Unsung Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement

Date & Time: October 19, 2022, 5 p.m.
Location: Memorial Union, Pima Auditorium

Associate professor of history Curtis Austin, along with Matthew Barr, a professor at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, is collaborating on an oral history and book project titled “The Unsung Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement.” 

Austin and Barr already have conducted 40 interviews and hope to have nearly 200 oral histories available and archived on a website through ASU’s Hayden Library by Christmas, with the book published late in 2023. 

On Oct. 19, Austin will be joined by the Phoenix Boys Choir to demonstrate that in addition to iconic figures like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, there are countless others, who doggedly fought for their own rights and the rights of others, but their stories have never been told. This project celebrates those who, without acknowledgment or fanfare, played key roles in the civil rights movement and often sacrificed all to rectify decades-old injustices. Even though they stayed out of the limelight, their contributions were just as important in fueling the movement as were the legendary historical figures we learn about in school.

For more on the project, click here

This event is a part of The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' Humanities Week, a weeklong celebration of the human adventure across time, history, culture and place. 

Image credit: The Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, was the site of the "Bloody Sunday" conflict on March 7, 1965, when police attacked civil rights movement demonstrators as they were attempting to march to the state capital. Photo courtesy Clément Bardot/Wikimedia Commons