Thursday, January 28, 2010

Go Bo!

1966 was going to be Howard “Bo” Callaway’s year.

As the first Georgia Republican to be elected to Congress since Reconstruction, Callaway was set to move from that success to become Governor of Georgia. Everything seemed to be lining up perfectly. In many ways he was the natural successor to Carl Sanders, with his emphasis on building business and working “within the law” (shorthand for complying with federal Civil Rights rulings). He was riding a swelling Republican wave in the wake of Barry Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative. And, the Democratic party, much to its own surprise, went into the general election with the outsider Lester Maddox as its candidate.

However, there were two significant problems that Callaway could not have anticipated. First, that a significant write-in campaign would be waged by supporters of Ellis Arnall, one of the losing Democrats in that party’s primary. Secondly, that the progressive shift in Georgia that had brought Carl Sanders to power had significantly eroded to where a conservative populist/segregationist such as Maddox could become tremendously popular. Still, Maddox was divisive figure and Callaway had a realistic shot at winning. In fact, in the general election Callaway won the popular vote but, given Arnall’s involvement, neither candidate won the majority, and the decision was sent to the legislature. Being nearly completely Democratic, the legislature went with Maddox. To hear the full story of the race, click here for Bob Short’s account.

An often overlooked audiovisual relic in the Russell Library documenting Callaway’s campaign is a 30-minute television spot that ran the night before the general election. It demonstrates how Callaway, son of Callaway Gardens founder Cason Callaway, viewed Georgia’s future, and is also a portrait of southern Republican-ism in the early- and mid-1960s. At the end of this video is a 12-minute clip of John Sibley, prominent Atlanta attorney and, famously, chairman of the Sibley Commission. He is speaking at a Democrats for Callaway luncheon, and outlines in a reasoned and methodical manner why Lester Maddox is the wrong choice for governor of Georgia, even for Democrats. To watch the clip, click here or on the graphic above.

Post by Craig Breaden, Head of Media and Oral History, Russell Library

Monday, January 25, 2010

On Tap this Week

Lots of programs are on tap at the Russell Library in the coming weeks. With that in mind, for the next few weeks i'll post a weekly schedule of events here on the blog each Monday morning...

Thursday, January 28th, 2-3PM, Russell Library Auditorium
No Stone Unturned: An Informal Conversation about the Research Process.
Doug Blackmon, acclaimed journalist and Pulitzer-Prize winner, discusses researching his recent book, Slavery by Another Name, The Re-Enslavement of Black People in America from the Civil War to World War II. Seating is limited for this event. To reserve your spot call 706-542-5766 or email

Thursday, January 28th, 4:30-6:30PM, 3rd floor Reading Room, Miller Learning Center

“A Persistent Past—Reckoning With Racial History in the Era of Obama”:
Douglas Blackmon Lecture, Reception, Book Signing. Douglas A. Blackmon, Atlanta Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, will draw upon his work as journalist and scholar and his experience as a southerner for this lecture. Reception and book signing follow. Sponsored by the Richard B. Russell Library, University Libraries, the Civil Rights Digital Library, the Institute for African American Studies, the History Department and the Office of Institutional Diversity

Friday, January 29th, 12-1PM, Russell Library Auditorium
Film Screening: "Hoxie - The First Stand" (2003) The story of a small Arkansas town whose school board voluntarily integrated its schools in the summer of 1955. Part of the Measuring Deliberate Speed: School Desegregation Brown Bag Film and Discussion Series. The screening and discussion is free and open to all.

For more information on any of the programs listed above, please call (706) 542-5788 or email Hope to see you all there!

Post by Jan Levinson, Assistant Outreach Archivist, Russell Library

Friday, January 22, 2010

Newsflash: Special Sunday Hours

Russell Library hosts Special Gallery Hours Sunday, January 24th from 1-5PM

Greetings all! In celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday - and the accompanying programs happening all over the UGA campus this month - the Russell Library exhibit gallery will open for a special viewing on Sunday, January 24th from 1:00-5:00PM. Curators Jill Severn and Jan Levinson will be on hand to provide tours of the featured exhibits "Measuring Deliberate Speed: Georgians Face School Desegregation" and "With All Deliberate Speed: The AP in Little Rock."

We hope you will consider joining us for this special event. Admission to the Russell Library is free. For further information about the exhibits on display, please visit the Russell Library website HERE or contact us at (706) 542-5788 or For more information about programs at the Russell Library, stay tuned to the blog!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Forum Report: New Challenges of Immigration

On Friday, January 15th the Russell Forum for Civic Life in Georgia hosted the third event in its informal forum series. Fifteen participants, two moderators, and one recorder gathered in the Russell Library Auditorium to discuss the NIF issue guide “The New Challenges of American Immigration.”

