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Fighting for Freedom: Labor and Civil Rights in the American South Exhibit Opening

Fighting for Freedom: Labor and Civil Rights in the American South Exhibit Opening In-Person

The opening will feature a panel discussion on the 8th floor of Library South in Special Collections and Archives. The panel will be moderated by author and historian Dr. Maurice Hobson, Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Georgia State University. His latest book, The Legend of the Black Mecca: Politics and Class in the Making of Modern Atlanta, challenges the primary narrative of how the city’s power structure has treated poor and working-class Black Americans.

Our panelists are:

  • Eric Richardson, Executive Director of the Atlanta-North Georgia Labor Council, a coalition of sixty affiliated unions that advocates for workers’ rights and the welfare of their families throughout the state.
  • Deborah Scott, Chief Executive Officer of the Georgia Strategic Alliance for New Directions and Unified Policies, or Georgia STAND-UP, an alliance of community and labor activists dedicated to advancing equality and civil rights. Ms. Scott has been recognized by the Obama White House for her dedication to community-based organizing, which has had a significant impact on the lives of Georgians and all those living throughout the South.
  • Dr. Robert Woodrum, Associate Professor of History and Political Science at Georgia State University. Dr. Woodrum’s extensive research explores the tensions between race and labor through the lens of economic and technological changes in the South throughout the twentieth century.

The exhibit explores how labor unions and civil rights activists worked together to fight for the freedom of working people in the South. These advocates included famous leaders from prominent nationwide groups such as the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, but also local employees, union organizers, religious and community leaders, educators, students, and volunteers from across the South. The stories in this exhibit help demonstrate the powerful relationship between civil rights and economic freedom: we cannot have one without the other. 

Thursday, September 28, 2023
5:00pm - 7:00pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
Colloquium Room, Library South 8
Downtown Campus Library
  Events     Special Collections  
Registration has closed.

Event Organizer

Profile photo of Brittany Newberry
Brittany Newberry

Brittany serves as the curator of the music and popular culture collections held in Special Collections & Archives including the Johnny Mercer Collection. In this role, she acquires and preserves materials documenting 20th-century and 21st-century American music and culture, makes them available for research, and provides outreach to university, scholarly, and local communities.