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Current Exhibits and Events

Through the Lens of History: Selma & Civil Rights

September 17, 2015 – January 2, 2016

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Selma marches, Grand Circle Gallery is featuring a collection of James H. Barker’s black and white photographs that document the historic event and subsequent stride forward in the civil rights movement. The exhibit provides a look back into U.S. history and reminds us that the struggle against racial discrimination is still ongoing—and that change can be accomplished when we work together toward a more just society.

The Selma to Montgomery Marches
In March of 1965, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference made Selma, Alabama, the focus of its efforts to register southern black voters. Led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., protesters were met with violent resistance by state and local authorities when they attempted to march from Selma to Montgomery. 600 marchers were beaten back with billy clubs, cattle prods, and tear gas, in what came to be known as “Bloody Sunday.” It was during the third attempt at a march—with the support of President Johnson and protection of the National Guard—that Dr. King successfully marched with 2,000 protesters for 5 days until they reached the steps of Montgomery’s Capitol Building. It was there that he gave a stirring speech in front of 25,000 people, prompting President Johnson to sign the Voting Rights Act, which outlawed barriers to voter registration at state and local levels.

About James H. Barker

A native of Pullman, Washington, James H. Barker was working as a technical photographer in 1965 when a member of an ad hoc committee asked him to cover the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery. The result is a historic series of photographs documenting the event.

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