“1967: Civil Rights at 50”

Open through Jan. 2, 2018 | Level 4

“We were forced to build America, and if forced to, we will tear it down.” — Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P. Newton

“1968: Civil Rights at 50”

Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike (Jack Thornell/Courtesy The Associated Press)

Opens Jan. 12, 2018

Explore the events that marked 1968 as a year of anguish and anger for the civil rights movement: the assassinations of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, and a Black Power protest at the Olympics in Mexico City.

Photo credit: Jack Thornell/Courtesy The Associated Press

“1967: Civil Rights at 50” tells the dramatic story of the growing militancy of the struggle for racial justice in 1967. The exhibit uses powerful photos and images of historic newspapers and magazines to explore how African Americans used their First Amendment rights to fight for change — at times at great cost. Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and boxing champion Muhammad Ali faced harsh criticism for challenging the Vietnam War, and Black Power activists Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown alienated the press and the public by advocating militant tactics.

1967 also saw the deadliest rioting of the decade erupt in cities struggling with inequality, poverty and police violence, from Detroit to Newark, N.J. In Oakland, Calif., the Black Panther Party channeled anger over persistent inequality into radical action. After bursting into headlines with a dramatic armed protest at the California state capitol, the Panthers began to grow into a national movement by year’s end.

“1967: Civil Rights at 50” is part of a changing exhibit exploring the relationship between the First Amendment and the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

Top photo credit: Neal Boenzi/New York Times Co./Getty Images

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Contributing support for “1967: Civil Rights at 50” has been provided by Altria Group.