LSU’s Manship School to Host Program on Journalism and the Civil Rights Movement

03/19/2013 11:10 AM

BATON ROUGE – Pulitzer Prize-winning veteran journalists, civil rights leaders and scholars will gather at LSU on April 17 and 18 to discuss the history of the civil rights movement and its implications for racial equality in contemporary society.


Sponsored by Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication and the school’s Media Diversity Forum, the program is a highlight of the school’s celebration of its 100th anniversary in journalism education.


“Our purpose is straightforward,” said program organizer Robert Ritter of the Manship School. “We want to heighten understanding of our civil rights history among students, faculty and friends, with a strong emphasis on lessons learned and how those lessons might help facilitate the development of meaningful approaches to contemporary civil rights issues.”


The public is invited for April 18 panel discussions from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on the history of the movement and 2 to 4:30 p.m. on contributions history has made to understanding for equality and living together. Both will be in the Holliday Forum of the Journalism Building on the LSU campus.


Veteran journalists who will share their views include:

  • Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff, who co-authored “The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle and the Awakening of a Nation” that won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for History;
  • Moses Newson, a pioneering civil rights journalist with the Afro-American Newspapers, who covered stories throughout the South and the rest of the country during the height of the movement in the 1950s and 1960s;
  • John Seigenthaler, former reporter and executive at The Tennessean in Nashville, who served as special assistant to Attorney General Robert Kennedy during the civil rights era;
  • Earl Caldwell, nationally renowned journalist whose career covering civil rights issues spans more than four decades and who was involved in one of the century’s most celebrated cases involving reporters’ rights; and
  • Arlene Notoro Morgan, associate dean of the Columbia School of Journalism, is co-editor of The Authentic Voice: The Best Reporting on Race and Ethnicity.


Adding the scholarly perspective will be Dr. Danielle L. McGuire, assistant professor of history at Wayne State University in Detroit and award-winning author of “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance – A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power,” and Dr. Frank Harold Wilson, professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, author of “Race, Class, and the Postindustrial City: William Julius Wilson and the Promise of Sociology.”


The symposium will celebrate progress and assess the work left to do to ensure that all Americans enjoy equal rights, Ritter added. Participants will discuss contemporary civil-rights issues and celebrate the journalists and those they covered to highlight the plight of African Americans caught in their struggle to gain social and economic freedom.


Manship Dean Jerry Ceppos said the program will serve as an important reminder of the role of journalism and, locally, a major focus for the Manship School’s service to its students and citizens of the state.


“Those of us at the Manship School are passionate in our belief that our students should learn first-hand from those who sacrificed so much in the name of racial equality,” Ceppos said. “They, after all, must carry the torch into the future. We also believe that contemporary service to the state is an important part of the role of an effective university.”


For more information, contact Tara Brown at the Reilly Center at

Billy  Gomila 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Tuesday, March 19, 2013