New Exhibition: Print Culture of the Civil Rights Movement

Flyer for a 1956 civil rights rally at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Flyer for a 1956 civil rights rally at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Now through December 22, the Amistad Research Center is featuring an exhibition entitled “The Revolution Will Not Be…”: Print Culture of the Civil Rights Movement. The title of the exhibition is derived from poet-musician Gil Scott-Heron’s The Revolution Will Not Be Televised and hightlights the newspapers, posters, broadsides, pamphlets, and other printed ephemera produced by student groups, leading civil rights organizations, and individuals that documented a revolutionary era.

The Civil Rights Movement coincided with rapid changes in a variety of news and communications media, and the expansion of television and documentary filmmaking brought images of the struggles of African Americans and those who supported civil rights into the homes of the American populace. However, control of the tone and content of electronic media was not always in the hands of those who were being documented. It was the democratization of various printed media that allowed civil rights leaders, workers, and organizations to circulate their combined, and sometimes contradictory, voices.

The online checklist for the exhibition will soon feature links to digital images of seleted items from the exhibition and the Center is working to expand this exhibition into an online digital resource, which will include materials currently on display as well as additional items from a number of archival collections housed at the Center. Meanwhile, please visit the Center to view the current exhibition or stay tuned for more information once the digital links are available.

Posted by Christopher Harter

(Image from the Eric Steele Wells Papers. May not be reproduced without permission.)

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