Through the Doors

Through the Doors logoCommemorating the 50th Anniversary of Desegregation at The University of Alabama


The College of Arts and Sciences joins the rest of the University community in celebrating the June 11, 1963, enrollment of the first African-Americans at The University of Alabama.

We’re sponsoring a variety of exhibits, performances, and lectures commemorating the 50th anniversary of desegregation and the contributions of African-Americans to our institution, state, and nation as well as to the various scholarly disciplines comprising the College. This page provides a complete-to-date listing of the College’s Through the Doors events. Check back often — events and information will be added throughout the year. [dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]

To learn more about the history and people involved in the events of June 1963, visit, the University’s official site for the anniversary celebration.

To add your department’s event to this page and the A&S events calendar, contact Dr. Jimmy Williams, associate dean for multicultural affairs, at (205) 348-7007 or

To find out how your student organization can be part of the celebration, or to apply for a grant for your organization’s event, visit[/dropdown_box]

Student Perceptions of Race Relations at the University of Alabama: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives: A Symposium in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of Desegregation at UA
November 6, 1–4 p.m.
205 Gorgas Library
[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]The College of Arts and Sciences, the Institute for Social Science Research, the Department of Gender and Race Studies, the Department of Political Science and the School of Social Work will sponsor a symposium featuring presentations on several dimensions of campus race relations by researchers across the disciplines of psychology, sociology, and political science. The symposium will largely be devoted to the presentation and discussion of the results of a recent survey of the racial attitudes and behavior of over 4,000 University of Alabama students conducted in January 2013. This survey is the latest in a series of similar surveys that have been conducted on campus beginning as early as 1963 and replicated periodically on campus until the late 1980s. The event is open to UA faculty, UA students, and the public.[/dropdown_box]

“It Don’t Stop: The Promise of Hip-hop and Black Politics”
Dr. Lester Spence, Johns Hopkins University
November 8, 2 p.m.
205 Gorgas Library
[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]Dr. Spence is an expert on the convergence of black popular culture and racial politics. His lecture, which should be of great interest to students, faculty, and the larger community, considers the way we use music to address racism, social change, and improve our understanding of black community life. Anyone interested in the place of music in popular culture and political life will find the lecture fascinating and important. Dr. Spence’s latest book, Stare in the Darkness: The Limits of Hip-hop and Black Politics (U of Minn., 2011), considers how rap has been important in addressing everything from police brutality to electoral politics to the culture of presidential campaigns.[/dropdown_box]

“Diversity of the World and Intercultural Connection”
November 13 (International Education Week), 3–4:30 p.m.
B.B. Comer Hall
[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]The Critical Languages Center will provide diverse foods for University of Alabama students to taste as part of the annual Exotic Food Tasting Trip. There will also be a costume show, international music, and a parade from the Ferguson Center to B.B. Comer Hall.[/dropdown_box]

“Shakespeare and American Integration” symposium
November 15-16
Bryant Conference Center
[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]Sponsored by the Department of English, this two-day symposium discusses the role of Shakespeare in integration. Featured speakers include Jason Demeter of George Washington University, Steven Buhler of the University of Nebraska, Nigel Hatton of the University of California–Merced, Delfeayo Marsalis, Joyce McDonald of the University of Kentucky, Ayanna Thompson of George Washington University, and Keith Miller and Erin McCarthy of Arizona State University. A concert featuring Delfeayo Marsalis and Octet will be held Friday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall of the Moody Music building.[/dropdown_box]

Coming in Fall 2013

“Hands on the Freedom Plow: Reflections on the Black Freedom Movement”
[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) activists Constance Curry and Doris Derby will speak about their work in SNCC and life in the freedom movement by sharing personal reflections from Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC.[/dropdown_box]

Completed Events

Trip to the Civil Rights Institute
February 24
520 16th St. N., Birmingham, AL 35203
[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]UA students are invited to visit the Civil Rights Institute to learn about events that shaped the civil rights movement in the United States. Admission is free and transportation is provided, but registration is required. Buses will return to the Ferguson Center at approximately 4:00 p.m.[/dropdown_box]

“Integration Now, Integration Tomorrow, and Integration Forever”
March 15, 6:00 p.m.
208 Gordon Palmer Hall
[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]The University of Alabama Department of Psychology will host a student-centered program featuring a speaker focusing on historical contributions of African American psychologists and the role that psychology has played in facilitating racial harmony; a poster session in which student authors and their faculty mentors will present work focusing on historical contributions of African American psychologists; and a reception.[/dropdown_box]

