Barrow Elementary fifth graders tour University of Georgia to learn about state and local civil righ

Athens, Ga. – Fifth-grade students from Barrow Elementary School in Athens will spend a day at the University of Georgia as part of their year-long study of the history of the civil rights movement in the South. The visit is planned for Thursday, March 3.

While on campus, they will visit UGA’s Russell Library to hear a presentation and see film clips from the Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies, an initiative of the library and several UGA faculty members to chronicle “unsung foot soldiers” of the civil rights struggles in Georgia. They will hear from Maurice Daniels, associate dean of UGA’s School of Social Work and a founder of the Foot Soldier Project. Daniels has produced documentaries on Horace Ward, who sought admission to UGA’s School of Law in the 1950s, and Hamilton Holmes, who with Charlayne Hunter finally broke the color barrier at UGA in 1961.

The students will begin their UGA visit in front of the Holmes-Hunter Academic Building, where Holmes and Hunter registered for classes. The building was dedicated in their honor during the university’s commemoration of the 40th anniversary of its desegregation in January 2001. The students will hear more of that history from Keith Parker, UGA’s associate provost for institutional diversity. The Office of Institutional Diversity is in the Holmes-Hunter building.

Another stop will be the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication to learn about a project carried out by students in Jim Virga’s spring 2004 photojournalism class. The students photographed local African Americans over age 60 and asked them if they had seen race relations change during their lifetime. The resulting collection of photos and commentary has been exhibited in various places on campus and in the community and can be viewed online.

The Barrow students will eat a box lunch at the Tate Student Center and hear personal perspectives on the civil rights movement from Art Dunning, UGA’s vice president for public service and outreach and one of the first students to integrate the University of Alabama, and from Robert Pratt, head of UGA’s history department and an expert on school desegregation and the civil rights movement. Pratt is author of We Shall Not Be Moved, a book on UGA’s desegregation published by the University of Georgia Press in 2002.

The campus visit was arranged by Bob Boehmer, UGA’s associate provost for institutional effectiveness, following conversations with Barrow fifth-grade teacher Sara Cross and Principal Tad MacMillan.

For further information, see the following related links:

Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies www.libs.uga.edu/russell/fsp/

Commemoration of UGA’s Desegregation www.uga.edu/news/desegregation/

Photojournalism Project www.grady.uga.edu/students/projects/race.2004.asp