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For All the World To See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights

November 10 — January 7

Coming in November! For All the World To See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights special exhibit at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.

For All the World To See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rightsexamines the role that visual culture played in shaping and transforming the struggle for racial equality in America from the late 1940s to the mid-1970s. Through a compelling assortment of photographs, television clips, art posters, and historic artifacts,this exhibit 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 this immersive exhibition will explore dozens of compelling and persuasive visual images, including photographs from influential magazines, such asLife, Jet,andEbony;CBS news footage; and TV clips fromThe 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 Seeis 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. AsEbonyfounder John H. Johnson put it, magazines and television “opened new windows in the mind and brought us face to face with the multicolored possibilities of man and woman.”

A supplementary display focused on the local African American schools in Bristol – Douglass School in Virginia and Slater School in Tennessee – has been added to the exhibit.