Now On View

This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC OCTOBER 26, 2022.

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

As relevant today as they were half a century ago, more than 150 black-and-white images chronicling the Southern Freedom Movement are featured in This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement, on view October 26, 2022, through April 2, 2023, at the Maltz Museum.

This Light of Ours is based on a book of the same name edited by Leslie G. Kelen and featuring works by nine activist photographers who documented the clash between institutionalized discrimination and determined resistance by activists and volunteers during the mid-1960s. The stunning photographs chronicle a pivotal time in American history that can be explored through interrelated sections: Black Life in the Deep South, Organizing for Freedom, State and Local Terror, Marching Against Fear, and Black Power. The Maltz Museum added video footage, life-size installations, and material about voter suppression today.

The exhibition originally premiered in Cleveland in 2016, traveled the country, and now returns home for its final showing in 2022. “We added a new section for this run,” explained David Schafer, the Museum’s Managing Director. “We are in a voting year, and this exhibition is about Americans participating in democracy. That’s why we chose to add a new section on voter suppression, then and now. What happened 50 years ago is highly relevant to what is happening today.”

It is the Museum’s hope that every middle and high school student in Northeast Ohio can see this exhibition and witness events of the 1960s through the literal lens of people who were there – activist photographers.

Cleveland’s own Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr., a former regional director of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Southern Christian Leadership Conference and a Selma march participant once said, “If there is no conscience in the community, we have to be that conscience.”

©1966 Maria Varela, Courtesy CDEA

©1966 Maria Varela, Courtesy CDEA

This Light of Ours features photographers Bob Adelman, George Ballis, Bob Fitch, Bob Fletcher, Matt Herron, David Prince, Herbert Randall, Maria Varela and Tamio Wakayama. The photographic portion of the exhibition was organized by the Center for Documentary Expression and Art with major support provided by the Bruce W. Bastian Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts. Curator: Matt Herron; Historical Consultant: Charlie Cobb Jr.; Project Originators: Leslie Kelen and Steven Kasher. The films, design and exhibition experience were conceived and produced by the Maltz Museum.


JOIN US FOR A SPECIAL LAUNCH EVENT: OTIS’ DREAM WITH REV. DR. OTIS MOSS JR. AND REV. DR. OTIS MOSS III

Wednesday, October 26, 7pm
Join us at The Temple-Tifereth Israel 26000 Shaker Blvd, Beachwood
$5 General Admission, Free for Members

Celebrate the special exhibition This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement as it opens to the public! The exhibition invites visitors to step into the heart of the Deep South during the 1960s and Freedom Summer, when ordinary citizens risked everything to change the nation. During the launch event, we’ll venture further back in history, with a film screening of Otis’ Dream, the powerful and poignant story of Otis Moss Sr. and his journey to vote in 1946 Georgia, twenty years before federal legislation prohibited racial discrimination in voting, when a Black man’s attempt to vote could cost him his life. After the film, Otis Moss Sr.’s son and grandson, the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr. and the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, discuss their mission to fulfill Otis’ Dream through the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and continued struggles of today, with the determination of achieving an equitable tomorrow. Plus, learn how you can engage with the interactive biography of Rev. Moss at the Maltz Museum into the future, through A.I. technology! Registrations are required to reserve your seat.


FOR EDUCATORS: TASTE, TOAST & TOUR VIP PARTY

Wednesday, October 26, starts at 5:00pm
5:00 – 6:30pm Join us at the Maltz Museum
7:00 – 8:30pm Join us at The Temple-Tifereth Israel 26000 Shaker Blvd, Beachwood
Free for Educators

Middle and high school educators are invited to join us for an Educator VIP Party prior to the launch of our new special exhibition, This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement. Taste favorite southern foods. Toast to a happy and healthy school year. Tour our new special exhibition. And learn about classroom curriculum created by Facing History & Ourselves.

Plus, be one of the first to interact with our new museum installation of Cleveland legend Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr., seeing firsthand how technology is bringing history to life. Followed by the exhibition launch event with the real Rev. Moss and his son, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, who will discuss their family’s legacy as activists in the Civil Rights Movement, then and now. Registrations are required to reserve your seat.


SPECIAL OFFER TO CELEBRATE OPENING WEEK!

Wed, Oct 26 - Sun, Oct 30 • Regular Museum Hours
$5 General Admission, Free for Members

Join us for opening week of the Maltz Museum’s newest special exhibition, This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement, for the reduced ticket price of only $5. Maltz Museum members and children under 5 are always free! Can’t be combined with other discounts