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Rare St. Clair Drake tapes unveiled for Oct. 14 lecture on civil rights

Posted: 09/24/2013
Roosevelt University will unveil rare speeches on civil rights and freedom by the late Roosevelt professor St. Clair Drake (above) during an Oct. 14 program and lecture on freedom and the March on Washington.

Will Jones

The Drake audio tapes, which haven’t been heard since the late great Chicago sociologist delivered them in 1963, on the centennial of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, are part of a program and lecture entitled “Freedom Then, Freedom Now: The March on Washington and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights” that will be presented by guest speaker and University of Wisconsin History Professor Will Jones (pictured at right).

Sponsored by Roosevelt’s St. Clair Drake Center for African and African-American Studies, the event will be held at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 14 in Roosevelt’s 10th floor library, 430 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.  It is the first of three lectures being presented this academic year by the Drake Center.
 
Jones is an historian of 20th Century United States and has a particular interest in race, class and work.  He has also written books on African-American industrial workers in the Jim Crow South and will discuss his recent acclaimed book on the 1963 March on Washington for jobs and freedom.

Discovered recently at Roosevelt University and available for perusal in the archives of the University’s Murray Green Library, the audio tapes are Drake’s reflections, 100 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, on gains made and challenges that lie ahead for African Americans in pursuit of education and integration.

“Now 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation and 50 years since the March on Washington, the Roosevelt community will reflect upon freedom struggles, past and presents, just as Drake did in his series of 1963 speeches,” said Erik Gellman, associate professor of history, associate director of the Drake Center and one of the organizers of the event.

The Drake lecture series is supported by a generous gift from Roosevelt alumnus Robert Johnson and his wife, Rose.
 
For more information on the lecture and the Drake series, contact Erik Gellman at egellman@roosevelt.edu or 312-322-7138.