Somerstein Mlk Montgomery
Stephen Somerstein, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., seen from behind, addressing crowd of 12,000 civil rights marchers, in front of Alabama State House, 1965 Selma Alabama to Montgomery civil rights march, March 25, 1965, Gelatin silver print, Gift of John Shubin

NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Art can be a powerful tool in the fight for social justice. It can recall past injustices (and triumphs), yet bring people together to envision a path toward a more equitable and just future. It can cultivate trust, empathy, creativity and diversity, while giving voice to conversations about race, gender, sexual orientation, power, education, immigration, criminal justice and the environment. It can ask difficult questions and inspire change.

This exhibition, created in collaboration with the African American Resource Collection and the City Archives & Special Collections of the New Orleans Public Library, celebrates community members who paved the way for future generations by being the first people of color in their fields (voices of the past), alongside videos of current community activists (voices of today) and posters created by students from New Orleans Charter Science and Mathematics High School illustrating current social justice issues (voices of tomorrow). The exhibition also showcases work from the Permanent Collection of Ogden Museum depicting historic moments and important individuals in the Civil Rights Movement.

The exhibition is supported by a Rebirth PL Grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Funding for Rebirth PL grants has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and administered by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan. Additional funding is provided by the Union Pacific Foundation.

Passing the Torch: Southern Art and Social Justice; New Exhibition on View at Ogden Museum

Passing the Torch: Southern Art and Social Justice Events

Panel Discussion: Passing the Torch of Social Justice (Mon. Jan. 17 at 3 p.m.)

MLK Family Day (Mon. Jan. 17)