Private Booker T. Spicely Mattered: Honoring the Past – A Retrospective Symposium, Sept. 22, 2023

August 1, 2023

Friday, Sept 22 (9-3:30pm)

NCCU Student Center, 511 Nelson St, Durham

Event is free & open to the public. Click below to register.

On September 22, the NCCU School of Law will convene the Booker Spicely Symposium which will focus on the shooting death of Pvt. Booker Spicely in Durham on July 8, 1944.

At the time of his death, Pvt. Spicely was a uniformed active duty solider in the US Army and was traveling back to Camp Butner where he was stationed. After shooting the soldier on Club Blvd, near Broad, the bus driver finished his route — and was later found not guilty by a Durham County jury after 28 minutes of deliberation.

Pvt. Spicely was one of many active duty individuals who were killed… as they fought to protect and maintain democracy around the world during World War II while having to also fight to assert their right to first class citizenship within the United States.

At the Booker Spicely Symposium, we will examine circumstances surrounding his killing, the environment which existed during those days, the treatment of African Americans in the military since that time and the ongoing discrimination which they have experienced and continue to experience.

During this symposium, we will bring together historians, legal scholars, veterans, civil rights activist, students and community members to explore the racial ills and harms caused as a result of the “Jim Crow” era treatment of African Americans. We intend to speak to the resilience and heroism of those African Americans who faced down racism while serving in the military, and upon their return, had to fight to acknowledge their freedom and rights at home and what can be done today to address the trauma, discrimination and neglect which they experienced. (source: excerpts from NCCU School of Law)

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