Desegregation Now, Desegregation Forever: a Forum on the 50th Anniversary of Integration
March 18, 7 to 9 p.m.
223 Lloyd Hall
[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]Presented by the Department of Gender and Race Studies, this forum will consist of two parts: a roundtable discussion that will include Reverend Dr. Jonathan McPherson, Dr. Donald Brown, Dr. Art Dunning, Dr. Debra McCallum, and Dr. Utz McKnight, and Hattie B. Edwards, the first female mayor in Greene County. The roundtable discussion will be followed by a manifesto composed by our students, “When One Door Opens, So Too Must Another.” Free and open to the public.[/dropdown_box]

Presentation and Fireside Chat by Dr. Dolores Battle
April 5, 11:00 a.m.
Rooms B and C Child Development Research Center[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]Dr. Battle is a fellow of the American Speech Language Hearing Association and was president of the American Speech Language Hearing Association from 2005 to 2007. She will present on the historical data and demographic growth associated the participation of minorities in the speech-language pathology profession.[/dropdown_box]

Where We Stand: a One-Day Research Conference
April 5; events at 9:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 5:15 p.m.
110 AIME Building
Event website
[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]Sponsored by the Frances S. Summersell Center for the Study of the South and the Department of History, this conference features presentations by leading scholars of the civil rights movement and graduate students studying this movement, plus poster presentations and a virtual exhibit on the civil rights movement in Alabama designed by University of Alabama undergraduate students. The morning panel, “Alabama and the Civil Rights Movement, 50 Years On,” will run from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and feature panelists B.J. Hollars, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; Hasan Jeffries, Ohio State University; and Jason Sokol, University of New Hampshire. Dr. Kari Frederickson, chair of UA’s Department of History, will moderate; Joseph Crespino of Emory University will provide comments. The afternoon panel, “Integration in the United States, Broadly Considered,” will be held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and feature panelists Dennis Deslippe, Frankin and Marshall College; Charles Martin, University of Texas-El Paso; and Joyce Baugh, University of Central Michigan. Rob Riser of the University of West Alabama will moderate; Francoise Hamlin of Brown University will provide comments. The conference will conclude with a keynote address by Diane McWhorter, author of Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, the Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution, at 5:15 p.m. in Malone-Hood Plaza at Foster Auditorium. (Rain location will be Farrah Hall 120). [/dropdown_box]

Meet the Capstone  Recruitment Day
April 9
Ferguson Student Center
[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]High school students from Tuscaloosa County and the surrounding Black Belt areas are invited to UA to learn about admissions and financial aid; campus life; special programs; and majors and minors. Students will have opportunities to meet with faculty members; entertainment will be provided.[/dropdown_box]

Concert: Symphonic Band and Concert Band 
April 15, 7:30 p.m.
Moody Music Building
Tickets: or (205) 348-7111
[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]The Alabama Symphonic Band will perform pieces honoring the desegregation struggle, including Michael Daugherty’s “Rosa Parks Boulevard,” featuring trombonists Dr. Jon Whitaker, Bruce Faske, and John Shanks; Mark Camphouse’s “A Movement for Rosa; and Ronald Lo Presti’s “Elegy for a Young American.” The concert will include a multimedia presentation highlighting the desegregation movement on the University of Alabama campus. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for students.[/dropdown_box]

Migration/s, Paul R. Jones American Art Collection 
March 7 through April 19
Exhibit opened March 5; reception held March 7
Paul R. Jones Gallery, 2308 Sixth Street, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]This exhibition investigates how artists have explored the history of African-American experiences in the wake of the Great Migration (loosely dated from around 1915 to 1970) as well as more expansive historical and contemporary, local and global, and national and international migrations. It features renowned artists from the Paul R. Jones Collection of The University of Alabama such as Lois Mailou Jones, John Riddle Jr., James Sherman Brantley, Margaret T. Goss Burroughs, Reginald Gammon, Emma Amos, Dawoud Bey, and Elizabeth Catlett. Gallery talks will be held in March and April: March 7, 6 p.m., Dr. Utz McKnight; March 14, 6 p.m., Dr. Jennifer Shoaff; additional dates to be announced. Gallery hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday, 12 to 8 p.m.[/dropdown_box]

