‘Civil Rights: Making the Movement’ exhibit opens March 7

JAMESTOWN – On March 7, the Robert H. Jackson Center will debut an original exhibit, “Civil Rights: Making the Movement.” There will be a public opening from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Center, located at 305 E. 4th St. in Jamestown. Refreshments will be served; there is no fee or reservation required to attend. A short commentary will be offered at 7 p.m. to accompany the exhibit.

This exhibit tells the history of the Civil Rights Movement and how it accomplished what was thought of then as “impossible dreams.” The objects and artifacts in the “Making the Movement” collection- buttons, badges, pinbacks, posters, pamphlets, flyers, and mailers document the changing goals and messages of the Civil Rights Movement over time. The material culture of the freedom struggle served as powerful political symbols to the world, helping civil rights organizations and activists increase public awareness, recruit new members, raise funds, and press for legislative change.

A special portion of the exhibit features photos and poems created by Jamestown High School ESL students. According to teachers Kiersten Hansen and Linda Cass, the students’ work was inspired by the book, “Freedom’s Children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Own Stories,” by Ellen S. Levine.

“The photos and poems allowed the students to communicate in a unique way their own experiences, as well as what they learned about the Civil Rights Movement, and reflect on what those words mean in their own lives,” Hansen stated.

“Civil Rights: Making the Movement” was developed in collaboration with David L. Crane, curator and owner of many of the objects in the exhibit. Crane is currently authoring a book entitled: “Making the Movement: Objects, Objectives, and Civil Rights, 1909-1976.” Attendees will have the opportunity to meet Crane, as well as the teachers and students who participated in the project during the exhibit opening.

The exhibit was supported through the generosity of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and Wegmans. Exhibit designer is Jennifer Champ, the Jackson Center’s Collections Manager (archives). Please call 483-6646 or email info@roberthjackson.org for more information.

The Robert H. Jackson Center’s mission is to advance the legacy of Robert H. Jackson through education and exhibits, and by pursuing the relevance of his ideas now and for future generations. The Center is located at 305 East Fourth Street, Jamestown. Tours are available from 10 a.m. 4 p.m., Monday-Friday and from 10 a.m. 2 p.m. on Saturday.

E-mail info@roberthjackson.org or visit www.roberthjackson.org for additional information, or contact the Robert H. Jackson Center at 483-6646.