Frederick Douglass Library brings black history to life

  • Wednesday, January 23, 2013

    Frederick Douglass Library brings history to life

    Maryland ClassicThe Frederick Douglass Library adds to the university's Black History Month offerings in February with an exhibit, two lectures and a read-in for students.

    "UMES Drama Productions Through the Decades," opens with a reception on Monday, Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. in the Jessie Cottman Smith Exhibit Room.  The collection of photos and memorabilia "revisits the early days of the Princess Anne College Dramatic Aces Club to the present UMES Drama Society productions," said Jennifer Neumyer, special collections and outreach librarian.  Visitors, she said, can take a "behind the scenes" look at the history, the images and the props. 

     The show will remain on display through May 9.  Special Collection hours are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Evening hours are by request.

    The first lecture, "Roots of the Morgan State vs. UMES Rivalry," takes place at 3:30 p.m. in the library's auditorium on Thursday, Feb. 14.  Local historian Eric Jodlbauer explores the historic ties between the two schools starting with the founding of UMES as a preparatory school to Morgan.

    Jodlbauer will discuss the "roots of the athletic rivalry as it evolved through the political rivalry."  He will cover "its genesis in 1948, when the schools played two games, to the solidification of the annual athletic rivalry during the 1957 Maryland Classic."  In more recent history, he will touch on the 1973-74 basketball season, where both schools shared the regular season title and UMES "ultimately defeated Morgan in the MEAC tournament and was invited to the National Invitational Tournament."

    "Civil War on Race Street:  The Civil Rights Movement in Cambridge, Md," is the second lecture scheduled on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 12:30 p.m.  Peter Levy, who holds a doctorate from Columbia University and a bachelor's from the University of California, Berkeley, is the guest lecturer.  Levy has written numerous publications on the civil rights movement. 

    Levy will lecture on the movement in the Dorchester County town which he describes as "home of one of the most vibrant locally-based struggles for racial equality in the United States."  The movement, he said, catalyzed by the arrival of the freedom riders in 1962, expanded in '63 and '64 under the leadership of Gloria Richardson.  He describes her as "one of the most prominent and one of the few female civil rights leaders in the nation."

    Students can enjoy the African-American Read-In on Tuesday, Feb. 26, from 8 a.m. to midnight.  The featured book is "the Warmth of Other Suns" by Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson.   The book explores the decades-long migration of blacks fleeing the South in search of a better life in cities to the north and west.  Books from other black authors are also available.  Prizes will be awarded.

    Call 410-651-7696 for more information on events at the Frederick Douglass Library.