|Black History Month Event Features Former Soldiers and Panther Leader
January 08, 2013
|An African-American GI in World War II eliminates the insignia of the Reich from a German train.
Davidson's Black History Month commemmoration continues on Monday, February 18, with a panel discussion titled "African Americans in Post-Nazi Germany and Nixon's United States." Several African American guests who were former GIs will tell their stories, as will the former head of the Black Panthers in Winston-Salem, Larry Little. The event begins at 7 p.m. in the Alvarez College Union atrium.
Another highlight of the commemmoration is an exhibition of photographs and videos organized aroud the theme,"The Civil Rights Struggle, African American GI's and Germany." It has toured throughout Germany and the United States, and will be on display in the Brown Atrium of the Alvarez College Union until March 1.
The exhibition includes photographic prints, written reflections, and multimedia displays about the role that African Americans played in extending the Civil Rights Movement outside the U.S. -- especially to West Germany. It demonstrates how civil rights and Black Power activists used white America's condemnation of Nazi racism to expose and indict America's own Jim Crow laws, arguing that "separate" can never be "equal."
The exhibition also illuminates the extensive anti-imperialist and anti-fascist collaboration between African American activists -- especially in the Black Panther Party -- and members of the West German New Left. The exhibition received the Julius E. Williams Distinguished Community Service Award from the NAACP.
The exhibition grew out of a research project by Vassar College Professor of History Maria Höhn and Heidelberg Center for American Studies Associate Researcher Martin Klimke. Höhn will visit Davidson to present the exhibition's opening lecture on Tuesday, February 5.
"Many are not aware that African Americans fought in Germany from the mid-1940s (with the army in WWII) to the 1970s and beyond (with the Black Panthers and the German SDS against the Vietnam War)." said Davidson Associate Professor of History Thomas Pegelow Kaplan. "They served abroad during the Civil Rights Movement at home. The irony was that African American soldiers fighting for democracy overseas in many cases had more freedom than African Americans in America."
Pegelow Kaplan, who is organizing Davidson's Black History month events with fellow faculty members and students, plans to highlight the magnitude of the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Movement. "These movements were a significant period in history in places as local as the Davidson campus and Charlotte, but also around the world," he said. "It is important to remember the struggles of these people and what they fought for so we can continue to combat racism locally and globally today."
|Angela Davis (l) became interested in German philosophy, studied in Germany in 1965-1967, and was supported by many Germans through her imprisonment in America in 1970.
Angela Davis will present two public talks on campus on Tuesday, Feb. 12 -- one of which concerns the exhibition. At 5 p.m. in the Alvarez College Union Smith 900 Room she will lead a discussion titled "Black Panthers and African American GIs in West Germany in the 1960s and 1970s." Her keynote talk on "Political Activism and Protest from the 1960s to the Age of Obama" will begin at 8 p.m. in Duke Family Performance Hall.
The 8 p.m. talk is open to the public, but no tickets remain in the Duke Family Performance Hall. Howver, the talk will be simulcast into the Alvarez College Union Smith 900 room, and viewers may take a seat in that venue with no ticket necessary, and at no charge.
All other Black History Month events do not require a ticket. The event series is , cosponsored by the Black Student Coalition, The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, the Education Department, the Ethnic Studies Concentration, the German Department, the History Department, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Public Lectures Committee, the Sociology Department and the Vann Center for Ethics. For information on any of the events, call 704-894-2284.
The following lists dates, times and places for all of Davison's public Black History Month events:
• Monday, Feb. 4 - March 1
All day and evening in the Alvarez College Union Brown Atrium
The exhibition "The Civil Rights Struggle, African American GIs, and Germany."
• Tuesday, Feb. 5
11 a.m. in the Alvarez College Union Smith 900 Room
A Common Hour podium panel discussion on "Racism and Civil Rights Struggles in Davidson." Panelists include local activist Tony Abbott, Joe Howell '64, Leslie Brown '68 (the College's first African American student), and former Davidson President John Kuykendall.
• Tuesday, Feb. 5
7:30 p.m. in the Alvarez College Union Smith 900 Room
Professor Maria Hoehn presents the opening lecture for the exhibit "The Civil Rights Struggle, African American GIs, and Germany"
• Wednesday, Feb. 6
4 p.m. in Chambers Building Baxter Davidson Room
A Civic Engagement Council Justice Dialogue on social activism co-led by Associate Professor of Sociology Jessica Taft, members of the Black Student Coalition, and the Civic Engagement Council.
• Thursday, Feb. 7
7 p.m., in the Alvarez College Union Smith 900 Room.
Screening of the film, The Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975, and presentation on "Who is Angela Davis? The Woman, the Activist, the Myth," sponsored by the Black Student Coalition.
• Tuesday, Feb. 12
5 p.m., Alvarez College Union Smith 900 Room.
A podium discussion featuring renowned political activist and Professor Angela Davis speaking on "Black Panthers and African American GIs in West Germany in the 1960s and 1970s."
• Tuesday, Feb. 12
8 p.m. in Duke Family Performance Hall
Keynote talk by Professor Angela Davis on "Political Activism and Protest from the 1960s to the Age of Obama."
• Monday, Feb. 18
7 p.m. in the Alvarez College Union Brown Atrium
A panel discussion on "African Americans in Post-Nazi Germany and Nixon's United States." Panelists will include Larry Little, former leader of the Black Panther Party chapter in Winston-Salem, and African American WW II veteran Ross Walker.
• Wednesday, Feb. 20,
7 p.m. in the Alvarez College Union Sprinkle Room
"1967-72 Revolts in Film: Competing Representations in West Germany and
the United States." Screening and discussion of clips from films on the student and youth revolts, introductions by Professor of German Maggie McCarthy, Assistant Professor of Sociology Jessica Taft, and Associate Professor of History Thomas Pegelow Kaplan.
Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,900 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages, giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding Honor Code is central to student life at the college.