American Civil rights movement story on exhibit in Delhi
Exhibition also features the photographs of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and Marlon
The exhibition capturing the various moods of the epochal march for freedom and jobs held on August 28, 1963 is being showcased at the American Center, which is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the march as well as honoring Martin Luther King Junior.
“This exhibition is a part of a small way of celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s speech. It is a beautiful vision of the future and is an important part of the American experience,” said Michael Pelletier, Deputy Chief of Mission, U S Embassy, who inaugurated the exhibition on August 22.
Black and white photographs of Martin Luther King, delivering his historic “I Have a Dream” speech advocating racial harmony during the march, one of the largest civil rights marchers held in the US and attended by over 200,000 people, have been included in the multimedia exhibition.
Parts of the “Dream” speech are depicted in a pop-art mural decorating one of the walls.
The historic photographs which have been sourced from the wire services and the United States Information agency also featured other civil rights figures like James Baldwin the writer and Bayard Rustin among others.
The exhibition also features the photographs of significant figures like Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and Marlon who participated in the march.
Jackie Robinson, the first African American Major League baseball player is pictured with his son during the march in a photograph. 12-year-old Edith Lee Payne’s photograph which became a symbol of the civil rights movement is also showcased.
Another notable picture is of the civil rights leaders posing with President John F Kennedy in the White House after the march.
The exhibition also features huge murals in color decorating the walls depicting the civil movement heroes. The murals have been inspired from the murals founds across urban United States.
“These murals show the inspiration Martin Luther King has been, not just as a historical figure, but on new generations as well,” Patrick Smith, Professional Associate, American Center said.
The golden jubilee celebrations of the march are not limited to only the exhibition. The US embassy has also undertaken an initiative to introduce Indian students to the civil rights movement.
“A number of state officials and officers have been going around to universities in Delhi and NCR region to talk to students about the civil rights movement and the March to Washington. They also shared anecdotes about what the civil rights movement means to them,” Smith said.
“A lot of King’s inspiration came from the most famous Indian Mahatma Gandhi. What ties them is the struggle that Mahatma Gandhi fought for India’s independence and Luther’s struggle for civil rights in US for African-Americans,” he said.
American Corn Potato String Band gave a live musical performance at the inauguration of the exhibit.