This exhibit explores the wide range of strategies beginning in the 1950s and expanding into the 1990s that were used by civil rights activists and Black people to promote Black equality. Black voices often went unappreciated, equality was swept under the rug, and racism and racial violence was an enduring epidemic across the nation. Beginning during the Civil Rights Movement, Black activists took the nation by storm, finally having enough of the oppression they had endured for so long. Activists use of protests was one of many strategies employed to strengthen the Black voice and role in society. Boycotts, sit-ins, and marches were merely a handful of the actions employed by Black people and their supporters during this time. Various platforms of journalism, including print, radio, and television assisted in the exposure of the movement, highlighting the injustices that were faced within the Black community. Media helped to bring national awareness to the injustices and actions against Black people, and they used this exposure as another strategy for the promotion of the movement. While many battles were won during the Civil Rights Movement, the fight was far from over. Reaching into the late 20th century, Black rights movements were still in full swing, as Black people fought for their ultimate equality. Media exposure still played a crucial role in the national involvement in the fight. Intellectual involvement also became increasingly notable in its importance.
Now, in the 21st century, America still experiences the lasting effects of the work done across the 20th century in the fight for Black equality. While great strides have been made, it is evident that the fight is not over. Racial violence and oppression are still experienced by the American black population, as seen through the stories of oppression that continue to hit national news. The modern addition of social media adds another platform of strategies used to promote Black equality, as a younger population speaks out about the injustices they experience. This has been most notably seen in the recent #BlackLivesMatter movement. Black movements of the past have laid the foundation for the future of Black equality movements, inspiring and encouraging the modern influencers. It is without a doubt that the movement will continue to flourish until ultimate equality is finally achieved.
Disclaimer: We use the term "Black" in this exhibit to align with the the current #BlackLivesMatter movement, which promotes Black over African American. Black scholars also use the term Black instead of African American, and Alli Aweusi promotes the term Black in his poem 'LOVE', at the top right of the page.