The Jesse B. Semple Brownbag is an informal forum for the African Americanist community and those who are interested in the general study of race, culture, and American society. It offers opportunities for visiting scholars, KU faculty, and KU students to present their ongoing research. The forum discusses activities on campus, historical and current issues related to race, and culture and social relations in America.
Langston Hughes in Memory and Context
This program, created in conjunction with the Kenneth Spencer Research Library’s Kansas Collection, is designed for primary and secondary students. The students visit the University of Kansas or we send a representative to their school to discuss Langston Hughes and the African American experience in Kansas.
In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson told the nation that it was time to “make good the promise of democracy.” He insisted it was not just African Americans, but “all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And,” he assured his listeners, “we shall overcome.” It is difficult for many Americans today to understand just how astounding it was to hear an American president, a Southerner no less, say those words. The on-going struggle for civil rights in this country has been an intersection of direct-action protest, legal litigation, and government intervention. This seminar will explore the road to Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and the fight for social and political equality in the years before the modern Civil Rights Movement. Participants will learn about this struggle at the Brown v. Board of Education National Park Service site, one of the five locations for the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court decision, and at the Presidential Libraries of both Eisenhower and Truman, who were uniquely involved in the road to Brown. At all of the sites the participants will get a unique opportunity to gather both secondary and primary material to create their lesson plans.
This unique seminar, designed for secondary teachers and community college professors, is a joint effort with the Glilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the LHC.