Past 2022 Programs

  • To commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and celebrate Black History Month, the Museum assembled a special series of civil rights-related oral histories: Voices from the Civil Rights Movement.   Represented in these interviews are the major civil rights organizations from the early 1960s, including the NAACP, Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). They also include powerful memories of several key moments of the Civil Rights Movement, including the Freedom Rides, March on Washington, Selma to Montgomery march and SCOPE Project (Summer Community Organizing and Political Education) organized by the SCLC.  

    Dr. Wornie Reed 

    As a student at Alabama State University, Reed took part in the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955-56. After moving to Washington, D.C., he participated in the 1963 March on Washington and the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign and became active with SNCC and the Black Power movement. Reed was acquainted with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for several years and attended his funeral in Atlanta.   Watch on YouTube  

    Jennifer Lawson 

    A former PBS programming executive, Lawson grew up near Birmingham, Alabama, and was first arrested during a civil rights march in May 1963. She eventually left Tuskegee University to become a full-time field secretary for SNCC. Working in Lowndes County, Alabama, Lawson helped create a series of comic books and billboards to promote voter education in 1966.   Watch on YouTube  

    Dr. David Fankhauser 

    While attending Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, Fankhauser became a civil rights Freedom Rider and was arrested in Jackson, Mississippi, in May 1961. He was incarcerated in a state penitentiary for forty-two days alongside fellow activist Stokely Carmichael.   Watch on YouTube  

    Betty Daniels Rosemond 

    While attending high school in New Orleans, Rosemond met Dr. King and became locally active with CORE. As a CORE Freedom Rider in 1961, she nearly lost her life to a mob during a stop in Poplarville, Mississippi. Rosemond participated in several non-violent protests in the early 1960s and was arrested during a restaurant sit-in in Alexandria, Virginia.   Watch on YouTube  

    Thomas M. Armstrong 

    As a student at Tougaloo College in Mississippi from 1959 to 1963, Armstrong was active in civil rights demonstrations and voter registration drives. He worked with NAACP activist Medgar Evers and participated in the 1961 Freedom Rides. Armstrong is the author of Autobiography of a Freedom Rider: My Life as a Foot Soldier for Civil Rights (2011).   Watch on YouTube  

    Maria Gitin 

    As a student at San Francisco State College, Gitin spent the summer of 1965 participating in the SCOPE project of the SCLC. She is the author of This Bright Light of Ours: Stories from the Voting Rights Fight (2014).   Watch on YouTube  

    Lynda Blackmon Lowery 

    An Alabama native dedicated to civil rights since childhood, Lowery was arrested nine times prior to her fifteenth birthday. After being brutally beaten in Selma on “Bloody Sunday,” March 7, 1965, she was the youngest among the 300 civil rights activists to complete the five-day, 54-mile march from Selma to Montgomery. Lowery is author of the award-winning children’s book, Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom (2015).   Watch on YouTube    
  •   Museum members are invited to join the Museum for an evening with Mark Updegrove to celebrate the publication of his new book, Incomparable Grace: JFK in the Presidency.   6:00 P.M. | Reception 6:30 P.M. | Program | Mark Updegrove in conversation with Nicola Longford, CEO of The Sixth Floor Museum   Complimentary self-parking available in Parking Lot A. Attendees receive a signed copy of Incomparable Grace.   Please reply by Wednesday, April 20 to   Want to attend but aren't a member yet? Join today!  
    ABOUT INCOMPARABLE GRACE   Nearly sixty years after his death, JFK still holds an outsize place in the American imagination. While Baby Boomers remember his dazzling presence as president, millennials more likely know him from advertisements for Omega watches or Ray Ban sunglasses. Yet his years in office were marked by more than his style and elegance. His presidency is a story of a fledgling leader forced to meet unprecedented challenges, and to rise above missteps to lead his nation into a new and hopeful era.   Kennedy entered office inexperienced but alluring, his reputation more given by an enamored public than earned through achievement. In this gripping new assessment of his time in the Oval Office, Updegrove reveals how JFK’s first months were marred by setbacks: the botched Bay of Pigs invasions, a disastrous summit with the Soviet premier and a mismanaged approach to the Civil Rights movement. But the young president soon proved that behind the glamour was a leader of uncommon fortitude and vision.   A humbled Kennedy conceded his mistakes, and, importantly for our times, drew important lessons from his failures that he used to right wrongs and move forward undaunted. Indeed, Kennedy grew as president, radiating greater possibility as he coolly faced a steady stream of crises before his tragic end.   Incomparable Grace compellingly reexamines the dramatic, consequential White House years of a flawed but gifted leader too often defined by the Camelot myth that came after his untimely death.