DC at Night

DC at Night

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Civil Rights at the Newseum

Without the American press, the civil rights movement would have been like a bird without wings.
-- U.S. Rep. John Lewis, one of the 1961 Freedom Riders

Image of Greensboro protesters
If you are looking to to expand your knowledge of the Civil Rights struggle in America, you should consider a visit to the Newseum where a special tour highlighting images and artifacts from that time period is now being offered.

In the Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery, you can view images of the 1966 shooting that wounded civil rights pioneer James Meredith, as well as a picture of Coretta Scott King at the funeral of her husband, Martin Luther King Jr., taken by Moneta Sleet Jr., the 1st African-American journalist to win a Pulitzer Prize.

The Internet, TV, and Radio Gallery offers:
  • Jesse Owens in the 1936 Berlin Olympics
  • The forced integration of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957
  • Martin Luther King's 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech  at the March on Washington
  • The 2008 election of Barack Obama as the 1st African American president of the United States
In the News History Gallery, you can see:
  • The Greensboro, N.C., lunch counter where students protested whites-only sections in 1960
  • Journalist Moses J. Newson's camera which was burned in the 1961 attack on the Freedom Riders
  • Copies of abolitionist newspapers from the 19th Century
  • Original front-page coverage of such ground-breaking events as Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier in 1947, James Meredith enrolling at the University in 1962, Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, and the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Tales, Tidbits, and Tips
All of the above are part of the Newseum's permanent collection. To celebrate Black History Month, the Newseum is offering "Jailed in Birmingham," a new special exhibit featuring a casting of the original jail cell door behind which the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was confined after his April 1963 arrest for leading nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Ala. It was in this cell that the civil rights leader penned his historic letter defending civil disobedience. The "Letter From Birmingham Jail," written in response to a statement by a group of eight white Alabama clergymen, includes the now-famous quote, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." The door on display is a bronze casting made from the original door to King's cell in the Birmingham city jail. The exhibit also features one of the first publications of the letter, a 1963 pamphlet published by the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker group.

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