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Talk on Civil Rights Pioneer Marking Constitution Day at CCC


Camden County College will mark Constitution Day 2011 with a Sept. 13 presentation about murdered Philadelphia civil rights pioneer Octavius Valentine Catto that will be given by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Biddle and co-author Murray Dubin.


Biddle and Dubin will discuss the story presented in their book, Tasting Freedom: Octavius Catto and the Battle for Equality in Civil War America. Catto played second base on the Philadelphia Pythians, the city's best black baseball team, and was a teacher at the city's best black school. He also was an activist and an orator who shared the stage with Frederick Douglass. When Catto was murdered during an Election Day race riot in 1871, the nation lost a civil rights pioneer who had risked his life for the cause a century before Selma, Birmingham and the March on Washington. More information regarding the book is available online at


A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation, and the book will be available for purchase and signing as well. Free refreshments will be served, courtesy of the Libraries @ Camden County College and the CCC Office of Student Life and Activities.


The event will begin at noon in the Forum of the Connector Building, which is located on the College's Blackwood Campus. The campus is located at College Drive and Peter Cheeseman Road in Gloucester Township.


Constitution Day is a federal holiday established in 2004 to celebrate the signing of the United States Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, and those who have become U.S. citizens. The act that created Constitution Day mandates that all publicly funded education institutions provide related educational programming in honor of the day.


To reserve a seat or for further details, contact CCC library director Barbara Laynor by telephone at (856) 227-7200, ext. 4923, or via e-mail at 

Published: September 09, 2011