Show Boat 
April 15-21; 7:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 2:00 p.m. Sunday
Gallaway Theatre, Rowand-Johnson Building
Tickets: or (205) 348-3400
[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]Considered one of the most influential musicals of the 20th century, Show Boat combined the talents of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II to tell the story of three generations of show folk on the Cotton Blossom floating theater. Written in 1927, Show Boat is considered to be the first great American musical, and was the first show to address civil rights and racial inequalities.[/dropdown_box]

Diversity Awareness Symposium: Highlighting Research and Collaboration in STEM
April 27, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Shelby Hall
Event website[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]Hosted by the Department of Chemistry, this symposium will highlight the extraordinary research contributions of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) faculty from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in chemistry and biochemistry. The symposium’s goals are to increase the appreciation of diversity, to encourage students from diverse backgrounds to pursue education in fields in which women and minorities have traditionally been underrepresented, and to strengthen professional and scientific relationships within the region. Through panel discussions highlighting educational and mentoring support, the symposium also seeks to open a dialogue on recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups, on the advantages of a graduate education, and on research and educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. A poster session will be held and undergraduate participants will be entered into a drawing for prizes.[/dropdown_box]

Wilbur Rich: “Growing Up in Segregated Montgomery”
September 18, 2:00 p.m.
Ferguson Forum
[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]Noted political scientist Dr. Wilbur Rich will speak about his early life in Montgomery, Alabama, during the civil rights era and African-American political participation since that time. In addition to the lecture, Dr. Rich will also discuss civil rights and political participation with New College LifeTrack students enrolled in the course Women in the Civil Rights Movement.[/dropdown_box]

Trip to Montgomery: Women in the Civil Rights Movement 
Montgomery, Alabama
September 19 and 20
[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]Students will participate in a two-day trip to the state capital, where they will visit historical sites, museums, and archives and reflect upon the difference, if any, between historical records and selected histories of women who participated in the American civil rights movement. This trip is open to students who are enrolled in the fall 2013 course “Women in the Civil Rights Movement,”  which is offered in a quasi-independent study/distance format to students in New College LifeTrack (EXD), through an independent study course in New College, or through a crosslisted course in the Department of Gender and Race Studies. Students in these classes may drive to Montgomery, or they can ride in a van with classmates. Each student is responsible for making his or her own lodging arrangements in Montgomery and the cost of food, lodging, and other trip-related expenses. To enroll in the gender and race studies class, contact Dr. Utz McKnight at (205) 348-5782 or To enroll in the New College independent study course, contact Dr. Margaret Purcell at (205) 348-7038 or[/dropdown_box]
Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre Fall Showing
October 1-4
Morgan Auditorium
[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]The University of Alabama’s preprofessional dance company will return to Morgan Hall with an all-new concert choreographed by UA’s award-winning dance program faculty and featuring the program’s talented students. ARDT presents a diverse mix of traditional and innovative pieces, bringing the storytelling of the dance to life with technical prowess and creativity.[/dropdown_box]

Seven Guitars 
October 7-13; 7:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 2:00 p.m. Sunday
Gallaway Theatre, Rowand-Johnson Building
Tickets: or (205) 348-3400
[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]Seven Guitars, a 1995 play by American playwright August Wilson, focuses on seven African-American characters in the year 1948. The play’s recurring theme is the African-American male’s fight for his own humanity, self-understanding, and self-acceptance in the face of personal and societal ills.[/dropdown_box]

“If This Is America”: Lecture by Leonard Pitts Jr.
October 8, 12:00 p.m.
223 Little Hall
[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]Leonard Pitts Jr., a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, will give a lecture entitled “If This is America…” Pitts is a Miami Herald columnist and has written six books. Read more about Pitts. This lecture is part of the School of Social Work’s Colloquium Series and is co-sponsored by New College in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Journalism in the College of Communication and Information Sciences.[/dropdown_box]

Letter from Birmingham Jail
October 14, 7:30 p.m.
Morgan Auditorium
[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]UA, in partnership with Red Mountain Theatre Company, will present a live reenactment of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail. The presentation will depict events leading up to the letter and include a reading of the letter itself. UA students will play several key roles in the performance. Admission is free but tickets are required; visit the UA School of Music website to order:[/dropdown_box]

Dr. Winifred Bragg, MD
October 24, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
205 Smith Hall
[dropdown_box expand_text=”information” show_more=”More” show_less=”Less” start=”hide”]Dr. Winifred Bragg, MD, is a nationally recognized speaker known for her talks on success and leadership. She recently authored her first book, Anatomy of Success, and has appeared on many national news networks and in several magazines.[/dropdown_box]