Vintage photographs and historic news articles that document the Civil Rights Movement are being featured in a series in the main lobby of the Oviatt Library.
Black and white photographs of the 1963 civil rights march in Washington, D.C. and the march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. capture the efforts and actions that took place at the time. One striking photo of young black men and women at an equal rights rally illustrates the spirit and determination in their unending fight for equality.
These photos and a few others are from a collection by John Kouns. They highlight a variety of historical experiences and achievements.
Photographs of the smiling women of the Angel City chapter of Links are also included in the exhibit. These photos, by Harry Adams, give insight into the organization, which assists young people in achieving educational goals. A hand-typed profile of one of its members gives an intimate look into her social, political and educational background.
The exhibit was curated by a special committee, which includes Dean Arnold, Supervisor of Music and Media at the Oviatt, Lynn Lampert, chair of Reference and Instructional Services at the Oviatt, Robert Marshall, head archivist at the Urban Archives Center, and Joyclyn Dunham, development assistant at the Oviatt.
Items were chosen in a collaborative effort among committee members.
The focus of the exhibit is to give students a look at the Civil Rights Movement, a goal that influenced the selection of materials, Marshall said. The goal of the exhibit is to rouse students’ imagination and get them into the library to see what’s available, he said.
“Photos and documents are only what we have as a starting point,” he said.
The Pan African Studies department’s publication of its literary review, “Kapu-Sens,” is also on display.
A collection of works from CSUN students is also being featured. The items include a series of poems, essays and short stories, which encompass a variety of topics and experiences, including identity, pride and love. The publication has reached its 20th edition, edited by Dr. Tom Spencer-Walters, head of the Pan African Studies department.
Dunham, who organized the exhibit of colorful books and cards, said she wanted to highlight student talent.
“I would hope that a student will understand that this is them,” Dunham said. She also added that most students do not know that the collection exists, and she wanted to expose students to the work of others.
“Everybody makes history. We all have contributions,” she said.
Other items included in the exhibit are headlines from The Chicago Defender, an influential black newspaper that recorded important events and issues.
One article featured the Joe Louis win against German, Max Schmeling in 1938 at New York’s Yankee Stadium. Others include headlines about Lena Horne and Malcolm X.
Organizers thought it was important to include items that students could easily grasp.
“We wanted something visual, to get visual attention to say it’s our exhibit, take a look around you,” said Lampert, who organized the various newspaper clippings.
The exhibit will run through March 2.