Fifty years ago the Civil Rights Movement altered forever the Jim Crow face of America. Led by young people, it was a mass popular uprising that gave birth to a range of social and political movements that still shape and affect our politics to this day. Now, 50 years on, it is appropriate for those of us whose boots were on the ground in the 1960s to look back with the perspective of decades and frankly assess with each other how we make sense of what we did & experienced, what we accomplished, where we failed, what it means for today, and how our lives were shaped by that struggle.
On Saturday, April 5th, 2014, Bay Area Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement invites veterans of the Southern Freedom Movement to gather in Oakland CA for an all-day session where we will break into discussion groups small enough that everyone can equally participate in frank discussions. This will not be a public event. It will just be us, we whose boots were on the ground. No reporters, no academics, no one we need to impress or motivate. There will be no keynote address, no position papers, no panel presentations. *And no attempt at any group resolution.*
All veterans of the Southern Freedom Movement who worked in any of the southern states, any years, any organizations, any projects are invited to participate.
Each group discussion will be audio-recorded, and transcriptions will later be posted in the "Discussions" section of the CRMVets website for scholars, researchers and the public. All participants will be able to review, amend, delete, or expand any portion of their own comments before the transcript is posted.
Our tentative schedule currently looks like this:
930-1015 Arrive, mingle, coffee tea & pastries 1015-1115 Singing, roll call, intro & explanation of process 1115-115 Small groups — Evaluation of the Freedom Movement
What was achieved?
What did we fail to achieve?
What did it all mean?
115-215 Lunch & break (nap?) 215-230 Singing 230-430 Small groups — How did our participation affect us?
Why did we participate?
What did it mean for us?
How did it change us?
430-530 Remembrances of absent brothers & sisters.
We have secured an excellent venue in downtown Oakland that is 3 blocks from a BART station and one block from $3-a day parking lots (cash-only). It is wheelchair accessible. We will be providing refreshments and lunch. This is a free event, though we'll be asking for voluntary donations to help cover expenses.
Please RSVP by replying to this email if you wish to participate. The location and other information will only be sent to those who RSVP. If you're not certain that health or finances will permit you to attend, please RSVP anyway and indicate that you'll participate if possible. (Unfortunately, we have no funds to defray transportation costs.)
Bay Area Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement