Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Civil Rights Movement - A Week of Free events in Alexandria, Virginia

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Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Civil Rights Movement - A Week of Free events in Alexandria, Virginia

September 26, 29, and October 1-3, 2015

Alexandria Black History MuseumJoin the Alexandria Black History Museum and the 1882 Foundation as they host a week of activities commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Movement.  All events are free and open to the public

Activities begin Saturday, September 26, at 2:00 pm, with an opening reception at the Alexandria Black History Museum (ABHM).  Special remarks will be made by Professor Janelle Wong, Director of the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Maryland. Guests may view a traveling exhibit Remembering 1882: Civil Rights Under the Shadow of the Chinese Exclusion Act.  The exhibit will be on display for a week in the museum’s Watson Reading Room of ABHM.

Panel discussions and screenings will be held on September 29th and October 1st.  The first panel is on Tuesday, September 29, 7:00 to 9:00 pm focuses on the role of African Americans and Chinese during the Civil War and its aftermath.   Speakers include National Park Service historians, ABHM museum staff and area educators.  

On Thursday, October 1, 7:00 to 9:00 pm, a second panel moves the focus into the modern era as panelists share their memories of the Civil Rights Movement in Alexandria and share eye-witness accounts of how DC Chinatown was affected by the Martin Luther King assassination in April 1968. Speakers include African American and Asian residents of the Metro area. Film clips from the documentaries Freedom Riders, The Loving Story,  and Through Chinatown’s Eyes: April 1968 will aid the discussion.

On Friday, October 2, from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm, A one-day workshop on teaching diversity will be offered.  Area educators and staff from Alexandria museums will discuss resources and lesson plans. Excerpts from the films Out of Obscurity (on the 1939 Alexandria Library Sit-in) Through Chinatown’s Eyes: April 1968 will be shown. Lunch will be provided and reservations are required.

To close the week, on Saturday, October 3, 3:00 to 6:00 pm, and to commemorate the anniversary of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act (also known as the Hart-Celler Act), author Martin Gold will give a lecture entitled, Forbidden Citizens: Chinese Exclusion and the U.S. Congress. Gold will discuss the fascinating history of the passage of racist exclusion laws that still have significance today.  The lecture will be at held at the Charles Houston Recreation Center at 3:00 p.m. Following the lecture, a reception and book signing will be held at the Black History Museum, located across the street from the Charles Houston Recreation Center.

Reservations are suggested for these free activities and presentations. Please call the museum at 703.746.4356 to reserve a seat for the events to be held at the Museum. The Alexandria Black History Museum, is located at 902 Wythe Street, Alexandria, VA, and is five blocks away from the Braddock Road Metro on the Yellow and Blue lines.  Ample Street parking is available.  You can also go to the website:  to learn more.

The City of Alexandria is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended. To request a reasonable accommodation, email or call 703.746.4554, Virginia Relay 711.