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The Future of the African American Past Conference

Dr. Carson with historian Sara Evans and Terrence Roberts, one of the Little Rock 9, at the Opening Roundtable. All three are sitting down, Dr. Carson in the middle, Evans to his right, Roberts to his left. Dr. Carson is speaking and has his hands raised in the air to make a point.

Dr. Carson with historian Sara Evans and Terrence Roberts, one of the Little Rock 9, at the Opening Roundtable.

May 31 2016

On May 19, 2016, Dr. Clayborne Carson traveled to Washington, D.C. for “The Future of the African American Past” conference. The directors of the newly constructed National Museum of African American History & Culture held the conference as an opportunity for historians to share research and ideas, take stock of recent trends, and set an agenda to guide future inquiry.

Dr. Carson served as a panelist for the opening roundtable, “The Long Struggle For Civil Rights And Black Freedom.” He was joined by Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, Sara M. Evans, Jessica Pierce, and Terrence Roberts. The panel of academics and activists of the Civil Rights Movement reflected on African American political activism in the last half-century. In response to moderator Professor Barbara Ransby’s opening question about the panelists’ entry into the movement, Dr. Carson shared his experience at the 1963 March on Washington. He recalled meeting Howard University student Stokely Carmichael in Ohio shortly before the March, and he remembered that Carmichael told him that the March would just be a big “picnic.”

Visit the conference website for video recordings of the panel. Read historians Raymond Arsenault and Allison Miller's blog posts covering the roundtable.

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Clayborne Carson, King Institute