Gates and Schmoke recall May Day Rally for PBS special

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Young men wearing "Human Rights Not Violence" tags at a 1970 May Day rally on the New Haven Green. Photo by John T. Hill, image courtesy Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archives.

An interview between Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. ’73 B.A. and former Yale trustee Kurt Schmoke ’71 B.A., filmed in the Manuscripts and Archives Reading Room at Sterling Memorial Library, will air on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 8 p.m. as part of the PBS series “The African Americans, Many Rivers to Cross.” The six-part series, hosted by Gates, began on Oct. 22 and explores five centuries of history.

The discussion filmed in Manuscripts and Archives will be part of the final episode, titled “A More Perfect Union (1968-2103).” In it, Gates interviews Schmoke about his participation in the campus and local events leading up to the 1970 May Day Rally in New Haven, and the impact those events had on Schmoke’s subsequent career.

As part of the interview, Gates and Schmoke examined Manuscripts and Archive materials documenting the May Day Rally era, including newspaper clippings, photographs, flyers, and correspondence. An exhibition on New Haven’s May Day Rally will open in the library’s Memorabilia Room in February 2014.

To read more about the filming experience and to see photos taken during the shoot, visit the Manuscripts and Archives blog.

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