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50th Commemoration of the Gibbs Green Tragedy
May 13, 2020 @ 8:00 am - May 15, 2020 @ 11:00 pm EDT
From the Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee (VPCC) announcement:
In case you are unaware of what took place fifty years ago at Jackson State University, a good account can be found on this 22-minute video. The commemoration program is being organized by the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University. Events for Gibbs/Green 50 can be followed here
April 3-4 As part of the 14th Annual Creative Arts and Scholarly Engagement Festival, VPCC is assisting with a panel that will inform current students of the influence of the civil rights struggle on the anti-war movement, including Dr. Martin Luther King’s Breaking Silence sermon at Riverside Church 53 years before. Speakers on April 3 will include Martha Noonan, Mandy Carter, Rev. Richard Fernandez and VPCC Washington representative Terry Provance.
May 13-15 50th Commemoration of the Gibbs Green Tragedy. VPCC friend Peter Yarrow is expected to sing. A panel is being organized for the 15th on the relationship of Jackson State with the anti-war movement that will include John McAuliff, VPCC Coordinator.
Jackson State’s connection to Kent State and the anti-war movement is not direct, although they are linked in the politics of the time and in many Kent State remembrances. The coincidence of timing and the long relationship of the civil rights and anti-war movements led to the events being linked in the later stages of the student strike that had incorporated concern about racism in its initial call.
A perceptive essay by Patrick Chura who will speak on the May 15 panel appeared in the journal Peace & Change, “’Mississippi Phenomenon’: Reinterpreting the 1970 Jackson State Shootings in the Era of Black Lives Matter”. He summarizes the view of Alan “Tre” Dufner, then a Kent State junior and president of the May 4 Task Force, that ‘the most currently meaningful connections between Kent State and Jackson State stem not from a common cause of antiwar protest that never existed anyway, but from their joint reflection of truths about police brutality and abuse of government power.” Chura, a professor at the University of Akron who teaches a course on American Literature of the Vietnam War, also integrates into his analysis the perspective of Viet Thanh Nguyen in the book “Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War”