This exhibition explores the rich legacy of African American photographers who captured the struggles, achievements, and tragedies of a tumultuous time: the civil rights and black power movements of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Assuming the role of social activist, these photographers documented leading figures such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Muhammad Ali, as well as innovators in the music world such as Billie Holiday, Lester Young, and John Coltrane. A continuing desire to raise social consciousness motivates contemporary photographers to chronicle the realities of life for African Americans today. Photographs of the 1980s and 1990s, many the results of the artists' personal engagement with their own communities, form the second major focus of the exhibition.
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