“Stepping Into the Shade” — A Sneak Preview and Panel Discussion

Stepping Into the Shade: Tobacco’s Connection to Civil Rights

Feb. 6th at 1:00 PM

Join us at 1:00 on Sunday afternoon, February 6th for a sneak preview and panel discussion of footage from “Stepping Into the Shade: Tobacco’s Connection to Civil Rights.” This event is free and open to the public. Zoom login information will be published in our regular UUS:E eblasts or can be obtained by contacting the UUS:E office at (860) 6460-5151 or [email protected]. If public health conditions allow, a limited number of people will be welcomed into our sanctuary to attend the event in person.


A January press release from Eastern Connecticut State University announced that the school “has been awarded $35,000 by Connecticut Humanities to produce a documentary about Connecticut’s shade tobacco industry and its connection to the civil rights movement. ‘Stepping into the Shade: Tobacco’s Connection to Civil Rights’ will be a six-part mini-series hosted by Connecticut entertainment producer June Archer.” And further: “Filmmakers Kristen Morgan [UUS:E member] and Brian Day, theatre professors at Eastern, are at the beginning stages of the production process and seeking information from anyone with family connections to tobacco farms in Connecticut. They are hoping to speak with migrant workers or relatives of the students from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) who came North for summer work on the farms. The most notable such worker was Martin Luther King Jr., who spent a summer on a Simsbury farm in the 1940s through a program with Morehouse College in Georgia.”

This project is exciting! UUS:E is blessed to have the opportunity not only to learn about a forgotten piece of 20th-century Connecticut history, but to get an inside look at the film as it is being made.

Questions? Contact Rev. Josh Pawelek at [email protected].