In time for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the Newseum opens “Make Some Noise: Students and the Civil Rights Movement,” an exhibit that explores the new generation of student leaders in the early 1960s who fought segregation by exercising their First Amendment rights and making their voices heard.
The exhibit spotlights key figures in the student civil rights movement, including John Lewis, now a U.S. representative from Georgia, and Julian Bond, who later became chairman of the NAACP. Through the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, young activists took direct action to end segregation and break down racial barriers in voting rights, education and the workplace by organizing sit-ins, marches and voter registration drives.
The exhibit also features a section of the original F.W. Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., where in 1960 four African-American college students launched the sit-in movement, and a bronze casting of the Birmingham, Ala., jail cell door behind which the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. penned his famous “Letter From Birmingham Jail” in 1963.
In addition to “Make Some Noise,” the Newseum is launching a changing exhibit, “1963: Civil Rights at 50,” which chronicles milestones in the civil rights movement from 1963 using historic front pages, magazines and news images.
The three-year exhibit will be updated in 2014 and 2015 to cover key civil rights events from 1964 and 1965. On Aug. 22, 2013, the Newseum, in partnership with the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), will host a free evening event, “Covering Civil Rights: On the Front Lines.” The 7 p.m. event will include a special appearance by Elder Bernice King, chief executive officer of The King Center and daughter of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Rev. King will receive the NCNW’s 2013 Leadership Award.
Moderated by Sirius XM radio host Joe Madison, the event will also feature a discussion with journalist Simeon Booker, author of “Shocking the Conscience: A Reporter’s Account of the Civil Rights Movement,” who was on the front lines of covering the civil rights story. The event is free and open to the public, but seats are limited and must be reserved at CoveringCivilRights.eventbrite.com.
The “Make Some Noise” exhibit is a permanent addition to the Newseum. “Civil Rights at 50” will be on display through 2015.More about the Newseum’s civil rights initiatives can be found at newseum.org/civilrights.