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USM Celebrates Black History Month

President Johnson signing Civil Rights Act of 1964

This event has been cancelled due to the predicted storm.

USM’s History and Political Science Department will host the panel discussion and presentations, “Contesting and Celebrating Citizenship: Commemorating the Civil Rights Act of 1964” in celebration of Black History Month. The free, public event will begin with a 6 p.m., reception, followed by the program at 6:30 p.m., on Thursday, February 13, in the University Events Room, 7th floor, Glickman Family Library, Portland campus.

The event will feature presentations by Hugh MacMahon, Maine attorney and author, and Leroy Rowe, University of Southern Maine assistant professor of African American history and political science. Eric Blanchard, public information director for Poor People’s Campaign; Eileen Eagan, USM associate professor of history; and Ida Gammon-Wilson, co-chair, African American Collection Advisory Committee will participate in a panel discussion.  

“My hope is to be able to explain the African-American experience as central to the American experience, as African-Americans struggled to achieve citizenship, equality and inclusion,” said event organizer Leroy Rowe.

The event’s participants also will highlight the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act signed by President Lyndon Johnson and how Maine was in the vanguard of recognizing African-Americans as voting citizens before the Civil War. In addition, participants will discuss how the civil rights movement has benefitted women and American society and share their personal reminiscences about the fight for freedom during the 1960s.

The event is presented by the USM Department of History and Political Science, under the USM College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. It also is sponsored by USM Multicultural Student Affairs, USM Women and Gender Studies Program and USM Faculty Commons.