Thursday, February 22, 2018

Throwback Thursday - Gwendolyn Brooks on Campus, 1995

Image courtesy of the Samford University Library Special Collection

Twenty-three years ago this month, famed American poet Gwendolyn Brooks visited the campus as part of the Samford Speakers Series.  She is pictured here with then-SGA President Eric Motley, who himself will be speaking March 1st as part of the 2018 Tom & Marla Corts Distinguished Author Series.

In 1950, Ms. Brooks became the first African American to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.  She would also receive the Robert Frost Medal and the National Medal of Arts, among many other awards.  She also became the first African American woman inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1976.

Mr. Motley served as a special assistant to President George W. Bush and is currently an executive vice president at the Aspen Institute.  His memoir, Madison Park: A Place of Hope, has been listed on Oprah Winrey's "10 Titles to Pick up Now."  Those interested in attending his upcoming event can find more information and ticket prices by clicking here.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Throwback Thursday - Audrey Gaston Howard Graduation

Image courtesy of the Samford University Library Special Collection.

The library doesn't have very many pictures of Audrey Gaston Howard, Samford's very first full-time African American student, but one of our favorites is this one of her receiving her law degree from President Leslie S. Wright in 1970.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Throwback Thursday - 1973 Circle K Club and 1972 Step Sing

Image courtesy of the Samford University Library Special Collection.

The first of today's "Throwback Thursday" images is a look at the 1973 Circle K Club.  This image is one of three that grace the current issue of "Inside Samford," but the club members aren't identified.

Standing from left to right are Mr. Allen Hayse, Doug Moore, Steve Aycock, Rose Godsey, Brenda Griffith, Suzanne Mc Milan, Judy O'Mary, Debbie Cumbie, Sylvia Guarisco, Ginger Belcher, Beth Powell and  Jim Beekman.  Kneeling from left to right are Tommy McLoed, Tim Wright, Larry Jones, Rick Dill, Gary Robbins, Ken Turney, Gerard Farris and John Harris.

Image courtesy of the Samford University Library Special Collection.

The second "Throwback Thursday" image is in celebration of Step Sing 2018 kicking off tonight. In 1972, Alpha Phi Omega's riverboat-themed performance earned them first place in the Organizational Division.  So who are YOU rooting for this year?

Thursday, February 1, 2018

MLK Birmingham Jail Letter Display

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" is considered to be one of the most important texts of the Civil Rights Movement.  In observance of Black History Month, and in celebration of Samford University's 50th anniversary of integration, the library is proud to display this letter in its entirety on the 1st floor of the library near the Circulation Desk now through February 25th.

This display incorporates enlarged reproductions of an original copy of the letter which is housed in the library's Special Collection.  This copy was given to the library as part of the papers of Dr. George Bagley.  It is not known how Dr. Bagley obtained the letter.  However, at the time of the Birmingham Campaign in 1963, Dr. Bagley was the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Alabama Baptist State Convention so it is likely he received it while he was serving in this role.

Dr. King began writing the letter on the edges of a newspaper while in the Birmingham jail.  The notes were smuggled out to Wyatt Tee Walker, Executive Director for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and his secretary, Willie Pearl Mackey.  It was Mackey that took the scraps of notes and typed the first drafts of the letter.  The typed copy concludes with the initials of  MLK:WM noting the letter's author and the woman who typed it.

The library's copy of the letter will also be featured as part of an interview with Ms. Mackey in "Martin Luther King Jr.: One Man and His Dream," a new BBC documentary on Dr. King observing the 50th anniversary of his assassination.  This documentary is scheduled to air in the U.S. on the Reelz network on April 1st at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT.