Watch the video here.
In the third of four Old Dominion Public lectures, Kevin M. Kruse (History) presented preliminary findings from his archival research into the civil rights movement for the first time. Kruse’s work seeks to reinterpret the conventional wisdom around the movement, challenging the dichotomy of the major approaches to this history by looking at the intersection between the institution-focused, top-down approach and the grassroots, bottom-up view.
Kruse argues that this simplistic binary does little to advance our understanding of a movement which originated from where the competing sides came together. His project entails recovering the long overlooked history of one activist in particular, John Doar, a lawyer in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice who diligently advocated for the protections of civil rights activists and pushed their legal agenda forward in the courts. Kruse hopes that tracing back the role of government officials will unearth new realizations about the civil rights movement. Over 70 attendees filled 010 East Pyne on Wednesday, February 12 at 4:30 pm.
The final Old Dominion Public Lecture this academic year will be delivered by D. Vance Smith (English) on “Blood Flowers: Recolonizations” on Wednesday, March 4 in 010 East Pyne at 4:30 pm.