July of 1964 was a turbulent time in Rochester. The dissatisfaction over racial inequality over issues such as jobs, education, healthcare, police/community relations and more that had been simmering for years came to a boil one hot and steamy night in July. Between 10 PM on Friday, July 24, and the evening of Sunday, July 26, riots broke out that tore apart several of Rochester’s lower-income, downtown communities resulting in several deaths and more than 1000 arrests.
To commemorate this disturbing time in Rochester’s history, a number of community events have been planned:
- Tuesday, July 15 at 12 Noon – Victoria W. Wolcott, author and Professor of History at the University at Buffalo, SUNY will present “Race, Riots and Roller Coasters: The Struggle for Integrated Recreation in America” at the Kate Gleason Auditorium*.
- Thursday, July 17 at 12 – 1 PM – “Summer Brown Bag Series: The Impact of Everyday Discrimination on Health.” The focus will be on what works and what does not in stopping the negative impact of discrimination on health. At the University of Rochester Helen Wood Hall Auditorium 1-304 Medical Center.
- Sunday, July 20 at 6:30 PM – WXXI and The Little Theatre host a FREE screening of the documentary July ’64. The film uses archival footage to explore the conditions that catalyzed the riots, and what actually happened during those days. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Filmmaker Carvin Eison and Producer Chris Christopher. A trailer for the new film, July ’14 that investigates the social and environmental conditions in Rochester 50 years later will be shown that evening.
- Monday, July 21 at 9 PM – WXXI-TV will air the film July ’64.
- Monday, July 21 from 1:30 – 3:30 PM – Bruce A. Jacobs, author of Race Manners for the 21st Century will present “There’s a Riot Going On: The Current of Race Relations Since the 1964 Riots.”
- Monday, July 21 – Friday, July 25 – WXXI-AM 1370 will air a 5-part series called Lessons from July ’64, exploring the conditions that led to the uprising and discussing what has changed and what remains the same.
- Tuesday, July 22 from 2 – 4 PM – Free Screening of July ’64 in Teen Central of the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County*, followed by Teen discussion with Darryl Porter.
- Wednesday, July 23 from 2 to 4 PM – Free screening of July ’64 in the Kate Gleason Auditorium*. Screening will be followed by a panel discussion with producer Chris Christopher, director Carvin Eison, Christopher Lindley, Gap Mangione, Darryl Porter and Tom Proietti.
- Thursday, July 24 from 12 Noon to 1 PM – A Civil Rights Talk with Ruth Holland Scott, the first African American woman elected to the Rochester City Council. Takes place in the Kate Gleason Auditorium.
- Thursday, July 24 at 12 – 1 PM – “Summer Brown Bag Series: The Impact of Everyday Discrimination on Health.” The focus will be on what works and what does not in stopping the negative impact of discrimination on health. Features Ted Talk “Color Blind or Color Brave” by Melody Hobson. At the University of Rochester Helen Wood Hall Auditorium 1-304 Medical Center.
- Thursday, July 24 at 10 PM – City 12 will air the film July ’64.
- Thursday, July 24 at 8 PM – WXXI-TV Need to Know host Hélène Biandudi Hofer will present a Reporters’ Roundtable to discuss Lessons from July ’64, and she will speak with Rochester native Bruce Jacobs, author of Race Matters for the 21st Century.
- Friday, July 25 at 11:30 AM – Blackstorytelling League of Rochester discusses “July ’64 Revisited: Rochester and Race Relations.” Takes place in the Kate Gleason Auditorium*.
- Sunday, July 27 at 11 PM– WXXI-TV will air the film July ’64 .
- Sunday, July 27 from 4 – 5 PM – Civil rights activist Bernard (Doc) Lafayette Jr. will present the talk, “Fulfilling the Dream: Nonviolence for Positive Social Change Today.” At the Asbury First United Methodist Church 1050 East Avenue.
*The Kate Gleason Auditorium is located at The Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County at 115 South Avenue, Rochester,
- July 15, 17, 29, 31 at 4 PM – Walking tours of Joseph Avenue. Meet at the Lincoln Branch Library, 851 Joseph Ave.
- 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 of July ’64. 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 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.
- “Was It a Rebellion or a Riot? And Does it Matter” by Christine Carrie Fien, July 14, Rochester City Newspaper.
Front featured photo: University of Rochester Rare Books and Special Collections; and the Democrat & Chronicle.
If you know of additional activities, please add them to the comments section or let us know about them on our facebook page!