**News release submitted by Wilton Libraries**
January 5, 2023
The Wilton Library and Wilton Historical Society delve into America’s struggle for justice and equality in a series of scholarly lectures titled “A Rocky Road: The Struggle for Rights in America.” This is the 16th consecutive year that the two organizations have collaborated to present his special four-part series. Lectures will be held on Sunday afternoons beginning January 29, from 4:00 p.m. to he 5:30 p.m. Separate registration is required for each session.
“We are very pleased to partner with the Wilton Historical Society for our 16th annual collaboration. We encourage our community to participate in these special programs,” said Wilton Library’s Director of Adult Programming.
“This four-part series is informative, thought-provoking, and a great opportunity to learn more about how different groups and communities have uniquely fought for justice and rights in American society. We will provide it,” agreed director Nick Foster. of the Wilton Historical Society.
The four lectures are hosted by either the Wilton Library or the Wilton Historical Society as follows:
Sunday, January 29, 4-5:30 p.m. Wilton Library
Bending the Ark: Promises of Derailed Reconstruction; Navigating Jim Crow’s Century of Apartheid – Dr. Janus Adams
In this kick-off program, Dr. Janus Adams discusses his encounter with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a brief conversation, and the charges made against this then-10-year-old girl. Many of you will no doubt notice that the title of her lecture refers to Dr. King’s famous quote. Reconstruction, which began shortly after the Civil War ended, held great promise for the true emancipation of black people in America. How did Reconstruction derail and, as a result, Jim Crow in the South and legal and de facto segregation in the North? What are some examples of success stories? Dr. Janus Adams is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, historian, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and author. She is also a producer and host of ‘The Janus Adams Show’ on public radio and a podcast. When she was eight years old, she was one of her four children selected to break down de facto racism in New York following the Brown v. Board of Education ruling. did. At age 10, she was introduced to Dr. King. A pioneer of issue-oriented African American and women’s programming, she has hosted and produced numerous talk her shows for public broadcast and cable her news. She is a frequent on-air guest and contributes significantly to her media in print and online. A former Wilton resident, she began her 16-year career as a syndicated columnist for the Wilton Bulletin. Hosted by Stephen Hudspeth. This lecture is sponsored by Kathleen and Bill Brennan and hosted by the Wilton Library.
Sunday, February 5, 4:00pm-5:30pm, Wilton Library
Children and the Kitchen: The Role of Children and Domestic Workers in the Civil Rights Movement – Dr. Camesha Scruggs
In this program, Dr. Kamesha Scruggs, Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University, will study with Martin Luther King Jr. and Martin Luther King Jr. Rosa Parks. But children are an integral part of movement. From participating in school desegregation efforts to contributing domestic workers to local boycotts, their role proves vital in advancing the civil rights movement. Dr. Camesha Scruggs recently completed her PhD in History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A native of Texas, she holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in History from her Southern University of Texas. Her research interests include twentieth-century America, African-American public history, gender and empire. She serves on the board of the African American Life and History Research Association and the National Community of Women’s History Sites. She volunteers for various community conservation initiatives to bring her stories to a wider audience. Her current project explores the lived experiences of African-American female domestic servants in Texas in the early 20th century and how interventions from society, citizens, government, and institutions of higher education affect their careers. are investigating whether Moderator: Max Gabrielson. This lecture is sponsored in memory of Bob Kelso and hosted by the Wilton Library.
Sunday, March 12, 4:00pm-5:30pm, Wilton Historical Society
American Women Demand Equality: From Voting Rights to Working Conditions – Dr. Aimee Loiselle
In this program, Aimee Loiselle, Assistant Professor at Central Connecticut State University, discusses how women from different backgrounds and communities have pursued equity through different means. The suffrage movement and even the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote by the federal government in 1920, grew out of many tactics shaped largely by race, class and geography. The passage of the bill has spurred greater efforts by women to use the vote and highlight its inadequacy to address issues such as unfair working conditions and poverty. There were points of cooperation and division throughout the 20th century, as working-class white women, black women, and working-class women demanded equality on a variety of terms. Aimee Loiselle, Ph.D., is an award-winning historian and assistant professor at Central Connecticut State University. She studies contemporary U.S. history with an interest in women workers and at the intersection of gender, race, class, and citizenship. Her book Beyond Norma Rae: How Puerto Rican and Southern White Women Fought for Working-Class Status in America (University of North Carolina Press, 2023) explores how female textile and apparel workers It follows the struggles over conditions and efforts to shape up. What it means to the working class in America in the late 20th century. Prior to his position at CCSU, he taught at a variety of institutions, including public high schools and the transition to college programs for historically marginalized students. was Her writings have been published in literary journals, newspapers, magazines, blogs and academic history journals. Her moderator is Max Gabrielson. This lecture is sponsored by Mary Gale and Jerry Gristina and hosted by the Wilton Historical Society.
Sunday, March 26, 4:00pm-5:30pm, Wilton Historical Society
The Long Road to LGBTQ+ Rights and Equality in the United States – Dr. Kelly Marino
In this program, Sacred Heart University History Lecturer Kelly Marino discusses the history of the contemporary LGBTQ+ rights movement in the United States beginning in the mid-20th century. Her presentation examines the transition from gay campaigns to the gay liberation movement. She talks about the interrelationships of the 1960s with other social and political campaigns of her 70s, the movement’s activism and ideology, the culture of the sexual revolution, and the impact of such significant events as Stonewall. Her discussion helps provide context for the current events that are making today’s headlines.Kelly Marino, PhD, is a lecturer in the Department of History at the College of Arts and Sciences at Sacred Heart University and a woman She is also the director of the academic program. She got her Ph.D. She holds a BA in History from Binghamton University (SUNY) and an MA in History from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Marino is from Connecticut. She has her passions in state and local history, women’s history, and the history of sexuality. Her research focuses on social and political movements, 20th century American history, and Gilded Age/Progressive America. She writes about reform, minority struggles, and activism, with particular interest in issues of age, education, gender, and sexuality. She is currently working on a book project on advancing women’s higher education and her women’s rights movement in 20th century America. Hosted by Stephen Hudspeth. This lecture is sponsored by Virginia and Tom Gunther and hosted by the Wilton Historical Society.
Additional information about each course is posted on the library’s website, www.wiltonlibrary.org, with a registration link. An application is required for each course. Participation fee is free. However, you can make a suggested donation of $10 directly to the host institution from the individual registration page. For more information, visit www.wiltonlibrary.org, www.wiltonhistorical.org, or call the Wilton Library at 203-762-6334.