A Trip on the Historical Highway

This summer, KHC features daily posts about the speakers and topics in the Humanities catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “Where Immigration Hits the Historical Highway” by Antonio Delgado.

Mexican immigrants work on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway in Pauline, Kansas, 1913. Image from kansasmemory.org, Kansas Historical Society, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

Mexican immigrants work on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway in Pauline, Kansas, 1913. Image from kansasmemory.org, Kansas Historical Society, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

Immigration is a dynamic experience that impacts the individual, family, community, and country. With a focus on Mexican immigration to the United States, Antonio Delgado’s Speakers Bureau presentation looks at the experiences of 19th- and 20th-century immigrants and their personal and familial stories. How do communities react to the sometimes clash of cultures, and must it always result in anti-immigrant sentiments? What have been the trends in U.S. immigration policy and law enforcement over the years? This presentation, available in both English and Spanish, explores these topics and more.

“The Mexican population in the U.S. is very diverse; some arrived in Kansas over 100 years ago to work in the railroads, some are decorated World War II veterans, and others are recently arrived undocumented laborers,” said Delgado. “Learning the history of your neighbors makes sense and leads to healthier relations.”

Antonio Delgado

Antonio Delgado

Antonio Delgado is a historian and expert on U.S. immigration policy. He has taught classes on immigration, Latin American studies, and urban policy at the University of Illinois in Chicago and served in the Chicago mayor’s office on community planning issues.

You can bring Antonio Delgado’s “Immigration Hits the Historical Highway” or one of the other presentations in the Humanities catalog to your community for FREE with a Resource Center Support Grant. It’s quick and easy! Visit the Speakers Bureau page to get started or contact Leslie Von Holten, director of programs, at leslie(at)kansashumanities.org for more information.

Love at First Listen

This summer, KHC features daily posts about the speakers and topics in the Humanities catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “Música es mi Primer Amor (Music Is My First Love)” by Gene T. Chávez.

"K.C.'s Most Respected Band," the Lupe M. González Dance Orchestra. Image courtesy of Gene T. Chávez.

“K.C.’s Most Respected Band,” the Lupe M. González Dance Orchestra. Image courtesy of Gene T. Chávez.

“Music is my first love,” stated Lupe González in a 2002 interview with Gene T. Chávez for “Voices From the Past — Mexican-Americans Tell Their Stories,” an KHC-supported oral history project. Kansas Citian Lupe González developed his love for music by performing in the Rio Grande Serenaders, the Gay Rancheros, and eventually the Lupe M. González Orchestra, playing to audiences throughout the Midwest.

González was born in the Argentine district of Kansas City, Kansas, where his family immigrated to work railroad and meat packing jobs after fleeing the turmoil of the Mexican Revolution. As the Mexican immigrant population grew in the early and mid-twentieth century, weddings, baptisms, birthday parties, and fiestas called for music, and González’s distinct sound became synonymous with life during that period. Gene T. Chavéz’s Speakers Bureau presentation “Música es mi Primer Amor (Music Is My First Love)” explores González’s contributions to the music and culture of the region and is available in both English and Spanish

Gene T. Chávez

Gene T. Chávez

Gene T. Chávez, Ed.D., is the founder and president of Chávez and Associates. He consults with groups throughout the country on bilingual education and cultural diversity. In addition, he has taught at the secondary and post-secondary levels in Kansas and other states.

You can bring Gene T. Chávez’s “Música es mi Primer Amor (Music Is My First Love)” or one of the other presentations in the Humanities catalog to your community for FREE with a Resource Center Support Grant. It’s quick and easy! Visit the Speakers Bureau page to get started or contact Leslie Von Holten, director of programs, at leslie(at)kansashumanities.org for more information.

 

House of Opportunity

This summer, KHC features daily posts about the speakers and topics in the Humanities catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “The Harvey Girls’ Multicultural Workforce ” by Michaeline Chance-Reay.

Staff at the Fred Harvey House in El Paso, Texas, c. 1950. Image from kansasmemory.org, Kansas Historical Society, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

Staff at the Fred Harvey House in El Paso, Texas, c. 1950. Image from kansasmemory.org, Kansas Historical Society, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

The Fred Harvey Company not only hired recent immigrants to work in their famous Harvey House restaurants, they actively recruited them. Eventually African American workers became a part of the workforce, and during World War II American Indians and Mexican Americans were hired as well. This restaurant work along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad lines, provided reputable work for women who had few choices in the workforce. Michaeline Chance-Reay’s presentation will explore the job duties and working conditions of Harvey Girls from 1876 to the early 1950s.

