Smith & Brown Commemorative
Southern University, community to commemorate 50th anniversary
of deaths of Denver Smith and Leonard Brown
The Louis A. Berry Institute for Civil Rights & Justice at Southern University Law Center, Southern University, and other community organizations hosted events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the deaths of students Denver Smith and Leonard Brown.
Smith and Brown were fatally shot amid a peaceful protest on Southern’s campus on November 16, 1972. Southern University’s student union is named after the slain students.
A weeklong list of commemoration activities included an archival exhibit, film screening, pilgrimage, an artistic presentation, and a symposium. Participation included the families and classmates of Smith and Brown, Southern University alumni and students, and community members. All events were free and open to the public.
Smith & Brown 50th Anniversary Commemoration Events
"American Reckoning" Film Screening
Smith-Brown Memorial Student Union Cotillion Ballroom
Monday, November 14, 2022, at 6 p.m.
Film Synopsis: Who killed Wharlest Jackson Sr.? In investigating the unsolved 1967 murder of a local NAACP leader, American Reckoning reveals an untold story of the civil rights movement and Black resistance.
The feature-length documentary from FRONTLINE and Retro Report, with support from Chasing the Dream, draws on rarely seen footage filmed by Ed Pincus and David Neuman more than 50 years ago in Natchez, Mississippi, and made available through the Amistad Research Center. In following the Jackson family’s search for answers, American Reckoning also taps into the groundbreaking reporting of journalist Stanley Nelson, who investigated allegations of the involvement of a Ku Klux Klan offshoot, known as the Silver Dollar Group.
- Filmmaker Yoruba Richen
- Filmmaker Brad Lichenstein
- Ada Goodly-Lampkin, Director, Louis A. Berry Institute for Civil Rights & Justice
- Stanley Nelson, Professor, LSU Manship School’s Cold Case Project
- Denise Ford, Wharlest Jackson's Daughter
- Chester Stephens
"American Reckoning" Film Screening
50 years later, justice still absent for two deaths during Southern campus protest
What led to the 1972 shooting death of two Southern University students during a protest
After 1972 Southern shootings, deputies deny knowing who fired fatal shots
Pain, lessons remain decades after Southern shooting
Smith & Brown Commemorative Pilgrimage
Wednesday, November 16, 2022
|Arrival Time||8:45 a.m.|
|Program opener at Southern University Baton Rouge Museum of Art Martin L. Harvey Hall||9:00 a.m.|
|Pilgrimage to the Smith-Brown Memorial Student Union||9:30 a.m.|
|Closing remarks at Smith-Brown Memorial Student Union||9:50 a.m.|
Order of Program
|Opening||Louis A. Berry Institute for Civil Rights & Justice, Director Ada Goodly-Lampkin, and Project Manager John Collins|
|Invocation||Southern University Alumni Federation Chaplain, Johnathan Hill|
|Student Welcome||SULC Evening Division President, Whitley Parker|
|Student Occasion||SUBR Student Leaders and SUBR NAACP Chapter President, Ashanta Gleason|
|University Occasion||SUBR History Professor, Dr. Albert L. Samuels and November 16, 1972, Student Protest Participants: Ed Pratt and Stanley White|
|Director of Movement||John Collins and Detective Zoe Collier|
|Pilgrimage to the Smith-Brown Memorial Student Union||Southern University Police Department, and Southern University Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Honor Guard|
|Closing Remarks||John Collins|
Smith & Brown Commemorative Pilgrimage Photo Recap
Smith & Brown 50th Anniversary Commemoration in the News
- Southern University remembers Leonard Brown and Denver Smith for 50th anniversary
- Gov. Edwards Signs Formal Apology for the Unjust Killings of Southern University Students Denver Smith and Leonard Brown on the 50th Anniversary of their Deaths
- Gov. Edwards issues state apology for fatal 1972 shootings at Southern University
- Governor John Bel Edwards signs apology to two Southern students killed 50 years ago
- Southern University host a commemoration ceremony in honor of the 1972 campus shooting
- LSU Cold Case Project Re-Examines 1972 Southern University Shooting, Will Discuss Findings at 50th Anniversary Commemoration
- Southern University, community to commemorate 50th anniversary of deaths of Denver Smith and Leonard Brown
- 50 years later Southern University honors the lives of historic murder victims
- BLOOD ON THE BLUFF - by Donney Rose