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The Whole Staircase: Films Celebrating 400 Years of African American History & Culture

To Sir, With Love (1967)scene from To Sir With Love

 "A novice teacher faces a class of rowdy, undisciplined working-class punks in this classic film that reflected some of the problems and fears of teens in the 60s. Sidney Poitier gives one of his finest performances as Mark Thackeray, an out-of-work engineer who turns to teaching in London's tough East End. The graduating class, led by Denham, Pamela and Barbara, sets out to destroy Thackeray as they did his predecessor by breaking his spirit. But Thackeray, no stranger to hostility, meets the challenge by treating thestudents as young adults who will soon enter a work force where they must stand or fall on their own. When offered an engineering job, Thackeray must decide if he wants to stay." - publisher's marketing

This film was released in 1967 and is not rated. However, Common Sense media recommends viewers age 13 and older.

Running time: 105 minutes 

Licensed through Swank

Screening Date and Location

March 11, 2019 presented by Dr. Jennifer Hoffman
Location: St. Augustine Campus Library, room L-112
Start time: 10:00 a.m.

Dr. Jennifer Hoffman, professor of teacher education, will present this film. Dr. Hoffman earned her Master's degree from San Diego State University and her Ph.D. from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. In her work, Dr. Hoffman prepares teacher candidates in culturally responsive pedagogy in order to create inclusive and equitable classrooms.

Dr. Hoffman selected this film to because she loved the book. "Thackeray's perseverance epitomizes the will of civil rights leaders and educators alike. He is determined to connect with the students to teach them not only content, but social lessons about race, socioeconomic disparities and self-determination," Dr. Hoffman noted.

July 18, 2019
Location: Palatka Campus Library
Time: 5:30 p.m. 
An informal discussion with members of The Turning Table's Race Issues Study Circle will be held after the film.

All are welcome to this free event! 

Resources for Further Exploration: To Sir, With Love

Books and eBooks at the SJR State Library
PAC = Palatka Campus Library
OPC = Orange Park Campus Library
SAC = St. Augustine Campus Library
eBook = Online. eBooks are only accessible to currently registered SJR State students, faculty, and staff via MySJRstate.

Celebration • Education • Reflection

H.R.1242/Public Law 115-102, the 400 Years of African American History Commission Act, establishes 2019 as a year of "commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Africans in the English colonies, at Point Comfort, Virginia, in 1619."  The commemoration is intended “to recognize and highlight the resilience and contributions of African-Americans since 1619; to acknowledge the impact that slavery and laws that enforced racial discrimination had on the United States; and to educate the public about the arrival of Africans in the United States; and the contributions of African-Americans to the United States.” In recognition of this commemoration and with the Act serving as a guide, the SJR State Library has organized a year-long series of events that will provide educational experiences and resources to students and the community that celebrate the history and culture of African Americans.

Site created and maintained by Dr. Christina Will. Pages will be added and maintained throughout 2019.
Maintenance will cease at the end of 2019 but this site will remain accessible.