Gibbs Lecture

History of the Gibbs Annual Lecture

Beginning in 1988, the Gibbs Annual Lecture has been held to commemorate the Fourth President of North Carolina A&T State University, Dr. Warmouth T. Gibbs.  Dr. Gibbs served as the head of the University during the 1960 A&T Sit-In Movement at the Woolworth Store in downtown Greensboro. Despite attempts by state governmental officials to expel the Greensboro Four, Dr. Gibbs resolutely responded that at A&T, “we teach our students how to think and not what to think.” This sentiment continues to serve as the guiding force of the annual Gibbs Lecture.

The Annual Gibbs Lecture takes place around Dr. Gibbs’s birthday on April 5th. Scholars with expertise in American History, the Civil Rights Movement, along with associates, friends, and many others with connections to Dr. Gibbs have given lectures commemorating this occasion.

The 26th Gibbs Annual Lecture and 1st Annual Conference

Tuesday April 1, 2014
Keynote Lecture by Dr. William P. Jones at 6 p.m.
"The Forgotten History of the March on Washington"
Book signing and reception to follow

Wednesday April 2, 2014
1st Annual Gibbs Student Conference—All day
Keynote Lecture by Dr. Paul Breines at 6 p.m.
"What Sort of White Person Do I Want to Be? Reflections on White Racism in 2014 by One of the 1961 Freedom Riders"
Reception to follow

2014 Speakers

Dr. William P. Jones
Dr. William P. Jones is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work addresses the intersections of race, class and labor in the 20th century United States.  Dr. Jones has written two books entitled, The Tribe of Black Ulysses: African American Lumber Workers in the Jim Crow South (University of Illinois Press, 2005) and The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights (W.W. Norton & Co., 2013). His current book project examines public employees and the transformation of the U.S. economy after the Second World War.

Dr. Paul Breines
Dr. Paul Breines is a retired Associate Professor of History at Boston College. As a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin, he was arrested at the Greyhound station in Jackson on July 21, 1961. Along with many other Freedom Riders, Dr. Breines was incarcerated in Parchman Prison in the Mississippi Delta on August 4.