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EIU Media Relations

'For All the World to See'
Booth Library Exhibit Series to Focus on 'Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights'


Life Magazine, June 28, 1963. (Photo: E.G. Shempf)

“For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights,” a national traveling exhibition, will be on display at Booth Library, Eastern Illinois University, from Sept. 1-Oct. 20.

Through a compelling assortment of photographs, television clips, art posters, and historic artifacts, the exhibition traces how images and media disseminated to the American public transformed the modern civil rights movement and jolted Americans, both black and white, out of a state of denial or complacency.

Visitors to the immersive display will explore dozens of compelling and persuasive visual images, including photographs from influential magazines such as LIFE, JET, and EBONY; CBS news footage; and TV clips from “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Also included are civil rights-era objects that exemplify the range of negative and positive imagery — from Aunt Jemima syrup dispensers and 1930s produce advertisements to Jackie Robinson baseball ephemera and 1960s children’s toys with African-American portraiture.

“For All the World to See” is not a history of the civil rights movement, but rather an exploration of the vast number of potent images that influenced how Americans perceived race and the struggle for equality.

“This exhibit offers an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the past history of civil rights in our nation while pondering today’s issues,” said Allen Lanham, dean of library services. “I look forward to hearing from our campus and the greater community as we explore this important topic together.”

“For All the World to See” will be accompanied by a series of programs, including lectures, book discussions and a musical performance. The series will kick off at 7 p.m. Sept. 8 with an opening program and reception in the West Reading Room at Booth Library. Keynote speaker Janice Collins, assistant professor in the Journalism Department at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, will give the keynote address, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Race, Relations and Reflection.”

Following is the remaining program schedule. The exhibit and all programs are free and open to the public. More details are available here

  • Sept. 14, 6 p.m., “A Picture is Worth...:  Images and Politics in the Modern Civil Rights Era,” by Kevin Anderson, associate professor, Political Science Department; Witters Conference Room 4440, Booth Library;
  • Sept. 19, 4 p.m., “Collecting, Preserving and Interpreting Material Evidence of the Struggle for Civil Rights,” by Deb Reid, professor, History Department; Witters Conference Room 4440, Booth Library;
  • Sept. 22, 4 p.m., “Racialized Context of Disaster,” by Bill Lovekamp, associate professor, Department of Sociology/Anthropology; Witters Conference Room 4440, Booth Library;
  • Sept. 23, 2 p.m., musical performance: “Oh Freedom! Music of the Civil Rights Movement,” by Chris Vallillo, Illinois Humanities Road Scholar; West Reading Room, Booth Library;
  • Sept. 29, 4 p.m., “Branding Civil Rights,” by Stephen Eskilson, professor, Art Department; Witters Conference Room 4440, Booth Library;
  • Oct. 6, 5 p.m., “The Impossibility of Freedom in a Country Founded on Slavery and Genocide,” by Dread Scott, visual and performing artist; Doudna Fine Arts Center Lecture Hall;
  • Oct. 6, 7 p.m., “To See the Visible: Challenges from the Visual Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement,” by Michael Loudon, emeritus, Department of English; Witters Conference Room 4440, Booth Library;
  • Oct. 8, 10 a.m., story time for ages 3-7: “The Story of Ruby Bridges,” by Robert Coles, presented by Minority Teachers Education Association; Ballenger Teachers Center, Booth Library;
  • Oct. 12, 2 p.m., workshop: “Teaching with Images and Media to Transform Content Understanding and Actively Engage Learners,” by Cindy Rich, Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources, College of Education/Professional Studies; e-classroom, Booth Library;
  • Oct. 17, 4:30 p.m., book discussion: “Citizen: An American Lyric,” by Claudia Rankine, led by Rehema Barber, director, Tarble Arts Center; West Reading Room, Booth Library;
  • Oct. 18, 5:30 p.m., “Tackling Racism with Art: A Conversation with Travis Somerville,” with Travis Somerville, visual artist, and Rehema Barber, director, Tarble Arts Center; Tarble Arts Center Atrium.

For more information about “For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights,” including complete program and exhibit descriptions, visit the program Web page. More information also may be obtained by contacting project director Ellen Corrigan, or 581-8456.

This exhibit at Booth Library is held in conjunction with “A Dark Matter …,” a visual conversation about violence, economics and power featuring contemporary artists, which will be on display from Aug. 13 through Oct. 30 at the Tarble Arts Center on the EIU campus.

“For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights” was curated by Maurice Berger, research professor, The Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture, University of Maryland, Baltimore. It was co-organized by the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, and The Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture. "For All the World to See" has been made possible through NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). It has been adapted and is being toured by Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA).

Local sponsors of the series are the Tarble Arts Center, Academy of Lifelong Learning and Illinois Humanities.

During the spring semester, Booth Library's regular hours will be from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 1 a.m. Sunday. For more information on the library, visit the website; call 217-581-6072; or find the library on Facebook or Twitter.

MEDIA CONTACT: Beth Heldebrandt, Booth Library;; 217-581-6064



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Media Relations
Josh Reinhart, Public Information Coordinator

2142 Old Main
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-8444

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