"Civil Rights: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Stories,” a presentation by Rick Bowers. Wednesday, September 15, 7:15 p.m., Heiser Auditorium, Kendal at Oberlin.
Rick Bowers, author of Spies of Mississippi: The True Story of the Spy Network that Tried To Destroy the Civil Rights Movement, is Director of Creative Initiatives at AARP, where he has worked with the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and the Library of Congress as Director of "Voices of Civil Rights," a multimedia project that gathered thousands of first-hand accounts of the Civil Rights Movement to form the world's largest archive of testimonials from that era. The resulting History Channel documentary won both Emmy and Peabody awards and the website Voices of Civil Rights won the prestigious Webby Award. His research documents the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, which spied on civil rights workers and worked to suppress the Civil Rights Movement.
"In the Face of Adversity: Oberlinians, Civil Rights, and State Spying in the 1960s,” a panel with Charles Butts, Delbert Spurlock, and Rick Bowers. Thursday, September 16, 4:30 p.m., Moffett Auditorium (Mudd 050), Mudd Center.
Oberlin native Charles Butts left Oberlin College in 1961 to join the Civil Rights Movement. He worked as community organizer in rural Tennessee to provide housing for African Americans who were evicted from their land when they registered to vote. From 1962 to 1964 he edited the Mississippi Free Press in Jackson, Mississippi. He was spied upon and investigated by the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission.
"Oberlinians, Civil Rights and the Spies of Mississippi," a panel with Charles Butts, Delbert Spurlock, and Rick Bowers. Thursday, September 16, 7:30 p.m., Oberlin Public Library meeting room.
Delbert Spurlock, Oberlinian and a member of the Oberlin College Class of 1963, also went to Mississippi to work for civil rights. He participated in the Freedom Rides and worked as a reporter for the Mississippi Free Press.