The Library of Congress will open “The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom” on Wednesday, Sept. 10. The exhibition will highlight the legal and legislative challenges and victories leading to its passage, shedding light on the individuals—both prominent leaders and private citizens—who participated in the decades-long campaign for equality.
Located in the Southwest Gallery on the second level of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C., the year-long exhibition will be free and open to the public Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It closes on Sept. 12, 2015.
The exhibition will feature some of the most important materials in the Library’s collection documenting the events that led to the passage of this historic legislation and its legacy. More than 200 items, including correspondence and documents from civil-rights leaders and organizations, photographs, newspapers, legal briefs, drawings and posters will be on view.
In addition, audio-visual stations throughout the gallery will feature 70 clips showing dramatic events such as protests, sit-ins, boycotts and other public actions against segregation and discrimination. Eyewitness testimony of activists and from participants who helped craft the law will be included.
The exhibition will include two videos co-produced with HISTORY®. An introductory film narrated by Julian Bond, a political and civil-rights leader and professor at American University and the University of Virginia, will focus on the significance of the Civil Rights Act. The second film will explore the impact of the Civil Rights Act and will feature interviews with Taylor Branch, author and historian; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a leader in the Civil Rights Movement; and Risa Goluboff, professor of law at the University of Virginia.
“The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom” is made possible by a generous grant from Newman’s Own Foundation, with additional support from HISTORY® for both audio-visual and educational content and outreach.