“This is 5/5 crazy.” Students protest Emory’s SCLC exhibit opening
Feb 23, 2013Rebecca BurnsComments
As attendees made their method to last night’s opening reception for “And the Struggle Continues,” an exhibit showcasing the Southern Christian Leadership Conference papers located at Emory College, they passed greater than four dozen student and school protestors. Lining the circular foyer around the third-floor landing from the Woodruff Library, the demonstrators quietly presented a thicket of placards-“We are Emory,” “We are sorry,” “I deserve 5/5 respect,” “Ethics isn’t a brand,” “This is 5/5 crazy.” The SCLC items provided a simple example: photos of Rev. Frederick Lowery having a bullhorn, Andrew Youthful walking a picket line, signs from 1968’s Resurrection City.
“Civil legal rights isn’t a photo op,” mentioned the poster held by one youthful Emory dissenter.
There is, obviously, no better photo op than that protestor themself to cap off per week that began with social networking outcry over Emory president James Wagner’s tin-eared (to place it charitably) column stating the 3-Fifths Compromise to illustrate settlement, peaked with faculty voting to censure him, and ended with this particular fraught-with-irony affair. (For any detailed account from the event, which incorporated speeches by civil legal rights symbols John Lewis, Dorothy Cotton, and Bernard Lafayette, browse the Emory Wheel’s coverage here and find out the brand new You are able to Occasions slideshow here.)
It’s been a tumultuous year in the school, beginning with broad program cuts introduced immediately after the beginning of the autumn semester and ongoing with the current debate. Granted, my perspective is hardly objective: I’m an adjunct instructor in Emory’s cutting up-block-slated journalism program, so that as a journalist and author my focus is civil legal rights and Southern history.
After I found educate only at that campus-using its status as blandly conservative highlighting on apathetic-the final factor I was expecting ended up being to witness protestors rallying within the quad and staging sit-ins within the administration buildng, professors leading demos, and students adopting sixties protest tactics (combined with the requisite millennial Facebook pages and Tumblrs).
As the occasions happen to be disheartening-within the latest situation, completely distressing-it’s been encouraging to determine that within this idyllic campus in the middle of Druid Hillsides, the spirit of protest is not extinguished. And it is been incredibly rewarding to determine budding journalists, together with a couple of of my former students, set of the proceedings with enterprise and integrity.
But why not a couple of years lower the street? Most of the slashed programs have been in the liberal arts. Will the school and students within the programs that remain have a similar desire for advocacy and freedom of expression? And talking about that, with no journalism program, who definitely are educated to set of the alterations that, inevitably, may happen?
P.S. The occasions of yesterday naturally overshadowed the outlet from the exhibit itself, but you want to do your favor and visit it. The display runs through December 1 and offers a enticing sample from the riches within the almost 1,000 straight line-feet SCLC collection-acquired in 2007 and opened up to scientists last summer time-which documents the numerous areas of the pivotal civil legal rights organization, particularly its publish-MLK years.