C-SPAN to Film Library’s Civil Rights Program Focusing on Wallace and the Birmingham Freedom Struggle, September 9

When a C-SPAN camera crew arrives on site at the Birmingham Public Library on September 9, it will mark the fourth time this year the station has made a stop to film at the historic Linn Henley Research Library. This commemorative year has provided a perfect setting for staff to coordinate programs to encourage remembrance, reflection and discourse—and the programming has caught the attention of national media. With financial support provided by the Rita C. Kimerling Family Fund, the Birmingham Public Library Archives will host a panel discussion by three eminent historians examining Governor George Wallace’s role in Birmingham’s civil rights struggle and Wallace’s continuing influence on American politics and race relations today. The discussion entitled In Birmingham They Love the Gov’nor: George Wallace, Birmingham and Beyond begins at 6:00 p.m. in the Richard Arrington Auditorium of the Central Library located at 2100 Park Place. This program is free and open to the public. C-SPAN is filming the program for later broadcast on American History TV.

In support of Birmingham’s 50th Commemoration of the civil rights movement, the Birmingham Public Library has provided more than 60 public programs and special exhibitions at its 19 library locations around the City. “Our staff began planning many of our programs in January of 2012 in order to make certain that we took advantage of our Summer Reading opportunities this year,” stated Library Director Renee Blalock. “Actually, our public programs focusing on the 50th Commemoration began in September of 2012 when we hosted a number of viewings of a documentary about Mr. James Armstrong. The programs have all been engaging and well attended—and there are more to come.”

For more information, contact Jim Baggett by phone at (205) 226-3631 or by e-mail at jbaggett@bham.lib.al.us.

The panelists:

Dr. Dan T. Carter has served as a professor and visiting scholar at Emory University, the University of Maryland, the University of Wisconsin, London's Westminster University, Cambridge University, the University of Genoa and the University of South Carolina. His book Scottsboro: a Tragedy of the American South won the Bancroft Prize and the Lillian Smith Award. He is the author of the highly regarded biography The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism, and the Transformation of American Politics.

Dr. Glenn T. Eskew is professor of history at Georgia State University. He is author of the book But For Birmingham: The Local and National Movements in the Civil Rights Struggle, which received the Francis Butler Simkins Prize of the Southern Historical Association, and the forthcoming book Johnny Mercer: Southern Songwriter for the World.

Dr. Angela K. Lewis is professor of political science in the Department of Government at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is author of the new book Conservatism in the Black Community: To the Right and Misunderstood.