Michaeline Chance-Reay

Michaeline Chance-Reay

“Women in the nineteenth or early twentieth centuries who wanted jobs or careers outside of the home had few choices,” said Chance-Reay, “but the Harvey Company offered unique opportunities. It was demanding work but also offered a decent salary in a protected environment, in addition to travel and adventure.”

Michealine Chance-Reay teaches coures in Women’s Studies and Education at Kansas State University. Her current research focuses on the Harvey Girls and historic sites on the K-State campus, especially those related to women.

You can attend Michaeline Chance Reay’s “The Harvey Girls’ Multicultural Workforce” on Tuesday, July 29th in Dodge City. You can also bring this topic or one of the other presentations in the Humanities catalog to your community for FREE with a Resource Center Support Grant. It’s quick and easy! Visit the Speakers Bureau page to get started or contact Leslie Von Holten, director of programs, at leslie(at)kansashumanities.org for more information.

Call for Speakers & Book Discussion Leaders

For Standing Together, a statewide initiative about the homecoming experiences of combat veterans.

Deadline: 5:00 PM Thursday, July 10, 2014
Click here to download the RFP

standing togetherIn September 2014, the Kansas Humanities Council will launch a statewide initiative, Standing Together, that explores the homecoming experiences of combat veterans. The initiative will begin with a series of book discussions and events focused on The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien in partnership with the NEA Big Read program.

KHC is looking for TALK book discussion leaders to facilitate community conversations focused on the book, and Speakers Bureau topics that explore the homecoming experiences of veterans. Discussion leaders and speakers receive an honorarium for each presentation event.

Click here for more information or contact Leslie Von Holten, director of programs, at leslie(at)kansashumanities.org or (785) 357-0359.

Image: Statue of the Three Servicemen – Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. 

 

Native American Civil Rights

This summer, KHC features daily posts about the speakers and topics in the Humanities catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “Native American Civil Rights 100 Years Ago” by Gretchen Cassel Eick.

Zitkala-Sa, c. 1920. Image from the Library of Congress.

Zitkala-Sa (Gertrude Bonnin), c. 1920. Image from the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Native Americans in the 1910s faced devastating poverty and governmental policies that favored whites who wanted water and land resources. Prevalent racial attitudes depicted Native Americans as a vanishing race that must assimilate or die out, or incompetent to manage their own resources. To combat these prejudices, the Society of American Indians lobbied Congress, promoted Native American achievements, and educated white Americans through articles and cultural performances. Gretchen Cassel Eick’s presentation discusses how activists like Charles Eastman and Zitkala-Sa (Getrude Bonnin) fought back with words and organizing to stop hostile policies and attitudes toward Native Americans.

“Most Americans know about wars between cowboys and Indians,” said Eick. “But what happened after the wars ended and America’s first people were consigned to poverty and isolation on infertile land?”

Gretchen Cassel Eick

Gretchen Cassel Eick

Gretchen Cassel Eick is an historian and professor emeritus at Friends University in Wichita. She has researched and published an article on Native American activism. Her book, Dissent in Wichita: The Civil Rights Movement in the Midwest, 1954-1972, won three awards and sparked museum exhibitions and commemorations of the 1958 Dockum Drug Store sit-in, the first successful student led sit-in in the United States that desegregated Rexall, the largest U.S. drug store chain.

You can bring Gretchen Cassel Eick’s “Native American Civil Rights 100 Years Ago” or one of the other presentations in the Humanities catalog to your community for FREE with a Resource Center Support Grant. It’s quick and easy! Visit the Speakers Bureau page to get started or contact Leslie Von Holten, director of programs, at leslie(at)kansashumanities.org for more information.

All That Jazz

This summer, KHC features daily posts about the speakers and topics in the Humanities catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “Kansas City Jazz and the Early Civil Rights Movement” by Kevin Rabas.

