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Virginia Tech black history experts can discuss today’s civil rights protests in a historical context and other related topics

February 6, 2017

Martin Luther King Jr., Selma to Montgomery, 1965. Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture’s “Through the African American Lens: Selections from the Permanent Collection” exhibition at the National Museum of American History. The exhibition will be on view until the National Museum of African American History and Culture opens in Fall 2016.--
A 1965 photo of Martin Luther King, Jr. marching from Selma to Montgomery on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Virginia Tech Experts are available to discuss a variety of issues related to black history, including:

Comparing 1960s civil rights movements with today’s Black Lives Matter

Wornie Reed, director of the Race and Social Policy Center at Virginia Tech marched alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. during the 1960s civil rights movement. He participated in the Montgomery Bus Boycott (a result of Rosa Parks' refusal to sit in the back of the bus) and the 1963 March on Washington. Reed has studies race and policy for decades and can provide insight in comparing the 1960 civil rights movement with today’s Black Lives Matter. View Reed’s full bio.

Loving v. Virginia, 1967 case regarding interracial marriage

Virginia Tech’s Peter Wallenstein is available to discuss the history behind the Oscar nominated movie, “Loving.”  The movie is historically significant because it includes a landmark supreme court ruling from a 1967 civil rights case on interracial marriage. Husband and wife, Richard and Mildred Loving, were at the center of this controversy.

Wallenstein has published two books focusing on the Lovings and interracial marriage: “Tell the Court I Love My Wife: Race, Marriage, and Law—an American History” (2002) and “Race, Sex, and the Freedom to Marry: Loving v. Virginia” (2014). See Wallenstein’s full bio.

Underground economies in the south

Prohibition during the 1920s gave birth to underground economies where bootlegging moonshine and Juke Joint culture grew. While much of the African American history narrative centers around urban centers, Virginia Tech expert Beverly Bunch-Lyons offers an alternative perspective with a focus on the south. View Bunch-Lyons' full bio.

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