On Exhibit June 14- August 11, 2024

The 1960­–1970 decade was a momentous time for the civil rights movement in the American South. It was an historic decade that unleashed both hope for the future and profound change as public spaces were desegregated and as African Americans secured their right to vote. I AM A MAN: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1960–1970 displays a wide range of photographs taken by amateurs, local photojournalists, and internationally known photographers. Together, they provide a vivid visual story of the evolution of the civil rights movement and shed light on the movement’s integration in daily living in the American South. I AM A MAN: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1960–1070 opens June 13 at the Hastings Museum.

Southern folklorist, author, and curator William Ferris and his research team sought out photos taken in the heat of the civil rights movement, by activists or local news photographers, who documented history taking place before their eyes. Viewers of the exhibition will recognize the photographs of protestors who carried signs with messages like “I Am A Man” or sat at segregated lunch counters as iconic images associated with the movement, while numerous other photographs presented in the exhibition have rarely been seen until now. Key events include James Meredith’s admission to the University of Mississippi, Ku Klux Klan gatherings, the Selma Montgomery March in Alabama, the sanitation workers’ strike in Memphis, Martin Luther King’s funeral, the Poor People’s Campaign, and the Mule Train.

The decade was a pivotal moment that both marks change, and also reminds us how far we have to go. The photographs in I Am A Man: Civil Rights Photographs in the American South, 1960–1970 remind us of their enduring resonance today and beyond as future generations continue to fight for justice for all humankind.

This exhibition has been adapted from an exhibition, originally produced for the Pavillon Populaire in Montpellier, France, by the Center for Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The French exhibition was funded by the City of Montpellier and administered by Gilles Mora, director of the Pavillion Populaire.

I Am a Man: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1960–1970 is a Program of ExhibitsUSA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance with Nebraska Arts Council and The National Endowment for the Arts
Mid America Arts Alliance
Exhibits USA
The National Endowment for the Arts