Famed jazz tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins (top row, right) was a member of the 1920-1921 Topeka High School Orchestra. Image from kansasmemory.org, Kansas Historical Society, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

Famed jazz tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins (top row, right) was a member of the 1920-1921 Topeka High School Orchestra. Image from kansasmemory.org, Kansas Historical Society, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

Kansas City jazz thrived on diversity: just as it melded and reshaped African and European musical traditions, it also gained energy and vitality from the talents of musicians of all races. Kevin Rabas’ Speakers Bureau presentation explores how musicians such as Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, and Lester Young drew national attention to the need for racial harmony by touring with integrated bands and writing songs that advocated equal rights in the early years of the Civil Rights movement.

“Jazz helped fuel the American Civil Rights movement and affirm and exalt African American identity in a changing world,” said Rabas. “Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King said, ‘It’s no wonder that so much of the search for identity among American Negroes was championed by jazz musicians. Long before the modern essayists and scholars wrote of racial identity as a problem for the multiracial world, musicians were returning to their roots to affirm that which was stirring within their souls.'”

Kevin Rabas

Kevin Rabas

Kevin Rabas co-directs the creative writing program at Emporia State University and edits Flint Hills Review. A jazz drummer and poet, he has four books inspired by jazz including Lisa’s Flying Electric Piano, a Kansas Notable Book.

You can bring Kevin Rabas’ “Kansas City Jazz and the Early Civil Rights Movement” or one of the other presentations in the Humanities catalog to your community for FREE with a Resource Center Support Grant. It’s quick and easy! Visit the Speakers Bureau page to get started or contact Leslie Von Holten, director of programs, at leslie(at)kansashumanities.org for more information.

 

A Law’s Legacy

This summer, KHC features daily posts about the speakers and topics in the Humanities catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “Legacy of an American Indian Civil Rights Law” by Brice Obermeyer.

Blackfeet Tribe at Haskell

Blackfeet Indian Chiefs at the dedication of Haskell Stadium, Lawrence, October 1926. Image from kansasmemory.org, Kansas Historical Society, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

Many museums across the United States have human remains, funeral objects, and the sacred items of American Indians in their collections. Brice Obermeyer’s Speakers Bureau topic explores the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), a law that guaranteed American Indian tribes the right to reclaim these items in an effort to restore the humanity of these individuals. When the law took effect in 1990, museum staff, board members, and volunteers feared conflict and a loss of valuable historical artifacts. However, increased collaboration between museums and Indian tribes has been sparked by NAGPRA, which is now appropriately viewed as American Indian Civil Rights legislation.

“Repatriation does more than return and rebury human remains,” said Obermeyer. “It builds strong and collaborative relationships between tribes and museums while restoring the humanity to those individuals in the museum collections who have long been viewed as artifacts of the past.”

Brice Obermeyer

Brice Obermeyer

Brice Obermeyer is an anthropologist who specializes in American Indian ethnography and historic preservation. He also serves as the director of the Delaware Tribe’s Historic Preservation Office.

You can bring Brice Obermeyer’s “Legacy of an American Indian Civil Rights Law” or one of the other presentations in the Humanities catalog to your community for FREE with a Resource Center Support Grant. It’s quick and easy! Visit the Speakers Bureau page to get started or contact Leslie Von Holten, director of programs, at leslie(at)kansashumanities.org for more information.

 

Ladies First

This summer, KHC features daily posts about the speakers and topics in the Humanities catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “Women Rising: How Kansas Women Gained the Vote, 1859-1912” by Diane Eickhoff.

 In 1922, Emporia Gazette Editor William Allen White famously said, “When anything is going to happen in this country, it happens first in Kansas.” White’s statement easily applies to women’s suffrage in the Sunflower State. Kansas women gained the vote in 1912, eight years before Congress passed the 19th Amendment granting voting rights to all American women.

The road to suffrage was not easy. Kansas women had to overcome many obstacles, including the indifference of their own sex and the fear many had of being considered “unladylike.” Diane Eickhoff’s Speakers Bureau presentation, “Women Rising: How Kansas Women Gained the Vote, 1859-1912,” revisits the women’s suffrage campaigns of 1859, 1867, 1894, and 1912 to explore how suffragists gained the right to vote.

Diane Eickhoff

Diane Eickhoff

 

Diane Eickhoff is an independent historian, writer, and editor of education materials. Her biography of Clarina Nichols, Revolutionary Heart: The Life of Clarina Nichols and the Pioneering Crusade for Women’s Rights, was named a Kansas Notable Book in 2007.

