Paul M. Gaston, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Virginia, captivated a large audience with his guest lecture on the Civil Rights Movement on Wednesday, September 24. Focusing his lecture around the theme “how you bring about change,” Gaston used the University of Virginia as his primary example and also included personal anecdotes on the process of integration in the Charlottesville community. This session incorporated question and answer periods following each part of the lecture.
“Each year the cadre of protesting students was enlarged,” Gaston recalls. “And I think it was enlarged because there were students who in high school had been watching television, and they’d been watching the white Southerners, and some white Northerners too, express with crow bars, burnings, everything horrible about the nature of the opposition to integration. And they began to think at home that this isn’t right. Something ought to be done about it.”