Landmarks of the Civil Rights Movement
Creating this Display: Honoring the Complexity of "Civil Rights Landmarks"
In 2006, the MLK Planning Committee created a display of Civil Rights Landmarks which is displayed in the Usdan University Center the week before the daylong celebration. The committee is interested in adding additional displays and invites Wesleyan University students, faculty, and staff to submit ideas of events that they feel are significant to the Civil Rights movement. Please contact the Office of Student Activities & Leadership Development for more information.
The creation of this display, by a group of six staff members, was a very difficult process for several reasons. With limited resources and physical space, there was no way we could honor the vast complexity of what might be meant by “Civil Rights Landmarks.” We discussed many questions, often not coming up with solid answers. Were we looking at, in conjuncture with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the civil rights movement for African Americans, or other marginalized groups as well? Were we looking at what is commonly called the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, being that which focused on disenfranchisement and segregation of African Americans, primarily in Southern states between 1954-1968? Or were we looking at a broader conception of civil rights starting before the founding of this country and continuing even today? Should we focus on major well known events, or lesser known ones in the hopes that people would learn something new? Should we focus on events, organizations, or people?
We explored websites, videos and books and we generated a long list of potential topics, choosing ones which seemed to balance the questions above, giving weight to each potential side of the questions. We recognize fully that these are but a few snapshots of the immense time and effort, loss and pain, triumph and joy, heroines and heroes whom have sought to make our world a more just and equitable place for all. Each of us learned a great deal and went on our own journey through this process. We hope that through experiencing this display, you will learn something new, think about something in a different way and, most importantly, question something about what you thought you knew and think about how we can each continue to create civil rights landmarks in our own time.
Existing Poster Displays