BENDING THE ARC: The Promise of Reconstruction Derailed; Navigating a Century of Jim Crow Apartheid


Lecture by Dr. Janus Adams, historian, author, and host of public radio’s “The Janus Adams Show”

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In the 16th year of collaboration between Wilton Library and Wilton Historical Society, the scholarly lecture series will focus on the theme of “A Rocky Road: The Struggle for Rights in America.” During this kick-off program, Dr. Janus Adams will discuss how she met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., their brief conversation, and the charge he gave this then-10-year-old girl. Many of you will undoubtedly recognize in her lecture title the reference to Dr. King’s famous quote: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Reconstruction, begun right after the Civil War ended, held much promise for the true liberation of Blacks in America. How was Reconstruction derailed and how did the resulting Jim Crow in the South and de jure as well as de facto segregation in the North operate? What are examples of Black success stories notwithstanding those devastating restrictions?

Dr. Janus Adams is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, historian, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and author. She is also the producer and host of public radio’s “The Janus Adams Show” and podcast. Engaged by history since childhood, at age 8 she was one of four children selected to break New York’s de facto segregation in the wake of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. At age 10, she was introduced to Dr. King. A pioneer of issue-oriented African-American and women’s programming, she has hosted and produced numerous talk shows for public broadcasting and cable news. She is a frequent on-air guest and a significant contributor to print and online media outlets with over 500 articles, essays and columns to her credit. A former Wilton resident, she began her 16-year run as a syndicated columnist with The Wilton Bulletin. She is the founder of children’s book publisher BackPax. A classically trained pianist, she graduated from New York’s High School of Performing Arts, received the nation’s first graduate degree in Black Studies, and was awarded her Doctor of Humane Letters from Shaw University and SUNY New Paltz.

Reception following the talk. No charge but a $10 suggested donation is always welcomed. Click here to donate. This lecture sponsored by Kathleen and Bill Brennan. The moderator is Steve Hudspeth.

Registration required. Please register for each lecture individually. To register for this session please click the Sign Up button or call 203-762-6334. This lecture will be hosted at Wilton Library, 137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton, CT.