On View Now: Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution

We’re pleased to announce the opening of our latest mini-exhibition,  “Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution: The American Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1970,” which runs through the end of February and is part of the University’s 2016 community MLK Day celebration, “The Call to Higher Ground.” The exhibition is curated by our own Ervin Jordan, research archivist.


Jordan writes, “The American Civil Rights Movement (1954-1970) intensely transformed American society and inspired similar movements worldwide. Its nonviolent protests and civil resistance for equal citizenship under the law enhanced African-Americans’ self-dignity and collective commitment in the face of white supremacist terrorism. Others too, were allies, martyrs and beneficiaries of this undertaking to fulfill the promises America had made on paper since 1776.”


The exhibit’s 24 items on display comprise letters, newsletters, photographs, poetry and reports; special items of interest include:

  • A 1960 NAACP voting rights comic book
  • Alex Haley’s 1963 interview of Malcolm X
  • A 1969 Black Panther Party coloring book
  • A 1976 Julian Bond for President bumper sticker
  • An inscribed copy of Coretta Scott King’s published memoirs


One of the exhibition’s three display cases features the life and career of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., charismatic leader of the Civil Rights Movement and “a drum major for justice and peace” in his letters and publications.


Please stop by for a visit!


On View Now, in Celebration of Martin Luther King Day.

Special Collections faculty member Ervin Jordan has curated an exhibition entitled, “Embracing Equality: Before and Beyond Brown v. Board of Education, 1950-1969: An American Civil Rights Exhibition.”  The exhibit highlights local, state and national Civil Rights events through selected legislation, letters, reports, speeches, and photographs including:

  • the 1950 lawsuit of Gregory Swanson, the University of Virginia’s first African-American student;
  • a printed copy of the United States Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education;
  • the 1961 letter of a African-American schoolgirl who complains about desegregation
  • a program and route map for the 1963 March on Washington;
  • a 1964 Martin Luther King letter discussing the Civil Rights Movement’s “non-violent army”
  • UVA administrator William Elwood’s advisory document prepared for a public meeting at a black Charlottesville church on impact of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 upon public schools

“Embracing Equality” will be on display at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, First Floor Lobby, until March 1, 2013.

March on Washington program and route map, August 28, 1963. (MSS 8003-A, Photo by Molly Schwartzburg)