Elon to Host Conference on
Civil Rights Journalism

Elon’s School of Communications will host a conference titled “In the Midst of a Movement: The South, the Press, and Civil Rights” on Thursday, October 5 in Whitley Auditorium. 

The conference will feature four sessions with journalists and scholars who wrote about and studied the civil rights movement, southern culture, and the relationship between race and the media.  The purpose of the conference is to generate a deeper understanding of how the Civil Rights movement, the South, and the media all converged during this era.

descriptionThe first session addresses reporting in the segregated South.  Dorothy Butler Gilliam and Moses Newson are the featured speakers.  Gilliam was the first female African-American writer for the Washington Post.  Newson wrote for African-American newspapers, such as the Tri-State Defender.

The second session covers reporting of nonviolent movements during the Civil Rights era.  The featured speakers include Karl Flemming and Norman Lumpkin.  Flemming reported for Newsweek in the early 1960s and recently wrote an autobiography titled Son of the Rough South: An Uncivil Memoir.  Lumpkin worked for a television station in Alabama where he became their first African-American reporter.

The third session addresses how journalism spurred change in the South.  Jerry Mitchell and Tom Terry are the featured speakers.  Mitchell’s reporting for The Clarion Ledger helped authorities find and arrest four members of the Ku Klux Klan.  Terry will discuss the work of North Carolina journalist Horace Carter. 

As a conclusion to the conference, the final session features all of the speakers in a panel presentation of “The Press and Civil Rights Activism.”  Civil rights activist Tom Gaither  will join the journalists to discuss their experiences living and reporting during the Civil Rights movement.

Professors from Duke University, Georgia Southern University, North Carolina A&T State University, and North Carolina State University will moderate the sessions. 

The School of Communications will sponsor the conference along with the Elon Fund for Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, the Elon Department of History and Geography, North Carolina A&T State University, and the North Carolina Humanities Council.

Schedule of Events:

8:30 am to 9:40 am  (Session 1)
Early Stories: Reporting in the Segregated South

10:30 am to 11:45 am   (Session 2)
Covering the Nonviolent Civil Rights Movement

2:20 pm to 3:35 pm   (Session 3)
Journalism as an Agent for Change

4:15 pm to 5:30 pm   (Session 4)
Panel Discussion: The Press and Civil Rights Activism

*All Sessions Held in Whitley Auditorium, Elon University

Public Welcome


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School of Communications 
2850 Campus Box 
Elon, NC 27244-2010   (336) 278-5724 
E-mail: communications@elon.edu
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