Civil Rights 50th Year

We have long recognized the affinity between Jews who fled Germany because of the increasing restrictions under Hitler’s rule and African Americans who were kept in second-class citizenship by a patchwork of Jim Crow laws. Strikingly similar to the Nuremberg Laws passed in Nazi Germany in 1935, Jim Crow laws touched every aspect of everyday life. The laws of both Germany and the United States allowed the banning of certain customers from stores. There were strictly enforced rules against “mixed” marriages and banned co-education between groups. Both Nazis and U.S. segregationists created detailed ways to classify one’s race and, by doing so, arbitrarily restricted the level of that person’s civic rights.

With the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, segregation on the grounds of race, religion or national origin was banned in all places of public accommodation. The act also barred race, religious, national origin and gender discrimination by employers and labor unions, and allowed the government to accept lawsuits filed on behalf of aggrieved workers.

In recognition of that monumental legislation,the Holocaust Center is bringing together institutions and individuals throughout Central Florida to examine the impact of the Civil Rights Act. What changes have we seen in our lifetime? What issues remain to be addressed? What tools do we need to move ahead in challenging bigotry and intolerance in all of its forms?

Major events include:
September 14 through December 15
Exhibit: Hateful Things created and circulated by the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, is a display of stereotypes and racist material in advertising, entertainment and other media that demeaned and marginalized African-Americans. At the Holocaust Center. free

Sunday September 7, 12 noon
Film and panel discussion : Bookers Place at the Enzian Theater
In 1965, NBC filmmaker Frank DeFelitta interviewed Booker Wright, a Black waiter who spoke openly about racism — a choice that had catastrophic consequences. De Felitta’s son and one of Booker Wright’s grandchildren revisit this story and explore the ongoing legacy of racism in America. $10.00 Order tickets here.

Sunday September 14, 2 p.m. Opening Reception for Hateful Things featuring a discussion with Dr. Marvin Newman. free

Sunday September 28, 4 p.m.
Short films and lecture at the Holocaust Center, Harry and Harriette Moore: Life and Death in the Time of Segregation with filmmakers Lisa Mills and Robert Thompson, and Bill Gary, Director of the Moore Center. The Moores were among the most visible and credible members of the Central Florida Civil Rights community, and their activities eventually cost them their lives. free

Sunday October 19, 2 p.m.
Film: Last White Knight at Orlando Museum of Art; presentation and QA with filmmaker Paul Saltzman
In the 1960s Canadian Paul Saltzman journeyed to help with voter registration in Mississippi. While there he was assaulted by a group of young men led by Byron De La Beckwith, whose father was convicted of killing Medgar Evers. Decades later, Saltzman returns to meet with Beckwith in this powerful documentary about the best and worst of communities challenged and changed by racism. $10.00. Tickets on sale here.

Sunday October 26, 6 p.m.
Drama: Best of Enemies, in collaboration with the Orlando Shakespeare Theater.
Based on the bestselling novel by Osha Gray Davidson, The Best of Enemies is a true story about C.P. Ellis, a Grand Cyclops of the KKK, and Ann Atwater, an African-American civil rights activist, during the 1971 court-ordered desegregation of the Durham, North Carolina schools. This is a one-performance event at the Shakespeare Theater dedicated as a fundraiser for the Holocaust Center. $100.00. Reserve your ticket here.

Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 6:00 PM
Privilege and Progress
A Special Presentation by Angela King
In order to understand racism we must learn about hatred and redemption. And there are few people in this world better able to talk about this difficult subject than Angela King. 
A former skinhead who spent time in prison for her choices, she came to terms with her past mistakes and is now an educational consultant who talks frankly about what took her down a wrong path and what opened her heart and life to embracing those she used to mock and despise.
Come hear her story about “Life After Hate” and the insights that can protect other young people from making the same shameful choices that nearly ruined Angela’s life.
This event is free and open to the public. RSVP appreciated – Email Mitch Bloomer or call 407-628-0555 ext 283. Educators may earn inservice credit for attending.

Wednesday November 12, 2014 at 7:00 PM.
Marginalized Communities
Panel Discussion
How to we decide who “doesn’t belong”? What people are we likely to exclude? Why do some “differences” make us so uncomfortable?
One of the goals of our commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act is to inspire the sometimes-difficult conversations about discrimination and marginalization. This panel discussion, open to the public, will present a rare opportunity to talk about the members of our community who are still outside the mainstream, and whose lives and unique issues may remain largely unknown.

Details for other community events can be found at Organizations that would like to post information about their civil rights activities should contact the Holocaust Center for more information.

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The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida · 851 N Maitland Ave · Maitland, FL 32751 · Phone: 407-628-0555 ·