February 2013 Archives

A circle and three lines - The Peace Symbol


Have you ever thought much about the peace symbol? It's certainly more than a circle and three lines. It's significance to the antiwar movement, to other peace and justice efforts across the globe is significant, as described here.

The peace symbol stands for the letters ND - standing for nuclear disarmament.:

"One of the most widely known symbols in the world, in Britain it is recognised as standing for nuclear disarmament --and in particular as the logo of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). In the United States and much of the rest of the world it is known more broadly as the peace symbol. It was designed in 1958 by Gerald Holtom, a professional designer and artist and a graduate of the Royal College of Arts." peace symbol.jpg

Here in the University Libraries we even have a DVD about this simple symbol:

A circle and three lines: A film

Holtom, Gerald.; Selby, Jan.; Kolsbun, Ken.; Hamilton, Brandon.; Gottlieb, Ben.; Tahija, Rodney.

[St. Paul, MN : Quiet Island Films] c2009

The DVD is only ten minutes long and worth a look. It's available anytime the Walter Library SMART Learning Center is open from our Media Collections. There is onsite viewing available as well.

Take a few minutes to learn more about this simple, but powerful symbol


Remembering Rosa Parks!

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Yesterday the USPS released a Forever stamp recognizing Rosa Parks, who would have been 100 years old this year.

Her quiet dignity and courage in defying the 'back of the bus' laws in Alabama became an important focal point in the civil rights movement.

As the USPS noted: "The response to Parks's arrest was a boycott of the Montgomery bus system that lasted for more than a year and became an international cause célèbre. In 1956, in a related case, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that segregating Montgomery buses was unconstitutional. Soon after the boycott ended, Parks moved to Detroit, Michigan. She joined the 1963 march on Washington and returned to Alabama in 1965 to join the march from Selma to Montgomery. The many honors Parks received in her lifetime include the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1996), the Spingarn Medal (1979), and the Congressional Gold Medal (1999). Upon her death in 2005, she became the first woman and second African American to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC."

Check out the stamp - and a news clipping about her arrest Rosa Parks stamp.pdf.

Barack Obama - The First Protest Song President!

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The Libraries' exhibit on Protest Music continues in both Music Library (Ferguson Hall) and in the basement level of Wilson Library. And it will continue through March!

This interesting observation is worth noting:

"It is midnight in Chicago's Grant Park on November 4, 2008. Barack Obama has just been elected the first black president of the United States of America by a formidable majority. He stands on a platform in the cold night air and tells one hundred thousand cheering supporters: 'It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.' Some in the crowd, or watching at home, recognize the line as a paraphrase of words written by the soul singer Sam Cooke almost exactly forty-five years ago: 'It's been a long, a long time coming / But I know a change gonna come.' At this historic moment, one of the greatest orators of the day has borrowed the most memorable line of his acceptance speech from an old protest song. Obama is, in a sense, the first protest song president."
-- Dorian Lynskey in 33 Revolutions per Minute: A History of Protest Songs, From Billie Holiday to Green Day (2011, p. xii)

Learn more about protest music! Events will be announced soon!


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