Activism is defined as, “the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change.” Dr. Martin Luther King inherited the legacy from Gandhi, who used such activist tactics to help end segregation.
V003-700404-A34, Tom Coffin Photographs.
Archives are repositories of primary resources. Georgia State University Library’s Special Collections and Archives are filled with information documenting individual and grass roots activism, from correspondence to protest signs. Firsthand accounts in GSU’s oral history collections serve to record activists’ times of “vigorous campaigning.”
Diana Eidson's Lecture, “Using Affective Discourse in Social Movements: Case Studies from Operation Dixie and Occupy Wall Street,” explores Florence Reece’s famous 1931 labor song for Harlan County mine workers and the implications it has on today’s economic and social climate. Reese, the singer, asks, “Which side are you on, boys? Which side are you on?” This anthem has recently been appropriated by protestors involved in the recent movement, Occupy Wall Street. Faced with the deepest economic recession and worker alienation since the Great Depression, Eidson asks, what can scholars and teachers of social movements and public argument learn from the past? What might a rhetorical history teach us about civic literacy, about debate in the public sphere, about collective action for social change? Diana is the Assistant Director of Lower Division Studies and a Ph.D. Candidate in Rhetoric and Composition. Y2012-02, Steve Osborn Collection, Social Change Collection