While February is Black History Month, July is the month in which this country was founded, and, in honor of that event, the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in downtown Greensboro is gearing up for presentations that provide a take on history that may not get proper emphasis in history classes in schools.
A Monday, July 1 press release from museum states that Independence Day is the right time to reflect on “our nation’s founding principles of justice, freedom, and equality,” and a time to “fight continually to ensure that we hold true to the promise, ‘all men and women have been created equal.’”
That theme of the founding principles of equality – and the complexity of the motives and beliefs of this country’s founders – permeate the museum’s events calendar this month.
On Thursday, July 4, at 2 p.m., the museum will kick off a lecture series titled “The Constitutional Background and Foundation of America’s Struggle to Make a Decent Political Order.” The lectures will be presented by University of Pennsylvania Professor Will Harris.
His Independence Day afternoon lecture, titled, “A Factual 4th of July: Ghost-Marks of a Deficient Founding,” will focus on “the missing part of the Declaration of Independence” that allowed for slavery.
The following day, on Friday, July 5, at 6 p.m., the lecture will be “America’s First Constitutional Founding in 1776: U.S. O/S 1.0, Good Government.”
On Thursday, July 25 – the anniversary of the day when the downtown Greensboro F.W. Woolworth’s was integrated as a result of the Sit-in Movement in 1960 – the lecture will be titled, “Building America Better: The Distinctive Contributions from the Three Constitutional Foundings to the Civil Rights Movement.” That lecture will start at 3 p.m.
For those who like to get their knowledge from movies, on Saturday, July 6 at 2 p.m. – and again on Saturday, July 20, also at 2 p.m. – the museum will show “Liberty & Slavery: The Paradox of America’s Founding Fathers.”
That documentary includes interviews with scholars that “explore the paradox of America’s Founding Fathers being champions of liberty and yet simultaneously champions of slavery.”
There’s also something for the kids this July at the museum. On Saturday, July 20 at 11 a.m., the museum will welcome Sheryl Moses as the guest reader for the Children’s Saturday Story Hour. Moses is a retired educator who worked in the Public City School District of New York.
The museum offers story times to children and families on Saturdays to help attendees enjoy books and stories, and to expose them to “themes that promote civil rights history, character development, diversity, and creative ways to make social change.”