The 1963 Danville Civil Rights Movement

Danville Civil Rights exhibitThe Protests, the People, the Stories

From January 26 through April 9, the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center is hosting an exhibit on the 1963 Danville, Virginia civil rights movement—one of the most important but least known civil rights struggles in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The 1963 Danville Civil Rights Movement: The Protests, the People, the Stories gives personal accounts of the protests, violence, and protracted legal struggles that gripped Danville during the summer and fall of 1963. The exhibit explores the impact that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) had in that city.

“The history of the Danville civil rights movement is a statewide story, a national story, not simply a local story,” says Andrea Douglas, executive director of the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center.

The documentary exhibit features portraits of participants in the events of 1963 by Charlottesville photographer Tom Cogill and text panels by Emma Edmunds, a Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Fellow and principal researcher for the project. The display also includes text-and-photo panels on teachers in the movement, Dr. King and the SCLC in Virginia, and the white allies who stood with and supported the protesters.

The following programs will be held in conjunction with the exhibit:

Thursday March 24

7:00 pm: “Tales of Two Cities: The Civil Rights Movements in Danville and in Charlottesville.” Civil Rights participants from each city describe what characterized protests in their respective locales, comparing and contrasting strategies, tactics, and results.

Saturday April 2
1:00 pm: “Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Virginia.” Emma Edmunds, project researcher and director for the exhibit, will explore the campaign of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the SCLC in Danville and the rich history of Dr. King and the SCLC in Virginia.

The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center (233 4th Street NW, Charlottesville, VA 22903) is open Tuesday to Friday, 10 am to 6 pm, and Saturday, 10 am to 3 pm. For more information, visit their website or call 434-260-8720.

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