A Sleight of History at the University of Alabama

Although not directly related to the Civil War, it is safe to say that the war looms large in this documentary.  “A Sleight of History” examines the significance of Foster Auditorium, the site of George Wallace’s infamous 1963 “stand in the schoolhouse door.” The film explores the issue of historical memory in the American South and questions how we memorialize aspects of our past. Marshall Houston and Sarah Melton produced “A Sleight of History” in Spring 2009 as part of the Documenting Justice program at The University of Alabama.  Click here for Sarah Melton’s article accompanying the documentary at Southern Spaces.

2 comments… add one

  • Ray O'Hara Jan 24, 2012

    The student who know the history of the Auditorium was a relief.
    who knows how many they asked, the real order or the actual percentage who knew.
    but at least they all weren’t clueless

  • Emmanuel Dabney Jan 25, 2012

    In the postscript the bothersome thing is that, yet again, Blacks are put into a separate category from others. The article quotes the Vice President for Advancement, Pam Parker as saying “There’s lots of possibilities and, of course, the African-American community might want to support it because of 1963…[b]ut Foster means a lot to a lot of different people.”

    It is obvious that some whites wanted to support it because of the events of 1963 as obvious from the student, Professor Frederickson, and Duncan Harmon who knew about the building’s history.

    In an unrelated yet related note: Where were the Black students? Quick stats I could find online is that the student body is 12% Black, 1% Asian, 1% Native American, 2% Hispanic so I know it isn’t easy when 82% is White.

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