Emancipation & its Legacies

Frederick Douglass

Jan. 28 - Feb. 25, 2022

The story of emancipation from 1850 to 1964, focusing on how, due to the persistence of African Americans, abolitionists, and politicians, the Civil War became an “abolition war”; how the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1863 and the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments transformed the Constitution of the United States; and how we continue to debate the legacies of slavery and emancipation and reach for the goal of equality.

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Explores slavery and abolition through the life of Frederick Douglass . Born a slave in Maryland, Douglass made a daring escape to New York City in 1838. Once free, he fought to end slavery & championed civil rights for all Americans. Among the highlights are a broadside entitled Slave Market of America from the American Anti-Slavery Society, excerpts and quotes from Douglass’s first autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, and a letter from Douglass to Hugh Auld, his former slave-owner.

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Freedom Riders

Feb. 24 - March 20, 2022

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This exhibit celebrates the 50th anniversary of this seminal moment in civil rights history. The self-proclaimed “Freedom Riders” challenged the mores of a racially segregated society by performing a disarmingly simple act—traveling together in small interracial groups, and sitting where they pleased on buses and trains. Demanding unrestricted access to terminal restaurants and waiting rooms, they were met with bitter racism, mob violence, and imprisonment along the way. But their courage and sacrifice over eight months in 1961 changed America forever.