In the opening moments of the forum moderators asked the group what brought them to attend the discussion. “I am an immigrant,” one woman began, telling the group that her family emigrated from Korea in search of greater diversity and opportunity. Another man, a student at UGA, described his work with international students on campus. Others expressed their interest in workers’ rights, the impact of immigration on schools and local governments, experiences gained from living abroad, and concern for political refugees. From there, the group moved into a discussion of stakeholders. “Who does immigration affect?” prompted one of the moderators. After a few minutes of responses – children in school, corporations, immigrants, tax payers – they came to a simple solution: immigration affects everyone in the United States.

The forum unfolded as moderators led the group through a deliberation of three approaches proposing solutions to the challenges of immigration.

Approach 1: America’s Changing Face – Is there Too Much Difference? Proponents of this approach see immigration as a looming identity crisis which threatens to break the bonds of unity that define America.

Approach 2: A Nation of Immigrants – Remembering America’s Heritage. Proponents of this approach assert that immigration has been the backbone of America’s strength and that our country should continue to welcome newcomers despite the costs.

Approach 3: A Matter of Priorities – Putting Economics First. Proponents of this approach contend that immigrants strain the public purse, compete for jobs, and exceed our carrying capacity. They say that we must restrict the number of newcomers, examining how their arrival affects the well-being of citizens already here.

The group first tackled Approach 1. Many in the group asserted that much of what makes America a unique country is its diversity and that everyone living in this country, with the exception of the Native Americans, are here as a result of immigration. Others pointed to the changing dynamic of immigration. They indicated that earlier generations of immigrants adopted the English language and American culture more readily than their modern counterparts. The conversation quickly turned to a discussion of what brings immigrants to the United States. Is it jobs? Freedom? Education? Overwhelmingly, the crowd indicated that people move here from other countries for the promise of all of these opportunities and not necessarily because they want to adopt American culture. Participants examined the recommended actions in approach one, such as the proposal to increase assistance to local governments in communities that have a disproportionate amount of immigrants. “If they mean positive support, like increased numbers of translators, and not punitive actions like increased law enforcement to scare off illegal immigrants, then I favor that action,” said one man. In general, most in the group seemed to empathize with the plight of immigrants and did not favor actions that would limit their continued ability to move to and live in the United States.

Approach two, which suggests that immigration is America’s heritage and that our country should continue to welcome newcomers despite the costs, brought to light some more tensions in the group. “The problem with letting anyone come in is that anyone can come in,” said one participant, referring to the security concerns of an open immigration policy. Another man said it simply did not make sense to have so many undocumented people in the country. Discussion on this point included the taxation of immigrants and their buying power in our economy. If many immigrants send their earnings to family members in their home countries, are they really contributing to America’s marketplace? Shouldn’t they have to pay income tax like everyone else? Others countered that more often than not immigrants take jobs that Americans don’t want and are filling a vital role in our economy. Further, they asserted that while illegal immigrants don’t pay income tax they do contribute to the taxes taken out of paychecks, investing in programs like social security that they will never be able to benefit from. Proponents of this approach offered that if Americans attempted to become more familiar with immigrants and their cultures, we would have an increased understanding of international relations and could perhaps begin to contradict outsider notions that American culture is simply consumerism, fast food, and reality television. Many expressed a strong feeling of obligation to political and climate refugees from other countries fleeing persecution or in some cases, the actual physical deterioration of their homes.

Having already broached many of the points in Approach 3 – “Putting Economics First” – the group continued to discuss immigrants in relation to the economic downturn. One participant said that sending back illegal immigrants was “shortsighted and false” stating that we live in a global economy and immigrants help to make many American industries function. Others spoke out about the exploitation of undocumented workers and determined that, at least in part, the reason for such high rates of illegal immigration in America is because there are individuals and corporations who are willing to provide jobs to illegal aliens. The conversation branched into a question of what defines American culture – for native-born people as well as for immigrants. Do we still hear “America” and think of freedom and democracy?

“So why is this a tough issue,” one moderator asked in closing. Some answered that it pits a moral obligation against a legal issue. Many people who are concerned for the welfare of immigrants still have a real issue approving of illegal immigration – because it is against the law. Others saw immigration as a wedge issue – one that divides people along partisan lines and seems to offer very little middle ground. The group began to analyze the word “assimilation” – asking what expectations are inherent. What are we asking people to do when we use this word? And, does it imply an unequal power relationship? One participant suggested that we need a new way to describe what we want, perhaps “communion” or “connection” would better express what we hope to accomplish with newcomers to the United States. In the end, most in the group affirmed their belief that America is a culture of diversity and while the challenges of immigration are complex, and many people wear several different hats when considering the issue, we must continue to look for solutions that keep the door open for newcomers.

The Russell Forum for Civic Life in Georgia will take place on Friday, February 19th from 3:00-4:30PM in the Russell Library auditorium. The topic: The New Science of Food, Facing Up to Our Biotechnology Choices. For more information call (706) 542-5788 or visit The dates for all of our upcoming forums can be found on the Russell Forum Training and Program Calendar.

