Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hartford and the Modern Civil Rights Movement: Old State House Conversation at Noon – Tuesday, Feb. 25th

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For Immediate Release

                                                                                                                 February 12, 2014
                                                                                                                 Contact: William A. Bevacqua
                                                                                                                 (860) 246-1553, ext. 107


Hartford and the Modern Civil Rights Movement: The Ties that Bind, 1943-1968
Old State House Conversation at Noon – Tuesday, Feb. 25th

Hartford, CT –History, when closely examined, is almost always more about evolution than revolution.  When contemplating the history of civil rights in the U.S., nearly everyone recognizes the stories of Rosa Parks,  Jim Crow lunch counters and the “Little Rock Nine” as shaping our national conversation on racism and equality.  But even as our collective attention was focused on the March on Washington and school integration by National Guard, Hartford and cities like it across the nation were busy making contributions of their own to the groundswell that ultimately defined the American Civil Rights movement.   On January 22, 2014, Connecticut’s Old State House will explore the story of how Connecticut’s capital city helped change the world in the modern civil rights era during its latest Conversations at Noon lunchtime program. 

The historic site of the Amistad captives’ trial provides an ideal backdrop for a fascinating look by Dr. Stacey Close of Eastern Connecticut State University at Black Hartford and the Modern Civil Rights Movement.   In the 1950’s and 60’s while Americans were sitting-in and marching, individuals like Rev. Dr. John Jackson and organizations such as the state’s Inter-Racial Commission, the NAACP, and the Black Panthers were stirring citizens in Hartford to fight for their rights.  Following Dr. Close’s talk, the Connecticut Network’s Diane Smith will moderate a discussion on how the movement changed the state, and on today’s continuing struggle for equal rights.   Close will be joined on the panel by Dr. Benjamin Foster, Jr., educator and author of When The People Speak: Selected Words on Life in the African American Experience, and Dr. Anne-Marie Adams, founder and editor of The Hartford Guardian and author of the upcoming book, The Origins of Sheff v. O'Neill: The Troubled Legacy of School Segregation in Connecticut. 

Program-goers are invited to bring lunch, join the conversation enjoy this free one-hour program, beginning at noon.   This program is co-sponsored with Connecticut Explored, the magazine of Connecticut history and funded by Connecticut Humanities.

 Located in Hartford just minutes from the Connecticut Science Center, Wadsworth Athenaeum and the riverfront, Connecticut’s Old State House invites visitors of all ages to discover that their voices matter, and that words, ideas, persuasion and debate really can change minds – and, quite possibly, the world.  The building served as the Constitution State’s original seat of government from 1796 to 1878. For more information on admission prices, upcoming events and parking discounts nearby, become a fan of Connecticut’s Old State House on Facebook, follow us on Twitter at or visit us online at