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, is now open at the University of Idaho Library. 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.
This local exhibition is coordinated jointly by the library and the Latah County Historical Society. A series of public presentations related to the Civil Rights Movement, African American experiences in Idaho, and Native American voting rights will be offered by LCHS via Zoom.
For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights was curated by Dr. Maurice Berger, Research Professor, The Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture, University of Maryland, Baltimore. It was co-organized by The Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture and the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution. For All the World to See has been made possible through NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). It has been adapted and is being toured by Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA). Founded in 1972, Mid-America Arts Alliance is the oldest regional nonprofit arts organization in the United States. For more information, visit www.maaa.org or www.nehontheroad.org.
Due to Covid-19 safety protocols, the University of Idaho Library is open by appointment only to those without a Vandal ID.
To schedule a visit, please email or call 208.885.0845.
Special visitor hours are also available on Mondays from 10:00am to 2:00pm and on Thursdays from 2:00 to 4:00pm. The exhibit is open through the end of the year.
w. Dr. Ken Faunce, Associate Professor in History at Washington State University
Thursday, Nov. 19th at 6:00pm
The Civil Rights Movement (1954-1968) had a major influence on music, movies, and television. The significant changes in American society during this period impacted performers, the entertainment industry and audiences not only during the movement but afterward as well. Dr. Ken Faunce will provide an overview of the Civil Rights Movement and its relationship to popular culture.
Watch the recorded program here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZltRBHYuvk8
Black Idaho: Ahead of the Curve
w. Phillip Thompson, Board President and Director of Idaho Black History Museum
Thursday, Dec. 3rd at 6:00pm
ZOOM Call-in Info: 253-215-8782
Meeting ID: 961 2484 6998
In comparison to the majority of American history, and the prevailing narrative to the contrary, Idaho was ahead of it's time relating to the treatment of Blacks. This is not due to some racial awakening but solely because the Black population of Idaho has always been infinitesimally small and not seen as a “threat.”
Indigenous Women, Voting Rights, and Citizenship
w. Mary Jane Oatman, A Mitochondrial Matriarch of the Nimiipuu people
Tuesday, Dec. 15th at 6:00pm
ZOOM Call-in Info: 253-215-8782
Meeting ID: 985 3801 1669
Indigenous women were among the many who remained disenfranchised even after 1920's ratification of the 19th Amendment. In fact at that time Indigenous people were not even recognized as American citizens. Mary Jane Oatman, an advocate for a return to ancestral knowledge systems that strengthen identity, language, and kinship, will discuss Indigenous perspectives of the women's suffrage movement.