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Education at the Schomburg: Conversations in Black Freedom Studies: The Rosa Parks Centennial – Celebrating the Legacies of Rosa Parks and Eslanda Robeson


  • February 8, 2013
  •  Canceled - This event will be rescheduled for a later date.

February 4, 2013 marks the centennial of the birth of Rosa Parks.  Two decades earlier, Eslanda Cardozo Goode Robeson was born on December 15, 1895 in WashingtonDC.  Both women were indomitable activists and long distance runners 'hidden in plain sight' in the Black Freedom Struggle: Rosa Parks played a foundational role laying the groundwork, galvanizing and maintaining the Montgomery movement and subsequently advising Civil Rights and Black Power organizations in Detroit;  Eslanda Robeson— chemist, author, actress and journalist—as a leader in the Progressive Party and the anti-colonial Council on African Affairs. REGISTER.

Mary Frances Berry, the former Chair of the US Commission on Civil Rights, will join Professors Barbara Ransby and Jeanne Theoharis to honor these two freedom fighters and discuss their new books--Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson and The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks.  Join us for this important celebration.  


 This event is first in a new adult education series - Conversations in Black Freedom Studies - presented by Education at the Schomburg every first Thursday of the month.  The Spring 2013 series is curated by professors Jeanne Theoharis (BrooklynCollege) and Komozi Woodard (SarahLawrenceCollege).

More about our guests and series curators:

Barbara Ransby is Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Illinois, Chicago She is the author of Ella Baker and the Black Radical Tradition* and Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson*.  Download the introduction and epilogue to Eslanda below.

Mary Frances Berry is Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of And Justice for All: The United States Commission on Civil Rights and the Continuing Struggle for Freedom in America and Power in Words: The Stories behind Barack Obama's Speeches from the State House to the White House

Jeanne Theoharis is Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College of CUNY.  She is the author of The Rebellious Life of Mrs Rosa Parks* (to preview the introduction here) and co-editor of Freedom North: Black Freedom Struggles Outside of the South, 1940-1980 and Groundwork: Local Black Freedom Movements in America with Komozi Woodard; and Want to Start a Revolution?: Radical Women in the Black Freedom Struggle with Dayo Gore and Komozi Woodard.

Komozi Woodard is Esther Raushenbush Professor of History, Public Policy and Africana Studies at SarahLawrenceCollege.



Thursday March 7,  6:00 pm, American Negro Theater
The Oakland Black Panther Party 
with Donna Murch and Robyn Spencer

Thursday April 4 at 6 pm, American Negro Theater
The Economics of Black Power 
with David Goldberg, Laura Hill, Julia Rabig 

Thursday May 2,  6:00 pm American Negro Theater
Freedom North: The Black Freedom Struggle in New York
With Brian Purnell and Clarence Taylor

Thursday June 6,  6:00 pm, American Negro Theater
Black Radical Internationalism
with Michael West, Robyn Spencer, and Akinyele Umoja

Admission FREE!  Registration is required.  For more information, email 

* Books from the series are available for purchase in The Shop at the SchomburgCenter.