You can attend Diane Eickhoff’s “Women Rising: How Kansas Women Gained the Vote, 1859-1912” on Saturday, August 16th in Wichita. You can also bring this topic or one of the other presentations in the Humanities catalog to your community for FREE with a Resource Center Support Grant. It’s quick and easy! Visit the Speakers Bureau page to get started or contact Leslie Von Holten, director of programs, at leslie(at)kansashumanities.org for more information.

Image: Poster for women’s suffrage meeting in WaKeeney, 1894. Image via kansasmemory.org, Kansas Historical Society, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

A Year to Remember

This summer, KHC features daily posts about the speakers and topics in the Humanities catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “1964: The Civil Rights Act, the War on Povery, and Freedom Summer” by Gretchen Cassel Eick.

President Lyndon B. Johnson addresses the nation before signing the Civil Rights Act , July 2, 1964. Photo by O.J. Rapp. Image via The LBJ Presidential Library.

President Lyndon B. Johnson addresses the nation before signing the Civil Rights Act, July 2, 1964. Photo by O.J. Rapp. Image via The LBJ Presidential Library.

2014 marks the 50th anniversaries of the landmark Civil Rights Act, the launch of President Johnson’s War on Poverty, and the Freedom Summer when young Americans worked to register voters in the South. These historic actions were met with controversy, violence, and political resistance, but the results resonated around the globe. Federal laws protecting Americans against discrimination, programs that helped lift families out of poverty, and grassroots actions that educated and empowered voters strengthened the nation. Gretchen Cassel Eick’s presentation, “1964: The Civil Rights Act, the War on Poverty, and Freedom Summer,” highlights the changes and victories of 1964, a deciding year in our nation’s history.

“Fifty years ago, Americans of African and European ancestry challenged successfully the status quo, creating a tidal wave of change that we are still feeling,” said Eick.

Gretchen Cassel Eick

Gretchen Cassel Eick

Gretchen Cassel Eick is an historian and professor emeritus at Friends University in Wichita. Her book, Dissent in Wichita: The Civil Rights Movement in the Midwest, 1954-1972, won three awards and sparked museum exhibits and commemorations of the 1958 Dockum Drug Store sit-in in Wichita, the first successful student-led sit-in.

You can attend Gretchen Cassel Eick’s “1964: The Civil Rights Act, the War on Poverty, and Freedom Summer” on Saturday, June 21 at The Kansas African American Museum in Wichita. You can also bring this topic or one of the other presentations in the Humanities catalog to your community for FREE with a Resource Center Support Grant. It’s quick and easy! Visit the Speakers Bureau page to get started or contact Leslie Von Holten, director of programs, at leslie(at)kansashumanities.org for more information.

Topeka’s Greatest Trial

This summer, KHC features daily posts about the speakers and topics in the Humanities catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “Topeka’s Greatest Trial” by D.W. Carter.

Integrated School copy

First grade class at State Street Elementary School, Topeka, 1955. Photo by John Edward Schrock. Image via kansasmemory.org, Kansas Historical Society, copy and reuse restrictions apply.

In the fall of 1950, Oliver Brown tried to enroll his 7-year-old daughter at nearby Sumner Elementary, but she was refused entrance because she was African American. D.W. Carter’s presentation, “Topeka’s Greatest Trial,” tells the local story of Brown’s involvement with the class action lawsuit and includes direct testimony from the 1951 trial that was first argued before the U.S. District Court in downtown Topeka.  Participants will engage in a discussion of events leading up to 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Supreme Court decision that desegregated public schools across the nation.

“We often think of the Brown case in the broader context of the Civil Rights Movement,” said Carter. “But remembering the local story, which began right here in Kansas, is vitally important to our understanding of how individuals can influence change.”

SB_Carter

D.W. Carter

D. W. Carter is a historian, best-selling author, and educator specializing in military and social history. Originally from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, he was stationed at McConnell Air Force Base in 2003 and now considers himself a Kansan.

Bring D.W. Carter’s “Topeka’s Greatest Trial” or one of the other presentations in the Humanities catalog to your community for FREE with a Resource Center Support Grant. It’s quick and easy! Visit the Speakers Bureau page to get started or contact Leslie Von Holten, director of programs, at leslie(at)kansashumanities.org for more information.