THIBODAUX — Nicholls State University’s Ellender Memorial Library will host the traveling exhibit, “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863, and the March on Washington, 1963,” beginning Tuesday, Nov. 4, in the library’s archives.
The exhibit, which will be on display through Dec. 15, examines the relationship between two major human rights movements in America: The acts of resistance, organized rebellions and political pressure that resulted in President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, which ordered the freedom of enslaved individuals in the United States, and the March on Washington for civil rights in 1963, which eventually led to bills that outlawed segregation and discrimination in employment and voting. Both grew out of decades of bold actions, resistance, organization, and vision. One hundred years separate them, yet they are linked in a larger story of liberty and the American experience – one that has had a profound impact on the generations that followed.
The library is sponsoring several free programs in association with the exhibit. All speaking events will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the library’s multipurpose room on the third floor.
Tuesday, Nov. 4: Author Lynette Ater Tanner will present on her book, “Chained to the Land: Voices from Cotton & Cane Plantations,” with an opening reception to follow in the Library’s archives.
Wednesday, Nov. 5: Dr. Keith Finley, assistant director for the Center For Southeast Louisiana Studies and instructor of history at Southeastern Louisiana University, will speak about civil rights.
Thursday, Nov. 6: Nicholls adjunct history instructor Jared Wells will speak about the PBS documentary film, “Slavery by Another Name,” based on the seminal book of the same name by Douglas A. Blackmon.
Tuesday, Nov. 11: Dr. Paul Wilson, head of the Nicholls Department of History and Geography, will speak on the African-American experience during World War I and World War II.
The exhibit is being presented by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History in collaboration with the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The exhibition is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and is part of NEH’s Bridging Cultures initiative, “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle,” which brings four outstanding films on the civil rights movement to communities across the United States. For more information, visit createdequal.neh.gov.