We Shall Overcome
July 2, 2014 9:52 AM   Subscribe

Today is the 50th anniversary of the signing of the civil rights act, and to commemorate, the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library hosted in April a Civil Rights Summit, featuring dozens of civil rights luminaries as well as Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and President Barack Obama.

George H.W. Bush, unfortunately, could not attend for health reasons.

The Summit went from April 8th to April 10th and featured dozens of speakers ranging from civil rights leaders themselves to athletes, authors, scholars, historians, musicians, and of course, four living presidents. The summit was recorded and can be viewed below.

April 8th, Afternoon Panels:

“Gay Marriage: A Civil Right? As the issue of gay marriage is decided in courts across the country, two ideologically disparate attorneys discuss their joint effort in arguing against California’s Proposition 8 before the U.S. Supreme Court.”

David Boies - Attorney
Theodore B. Olson - Attorney and former U.S. Solicitor General

“Pathway to the American Dream: Immigration Policy in the 21st Century An examination of the complex issue of immigration in 21st century America”

Haley Barbour - Former Governor of Mississippi
Julián Castro - Mayor of San Antonio

“Music and Social Consciousness An exploration of music as a catalyst for social change, featuring two Rock and Roll Hall of Famers”

Graham Nash - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer-songwriter
Mavis Staples - Grammy Award-winning singer and civil rights activist

April 8th, Evening: A Conversation with Former President Jimmy Carter

April 9th, Afternoon Panels:

"LBJ and MLK: Fulfilling a Promise, Realizing a Dream An inside look at the consequential and complex partnership between President Lyndon Johnson and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the issue of civil rights "

Taylor Branch - Historian and Author
Joseph A. Califano, Jr. - Special Assistant to President Lyndon Johnson
Doris Kearns Goodwin - Pulitzer Prize winning author and member of Johnson White House Staff
Andrew Young - Former Congressman and United Nations Ambassador

"Sports: Leveling the Playing Field Presented by the McGarr Symposium on Sports and Society Hall of Famers Jim Brown and Bill Russell look back at their efforts to use their platforms in football and basketball, respectively, to raise awareness for civil rights"

Jim Brown - Hall of Fame running back for the NFL Cleveland Browns
Bill Russell - Hall of Fame center for the NBA Boston Celtics

"Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement: Views from the Front Line Three civil rights legends look back at the movement they helped to forge, and how it continues to resonate in America today, while exploring the civil rights issues of the 21st century"

Julian Bond - Former Chairman, NAACP
John Lewis - U.S Representative, Georgia
Andrew Young - Former Congressman and United Nations Ambassador

April 9th, Evening: Address by Former President William Jefferson Clinton

April 10th, Afternoon: Keynote Address by the President of the United States Barack Obama, followed by panels.

“Social Justice in the 21st Century: Empowering Minds, Changing Hearts, and Inspiring Service Leaders in social justice issues of today discuss their initiatives to direct 21st century social change.”

Shirley Franklin - Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and former Mayor of Atlanta
Lex Frieden - Professor of Biomedical Informatics, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)
David Robinson - Hall of Fame center for the NBA San Antonio Spurs and honored philanthropist
Maria Shriver - Humanitarian, journalist and former First Lady of California
Steve Stoute - Founder and CEO, Translation

“Education: The Ultimate Civil Right A conversation on the state of education today, its obstacles and opportunities.”

Bob Schieffer - CBS News reporter and host of "Face the Nation"
George Miller - U.S. Representative, California
Margaret Spellings - President, George W. Bush Presidential Center and former Secretary of Education

Finally, April 10th, Evening: Address by and Conversation with Former President George W. Bush, which concluded the summit.
posted by Ndwright (11 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

featuring dozens of civil rights luminaries as well as Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and President Barack Obama.

Shouldn't you say: featuring dozens of civil rights luminaries, including Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and President Barack Obama as well as George W. Bush?
posted by goethean at 10:42 AM on July 2 [4 favorites]

Shouldn't you say: featuring dozens of civil rights luminaries, including Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and President Barack Obama as well as George W. Bush?

No, because:
a) This isn't about you or what you think about Bush.
2. Carter, Clinton, and Obama arent 'civil rights luminaries' either.

Now, John Lewis -- a guy who got his head busted by cops in Selma and then later in life ran for public office, representing his community in Congress for almost 30 years -- that's a 'civil rights luminary'.
posted by Herodios at 11:05 AM on July 2 [7 favorites]

I wouldn't really call any of them civil rights luminaries, think Ndwright got it right the first time.
posted by balmore at 11:07 AM on July 2

Ignore this. I apologize. [Rant: I think LBJ was the last president who at least seemed to have the courage of his convictions. "Great Society" legislation, which included laws upholding civil rights, public broadcasting, Medicare, Medicaid, environmental protection, aid to education, and the abolition of poverty. Head Start, Food Stamps, Work Study, The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1968, Elementary and Secondary Education Act and Higher Education Act, National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, immigration Act of 1965, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Voting Rights Act of of 1965.

And then he fucking bailed. "I shall not seek, and I will not accept".

Fucker. He was doing so well. /rant].

Thanks for the post Ndwright.
posted by vapidave at 11:08 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]

LBJ . . . seemed to have the courage of his convictions . . . then he fucking bailed. "I shall not seek, and I will not accept".

He bailed because he failed. He knew the election was gonna be all about Viet Nam, and he couldn't defend it (see also: Credibility Gap) and believed that he couldn't end it (see also: Domino Theory). He also came to realize that we couldn't pay for both the Great Society and the No-so-great War -- and he couldn't turn away from either.

posted by Herodios at 11:22 AM on July 2 [3 favorites]

While we're on the subject, there's actually a very interesting discussion in the "LBJ and MLK" panel about how the Vietnam War alienated LBJ from the Civil Rights movement.
posted by Ndwright at 11:58 AM on July 2

Yup, in 1964 they were about as well-aligned as a US president and a leader of a major social movement could ever be; but within four years, MLK was making peace an ally of civil rights while LBJ was making war -- now, his war -- an enemy of civil rights.
posted by Herodios at 12:26 PM on July 2

2. Carter, Clinton, and Obama arent 'civil rights luminaries' either.

Uh. The first President ever to even mention transgender people. The President who killed DADT. The President who just two days ago ordered federal agencies to ignore gender identity when hiring. The President who now supports SSM... I could go on.

Obama is very much a civil rights luminary, if perhaps only in certain areas. Which happen to be the areas that are pretty damn important for QUILTBAG folks. So uh, don't discount his important civil rights moves just because of other things he's done.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:29 PM on July 2

Uh . . . Uh, . . .

I am willing to concede the possibility that 'luminary' might mean something different to you than it does to me -- or to the organizers.

I'm glad you like him, nevertheless, the reason Obama will be there is the same reason Bush 43 will be there, and the same reason it's a damn shame Bush 41 can't make it: he is President of the United States, and this concerns us all.
posted by Herodios at 4:08 PM on July 2

This happened in April.

As for stressing civil rights accomplishments, it was interesting that former presidents Carter and Clinton both focused on problems of the day (human trafficking and voter id laws respectively) while current president Obama took a more historical approach.

It's too bad that H.W. Bush couldn't make it considering he oversaw a major piece of civil rights legislation (The Americans With Disabilities Act), especially in light of how flimsy and insubstantive his son's remarks were.
posted by Ndwright at 4:34 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]

This going to ruin my weekend in the best way. Thank you so much for posting; I'd never have known about it otherwise!
posted by artof.mulata at 9:13 PM on July 2

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