Freedom Journey 1965: Photographs of the Selma to Montgomery March by Stephen Somerstein

January 16, 2015
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October 25, 2015

This exhibit features the stunning and historic photographs of Stephen Somerstein, documenting the Selma-to-Montgomery Civil Rights March in January 1965. Somerstein was a student in City College of New York’s night school and Picture Editor of his student newspaper when he traveled to Alabama to document the March. 

 

Marchers on the way to Montgomery as families watch from their porches

He joined the marchers and gained unfettered access to everyone from Martin Luther King Jr. to Rosa Parks, James Baldwin, and Bayard Rustin. “I had five cameras slung around my neck,” he recalled. Over the five-day, 54-mile march, Somerstein took about four hundred photographs including poignant images of hopeful blacks lining the rural roads as they cheered on the marchers walking past their front porches and whites crowded on city sidewalks, some looking on silently-others jeering as the activists walked to the Alabama capital. Somerstein sold a few photographs to The New York Times Magazine, Public Television and photography collectors, but none were exhibited until 2010, when he participated in a civil rights exhibition at the San Francisco Art Exchange.

Rather than choosing photography as a career, Somerstein became a physicist and worked at the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and at Lockheed Martin Company. It was only after his retirement in 2008 that he returned to his photography remarking that he wanted “to have exhibitions of my work and that I realized that I had numerous iconic as well as historic photographs.” Among those photographs were his moving photographs of that memorable march to Montgomery in 1965.

Support for this exhibition is provided by Bank of America and the Henry Nias Foundation.

Stormy Weather (1943)

Speaker: 
Stanley Crouch
Bob Herbert
Fri, 06/06/2014 - 19:00
Fri, June 6th, 2014 | 7:00 pm

TICKETS

This event is part of the New-York Historical Society's spring 2014 Free Fridays programs, sponsored by Bank of America. Entrance to the film series is free during the Museum's Pay-as-you-wish Friday Nights (6 – 8 pm). No advanced reservations. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 6 pm. New-York Historical Society members receive priority.

Relating Tags: 
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To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Speaker: 
Sherrilyn Ifill
Khalil Gibran Muhammad
Fri, 01/10/2014 - 19:00
Fri, January 10th, 2014 | 7:00 pm

TICKETS

Entrance to the film series is included with Museum Admission during New-York Historical’s Pay-as-you-wish Friday Nights (6 – 8 pm). No advanced reservations. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 6 pm. New-York Historical Society members receive priority.

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Harlem with Barry Lewis

Speaker: 
Barry Lewis
Sun, 03/09/2014 - 17:00
Sun, March 9th, 2014 | 5:00 pm

Note: This event is sold out

 

EVENT DETAILS

With its rich history in African-American politics, journalism, athletics, and culture, Harlem has evolved into one of the world's most celebrated neighborhoods. In anticipation of the exhibition The Black Fives, join Barry Lewis for a discussion on the neighborhood's enduring architecture, from its classic Victorian brownstones to its renowned ballrooms.

Price: 
$34
Members price: 
$20
Buy Tickets URL: 
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W.E.B. Du Bois and the Fight for Black Equality

Speaker: 
David Levering Lewis
Khalil Gibran Muhammad (moderator)
Wed, 02/19/2014 - 18:30
Wed, February 19th, 2014 | 6:30 pm

EVENT DETAILS

An accomplished scholar and outspoken activist, W.E.B. Du Bois fought racism and discrimination from local institutions to the highest levels of government.

Price: 
$30
Members price: 
$18
Buy Tickets URL: 
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The Supreme Court and Affirmative Action

Speaker: 
Randall Kennedy
Thu, 10/03/2013 - 18:30
Thu, October 3rd, 2013 | 6:30 pm

EVENT DETAILS

What are the costs of affirmative action on higher education and American society? Is this approach to diversification and advancement obsolete? Following the Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding Fisher v. University of Texas, Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy offers a deeply personal exploration of the complex history of this contentious issue and argues why it still plays an obligatory role in modern America.

Price: 
$30
Members price: 
$18
Buy Tickets URL: 
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David Grover Sings Songs of Freedom

Speaker: 
David Grover
Sun, 01/19/2014 - 12:30
Sun, January 19th, 2014 | 12:30 pm

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, folk singer and children’s musician David Grover will entertain participants young and old in this concert celebrating diversity, freedom, and the Civil Rights movement. Please RSVP to familyprograms@nyhistory.org Ages 4 and up

Family Programs: 
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African American Leaders Scavenger Hunt

Sat, 01/18/2014 - 10:00 to Mon, 01/20/2014 - 17:00
Sat, January 18th, 2014 | 10:00 am to Mon, January 20th, 2014 | 5:00 pm

January 18 – 20; Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Meet the inspiring and brave African American leaders who helped shape our nation and civil rights legislation. Families will search through New-York Historical's collections finding objects and documents related to James McCune Smith, Pierre Toussaint, Frederick Douglass and of course, Martin Luther King Jr. Ages 6 and up
 

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The Black Fives

March 14, 2014
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July 20, 2014

This exhibition covers the pioneering history of the African-American basketball teams that existed in New York City and elsewhere from the early 1900s through 1950, the year the National Basketball Association became racially integrated. Just after the game of basketball was invented in 1891, teams were often called “fives” in reference to their five starting players. Teams made up entirely of African-American players were referred to as “colored fives,” “Negro fives,” or black fives—the period became known as the Black Fives Era. 

Charles “Tarzan” Cooper (1907-1980) was a star center with the Philadelphia Panthers, New York Rens, Grumman Hellcats, and Washington Bears, winning two World Pro Basketball Tournament championships – with the Rens (1939) and the Bears (1943). The Rens won 1,303 out of 1,505 games with Cooper, who is considered one of the greatest centers of his time and was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977. Photograph courtesy the Black Fives Foundation.

Dozens of all-black teams emerged during the Black Fives Era, in New York City, Washington, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlantic City, Cleveland, and other cities where a substantial African-American population lived. The Black Fives Era came to an end in the late 1940s with the growth in stature of black college basketball programs combined with the gradual racial integration of previously whites-only collegiate basketball conferences and professional basketball leagues. The overarching significance of the Black Fives Era is that it is as much about the forward progress of black culture as a whole as it is about the history of basketball. This history is relevant today not only as a realization of our collective basketball roots but also as a search for identity.

The exhibition will be a collaboration and partnership between the New-York Historical Society and Claude Johnson, a historian and author who is the founder and executive director of the Black Fives Foundation, whose mission is to research, preserve, exhibit, and promote the inspiring pre-1950 history of African-American basketball teams in order to help teach life lessons, while honoring its pioneers and their descendants. Among its activities, the organization maintains a collection of artifacts, ephemera, memorabilia, objects, photographs, images, and other material relating to the period.

Reading Into History Book Wrap Event: Home Is With Our Family

Speaker: 
Joyce Hansen
Wed, 06/19/2013 - 15:30
Wed, June 19th, 2013 | 3:30 pm

Wednesday, June 19, 3:30 pm
Free with Museum admission. Ages 9-12.

Family Programs: 
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