The struggle for rights, autonomy, and certain freedoms has been waged throughout human existence, and the torch of activism has been handed down from one generation to the next. 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. In light of recent events, such as Ferguson, Missouri, the enduring message of peaceful civil disobediance from Gandhi and King is as relevant as ever.
As George Santayana has been quoted as saying, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” A new generation needs to be mindful of maintaining and preserving these rights that previous generations fought so hard to attain.
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.”