Noted historian Dr. Robert Orr will deliver four lectures on the Civil Rights Movement in East Tennessee, 1780 to the 1960s, on four consecutive Tuesday evenings in April at Tusculum College.
The lectures will examine the entire U.S. Civil Rights Movement, from its founding in the churches and schools of Colonial America, through emancipation in the 1860, through the founding of the NAACP in 1909, to the victories of the 1960s. According to Orr, the movement never stopped, and East Tennessee was often in the forefront of the struggle.
Orr currently teaches history at Walters State Community College and Washington College Academy. He holds bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee and a Ph.D. from the University of Maine. He was a guest historian on the C-Span American Presidents Series television program on President Andrew Johnson.
The lectures will be held in the Thomas J. Garland Library classroom 112 from 6-8 p.m. beginning Tuesday, April 9, and continuing Tuesday, April 16, 23 and 30.
The April 9 session will kick off with a discussion of 1780 to the Civil War. It will cover such topics as Samuel Doak and his students, the East Tennessee anti-slavery movement, the movement driven underground in the repression of the 1830s, the Underground Railroad in East Tennessee and the underground railroad as a cause of the Civil War.
The April 16 lecture will focus on the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln and Civil Rights, the victory of emancipation, Vice President Andrew Johnson and President Lincoln’s reconstruction plans.
Lecture three on April 23 will focus on reconstruction, the founding of the NAACP, the Andrew Johnson presidency, the end of military reconstruction, the 1875 Civil Rights Law being declared unconstitutional, the late nineteenth century crime wave and lynching at the turn of the century.
On Tuesday, April 30, the final lecture will cover the conflict of Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Dubois, the reconciliation of 1915-16, the struggle against lynching and the modern Civil Rights Movement.
There is no charge to attend the lectures. The series is sponsored jointly by Washington College Academy and Tusculum College. The lecture series is approved as an Arts and Lecture credit event for Tusculum College residential students.