Post by Jan Levinson, Coordinator, Russell Forum for Civic Life in Georgia

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pulitzer Prize Winner on Campus

The Richard B. Russell Library and Partners Present Pulitzer Prize-winning Author and Journalist Douglas Blackmon on campus January 28, 2010

The Russell Library and partners are pleased to share two special opportunities to meet and hear acclaimed Atlanta Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Douglas Blackmon on Thursday, January 28, 2010.

Blackmon is a passionate advocate for history and research as a tool for social justice. He has also applied the most painstaking and rigorous standards to his research and his quest for sources. To construct a more complex history of forced labor African Americans after the Civil War, Blackmon embarked on an exhaustive search through county records, legal files, oral history, family histories and even historical archeology. In the end his research yielded an unparalleled detailed account of the “tens of thousands of African Americans who were arbitrarily arrested, hit with outrageous fines, and charged for the costs of their own arrests. . . [who were] sold as forced laborers to coal mines, lumber camps, brickyards, railroads, quarries and farm plantations.”

From 2-3 p.m. in the Russell Library Auditorium, Blackmon will discuss his approach to research as a journalist and as scholar working to reconstruct a fragmentary history of forced labor of African Americans in years between the Civil War and World War II for his award-winning book, Slavery by Another Name, The Re-Enslavement of Black People in America from the Civil War to World War II. He will also be glad to entertain questions and ideas from those in attendance. This program should be great chance for the campus community to compare notes, share ideas with one of the country’s preeminent journalists and authors. The 2 p.m. program is free and all are welcome, but seating is limited, so please contact me to reserve a space for the program by calling 706-542-5766 or emailing your rsvp to

From 4:30-6ish in the Reading Room on the 3rd floor of the Miller Learning Center, Blackmon will also present a more formal free lecture entitled, “A Persistent Past: Reckoning With Racial History in the Era of Obama." The Miller Learning Center is located on the northeast corner of Baxter Street and South Lumpkin Street. Parking is available in the adjacent Tate Center Parking Deck (entrance via South Lumpkin Street). University of Georgia and Athens-Clarke County City Buses stop in front of the Tate Center, which is next to the Miller Center. (No r.s.v.p. for this program is necessary—Just come!)

Both of these programs are presented by the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies and cosponsored by the following units of the University of Georgia: University of Georgia Libraries, the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Civil Rights Digital Library, Department of History, and the Institute for African American Studies. For more information please contact Jill Severn at 706-542-5766 or

To learn more about Blackmon and his book, visit:
To learn more about the program or to register, please contact Jill Severn at 706-542-5766 or

Forum (1/19/2010): Racial and Ethnic Tensions

We have come a long way in the United States, but lingering racial and ethnic discrimination continues to strain the bonds that hold us together. It is time we set our minds to achieving Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream of true equality. How can we work to accomplish this?

Join the Russell Forum for Civic Life in Georgia, a civic engagement program of the Russell Library, for the third annual deliberative discussion of this tough question, tonight, January 19, 2010 from 6:00-8:00PM at the Russell Library. The program will use an issue guide developed by the National Issues Forums Institute to tackle this issue from three different perspectives, and to suggest varied approaches by which these problems might be addressed. Each approach offers a different diagnosis of what's wrong. Each provides a direction for public action. Each includes ideas and proposals that are drawn from across the political spectrum. For a closer look at the issue guide, click HERE.

Moderators for this program will be Melissa Shivers, Director of Intercultural Affairs for UGA and Jill Severn, Director of the Russell Forum for Civic Life in Georgia and head of Access and Outreach at the Russell Library at UGA. All opinions and ideas are welcome! Program is free and all are welcome. For more information, please call (706) 542-5788 or email

As a special side note...

Pat Priest, a steering committee member for the Russell Forum for Civic Life in Georgia, composed the following opinion piece on racial and ethnic tensions which appears in today's Athens Banner-Herald. Check it out here:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Informal Forum (1/15/2010): New Challenges of Immigration

The Russell Forum for Civic Life in Georgia (RFCLG) is hosting National Issues Forums on a monthly basis at the Russell Library. Our next informal forum will take place this Friday, January 15th from 3:00-4:30PM in the Russell Library auditorium.

What effects does immigration have on our society? Are America's immigration policies in need of reform? And, how should we tackle the issue of illegal immigrants? This month's deliberative forum considers the questions surrounding the evolving issue of immigration in the United States. Using the NIF issue guide The New Challenges of American Immigration, neutral moderators Monica Pereira and Jan Levinson will guide the discussion.

The event is free and open to all. More information is available by contacting Jill Severn at 706-542-5766 or emailing For more information about Russell Forum for Civic Life in Georgia, visit

How to Find the Russell Library: The Russell is located on the bottom floor of the Main Library building on UGA's north campus. Follow the path down the right side of the main library building (the west facing side) and down the stairs to access our door!