Brown Bag Series: “Unsung Heroes: Now It’s Our Turn,” Cleo Scott Brown, Speaker, Author, Race Relations Strategist, Avery Research Center, October 7, 12-1:15 pm
Before the infamous march in Selma, Alabama, a group of African Americans in northeast Louisiana convinced Robert Kennedy to file suit on their behalf to obtain the right to vote. In 1962, they successfully won this right in Federal Court after almost eighty years of disenfranchisement. These plaintiffs helped shape the attitudes of Robert Kennedy and the newly assigned attorneys in the Justice Department about what and how much should be invested in helping southern African Americans gain their right to vote. To commemorate fifty years since the passing of the Voting Rights Act, in this presentation Cleo Scott Brown will discuss her book Witness to the Truth (University of South Carolina Press) and her own frightening experiences as the child of John H. Scott, a voting rights leader in northeast Louisiana. From being the place where black Union soldiers first engaged in battle with their former “masters” at Millikin’s Bend, to being the place where farmers caused a nation-wide protest that led to black farmers being able to buy land under Roosevelt’s New Deal program, the predominately black northeast corner of Louisiana, though unsung, has made its mark on history.
Directions to the Avery Research Center: http://avery.cofc.edu/visit/mapsdirections/