"For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights," an exhibition that tells the story of the fight for racial equality from the 1940s through the 1970s with photographs, television clips, art posters, and historic artifacts, opened today at Laman Public Library, 2801 Orange St. in North Little Rock.
The touring show was curated by Dr. Maurice Berger of The Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and jointly organized by the center and the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution.
A news release explains the show's origin:
“...we had averted our eyes for far too long, turning away from the ugly reality facing us as a nation. Let the world see what I’ve seen.” - Mamie Till Bradley
In September 1955, shortly after fourteen-year-old Emmett Till was murdered by white supremacists in Mississippi, his grieving mother, Mamie Till Bradley, distributed to newspapers and magazines a gruesome black-and-white photograph of his mutilated corpse. The mainstream media rejected the photograph as inappropriate for publication, but Bradley was able to turn to African-American periodicals for support. Asked why she would do this, Bradley explained that by witnessing, with their own eyes, the brutality of segregation, Americans would be more likely to support the cause of civil rights.
For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights, a nationally touring exhibition from NEH on the Road, opens on January 28, at the William F. Laman Public Library System. Through a compelling assortment of photographs, television clips, art posters, and historic artifacts, the exhibition traces how images and media disseminated to the American public transformed the modern civil rights movement and jolted Americans, both black and white, out of a state of denial or complacency.
Visitors to the immersive display will explore dozens of compelling and persuasive visual images, including photographs from influential magazines, such as LIFE, JET, and EBONY; CBS news footage; and TV clips from The Ed Sullivan Show. Also included are civil rights-era objects that exemplify the range of negative and positive imagery—from Aunt Jemima syrup dispensers and 1930s produce advertisements to Jackie Robinson baseball ephemera and 1960s children’s toys with African American portraiture. For All the World to See is not a history of the civil rights movement, but rather an exploration of the vast number of potent images that influenced how Americans perceived race and the struggle for equality.
Simeon Wright, Emmett Till's cousin, who witnessed Till's abduction, will be in North Little Rock Thursday, Jan. 31, for an appearance at Starving Artist's "Tales from the South Dinner and a Show" talk. News release from Starving Artist on Wright on the jump.
The exhibit runs through March 16. Library hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fri.-Sat. and 1-5 p.m. Sun. Call 758-1720 for more information.
Civil Rights Tin Roof Project Featuring Simeon Wright
North Little Rock, AR. January 20, 2013—Civil Rights figure and author Simeon Wright will be the featured storyteller for a very special Tales from the South Tin Roof Project on Thursday evening, January 31, 2013. The live taping of the radio series will be at Starving Artist Cafe in the Argenta Arts District, Downtown North Little Rock. Live music by Finger Food with Steve Davison and Micky Rigby. Doors open at 5:00 p.m., dinner and drinks are served 5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m.
On August 28, 1955, during the Jim Crow era, Chicago teen Emmett Till (14) was kidnapped, tortured, and killed for whistling at a White woman in the segregated South while visiting his family in Money, Mississippi. Emmett's younger cousin, Simeon Wright, who was 12, watched as two men abducted the boy. Those responsible were never convicted. Emmett’s mother insisted on an open casket so that the world would see the travesty. A photo of Emmett’s mutilated face was published, and an African American woman named Rosa Parks was outraged by it. Two weeks later, she refused to give up her seat on an Alabama bus. Till's murder became a symbol of and a rallying point for the Civil Rights Movement, and is widely credited with galvanizing it. Till’s family recently donated the casket in which he was buried to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.
It took more than 50 years for Simeon Wright to talk about his cousin's death. He shared his pain in his book Simeon's Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till (Lawrence Hill Books, an imprint of Chicago Review Press, January 2010, ages 12 & up). It is a coming-of-age memoir and the very first eyewitness account of the kidnapping that adds a vital contribution to America's civil rights history.
Simeon Wright is a popular public speaker at schools, churches, and cultural institutions throughout the country. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. This show is made possible by William F. Laman Public Library in conjuction with the National Endowment for the Humanities' traveling exhibit "For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights."
Now in its 8th year, Tales from the South is recorded during “Dinner and a Show” at Starving Artist Café. The show airs locally on KUAR Thursdays at 7pm and is syndicated by World Radio Network (WRN), a satellite radio distribution service, available to more than 130 million listeners worldwide via WRN Europe, WRN Asia, and WRN Africa. Shows are also distributed nationwide to multiple American public radio stations via PRX (Public Radio Exchange) and heard on NPR Now Satellite Radio. Podcasts are available on ITunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, the NPR website, the KUAR website, the PRX website, and the Tales from the South website.
Tickets are $7.50 for the show, plus the cost of dinner and drinks. Seating is very limited.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.talesfromthesouth.com
This show will air on KUAR (89.1) in Central Arkansas on Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 7pm.
Tales from the South is presented by the Argenta Arts Foundation and Temenos Publishing Company, with AY Magazine as the official media sponsor, publishing a story each month in the magazine. Additional support provided by the North Little Rock Visitor’s Bureau, The Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow, and The Oxford American Magazine. This show is sponsored by William F. Laman Public Library.