King Award by the Multicultural Affairs office of UMass Lowell, for his tireless work on behalf of the local communities in Lowell and Lawrence.
Shehong Chen published her new book, "Daughter of Good Fortune: A Twentieth-Century Chinese Peasant Memoir" in the spring of 2015. It tells the story of her mother, Chen Huiqin during China’s tumultuous twentieth century; she witnessed the Communist Revolution in 1949, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and the Reform era, as well as China’s recent ascent as a world power. Details at http://faculty.uml.edu/shehong_chen/Research/DaughterofGood.aspx.