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“The Rochester Riots: 50 Years Later” – A Public Dialogue


Over the next couple of months, St. John Fisher College will host “The Rochester Riots: Fifty Years Later – A Public Dialogue,” a series of events that remember the Rochester Riots of 1964. The events will include panel discussions, performances, an art exhibit, and an all-day conference focused on the riots.

Remaining events will include:

  • Thursday, March 27, 6:00 p.m. - Golisano Gateway Midlevel
    “1964 and After” Panel

    Panel discussion including panelists Rev. John Walker, Ruth Scott ,Darryl Porter and Chief James Sheppard. Followed by Q&A.
  • Friday, March 28 - Golisano Gateway Midlevel
    “1964 Fifty Years After Conference”

          Morning session speakers include:

-Dr. Carolyn Vacca, Associate Professor in History at Fisher, and the Monroe County Historian, will explore the     causative narratives that emerged before, during, and after the riots and their impact on local organized black leadership.

-Laura Hill, Assistant Professor of History and Africana Studies at Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, NJ, will present her paper “Let Those Negroes Have Their Whiskey: White Responses in a Decade of Racial Unrest." It examines the collection of letters held in the Rochester City Archives that poured into Mayor Lamb and City Manager Porter's offices from around the city, state, and nation in the wake of the uprising.

-Ibram X. Kendi, Assistant Professor of African Studies at the State University New York at Albany, and a visiting scholar in African Studies at Brown University, will explore the connections between the riots and the growth of the black power movement. His presentation is titled "From Civil Rights to Black Power in 1964: Rochester and Beyond."

Afternoon speakers will be announced soon!

  • Thursday, April 3, 7:00 p.m. - Cleary Auditorium
    “FuturPointe Dance Performance” – Choreographed performance to reflect civil rights issue.
    Adults $10.00, Students $8.00.  Free for Fisher faculty, staff, and students with ID.
  • Tuesday, April 1-Monday, April 7 (gallery hours) - Patricia O’Keefe Ross Gallery in the Skalny Welcome Center
    “Now and Then” – An exhibit on the Rochester riots produced by students will be on display during regular gallery hours.

The series of events is being made possible thanks to funding from the New York State Council for the Humanities, Office of the Monroe County Historian, Office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Programs, and the Visual and Performing Arts program.

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