The City of Rochester, in partnership the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County, the Friends and Foundation of the Rochester Public Library and the Office of the City Historian, with support from the Democrat and Chronicle Media Group, will present a series of events during the month of July to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the rebellion of July 1964.
The rebellion of 1964 began on the night of July 24, 1964, when a routine arrest during a youth street dance on Joseph Avenue erupted into a massive civil disturbance that lasted three days across two predominantly African American city neighborhoods. Hundreds of people were arrested, the National Guard was called to a northern city for the first time in the Civil Rights era and the racial disparities that had existed in Rochester for decades could no longer be ignored.
“The rebellion of 1964 has been rightfully compared to the construction of the Erie Canal in terms of its significance in Rochester's history,” said Mayor Warren. “It was a seminal moment that forced our community to finally confront the racial disparity that had been simmering below the surface for far too long. I hope that July 2014 will be a month to remember those heated days 50 years ago and recommit ourselves to achieving true unity in Rochester.
July 64 Events
The following events will be presented during the month of July to commemorate the events of the Rochester Rebellion:
- Through July 31: Now and Then - Remembering the Race Riots/Rebellion of 1964 - An exhibit, created by St. John Fisher College students and funded by the New York Council for the Humanities, that chronicles the local, national, and global impact of the July 1964 riots and rebellion. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Local History and Genealogy Division of the Rundel Memorial Library, 115 South Ave.
- July 7, 14, 21 and 28: Retrofitting Rochester - Remembering the Race Riots/Rebellion of 1964 - Staff from the Office of the City Historian will explore the July 1964 rebellion in a four-part series of articles in the Democrat & Chronicle’s weekly “Retrofitting Rochester” column throughout the month of July 2014. The column is published every Monday in the RocRoots section of the newspaper and posted online at www.media.democratandchronicle.com/retrofitting-rochester.
- July 11 through Aug. 1: July 64 Rochester Remembers - An exhibit of photographs from the archives of the City of Rochester and Gannett Rochester to commemorate the events before, during and immediately after the rebellion of July 1964. Presented in association with the Democrat and Chronicle UNITE Rochester. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. City Hall Link Gallery, 30 Church St. A Curator’s Reception hosted by Mayor Warren, the City Council and UNITE Rochester will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 22 in the Link Gallery.
- July 15, 17, 29 and 31: Walking Tours of Joseph Avenue. The Lincoln Branch Library will host a walking tour with Monroe Community College Professor Verdis Robinson. He will highlight significant points of interest in the northeast neighborhood. Tours start at 4 p.m. Meet at the Lincoln Branch Library, 851 Joseph Ave.
- July 15: “Race, Riots and Roller Coasters: The Struggle for Integrated Recreation in America” – Victoria W. Wolcott, author and Professor of History at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, will speak on the history of segregated recreation in America, exploring how spaces of public leisure - parks, pools, and playgrounds - were important, if overlooked, battlefields in the wider struggle for racial equality during the civil rights era. Wolcott will follow her talk with a Q&A session. Noon in Kate Gleason Auditorium of the Central Library, 115 South Ave.
- Monday, July 21: “There’s a Riot Going On: The Current of Race Relations Since the 1964 Riots” – Rochester native and national author Bruce A. Jacobs, whose latest book is “Race Manners for the 21st Century,” returns to his home town to discuss how racial dynamics have changed since the riots of 1964 and how they have not. He will follow his talk with a Q&A session. Jacobs has appeared on NPR, C-SPAN and elsewhere. He and writes, travels and speaks about race and social justice. 1:30 p.m. in Kate Gleason Auditorium of the Central Library, 115 South Ave.
- July 22: Screening of July ‘64 and Teen Discussion with Darryl Porter - July ’64 tells the story of three historic days in two African American neighborhoods of Rochester. Darryl Porter, former president of the Rochester City School Board and gang leader in his youth, will lead a discussion with teens after the screening. 2 to 4 p.m. in the Teen Central area of the Central Library, 115 South Ave.
- July 23: Screening of July ‘64 and Panel Discussion. Documentary Producer Christine Christopher and Director Carvin Eison will join a panel discussion with Darryl Porter and media professor Tom Proietti on insights and experiences to be gleaned from the documentary. 2 to 4 p.m. in Kate Gleason Auditorium of the Central Library, 115 South Ave.
- July 23: City Proclamation of Days of Remembrance and Recommitment - Mayor Warren and City Council President Loretta Scott will issue a proclamation to remember the events of 1964 in hopes that the work that was started during those events will soon be complete. The reading of the proclamation will coincide with a ceremonial lighting of the High Falls to commemorate the Rebellion of 1964. 8:30 p.m. on the Pont de Rennes Bridge. Details to be announced.
- July 24: Civil Rights Talk with Ruth Holland Scott - Activist, author, politician and teacher, Ruth Holland Scott was the first African American woman elected to the Rochester City Council. She will discuss civil rights in Rochester in the years following the events of July 1964. Her book will be available for purchase. Noon in Kate Gleason Auditorium of the Central Library, 115 South Ave.
- July 24: City 12 TV Broadcast of the Documentary July ’64. - 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Visit www.cityofrochester.gov/city12 for viewing information.
- July 25: July ’64 Revisited: Rochester and Race Relations with the Black Storytelling League of Rochester - Hear accounts of local storytellers about what happened in Rochester during the race riots of 1964. 11:30 a.m. in the Kate Gleason Auditorium of the Central Library, 115 South Ave.