Exhibition Highlights Civil Rights Movements

“Community Justice: The Black Panther Party and Other Civil Rights Movements,” explores and examines the social justice movements of the late 60s and early 70s.


By polly-burks | 1/10/2017

The University Galleries in Florida Atlantic University’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters will present “Community Justice: The Black Panther Party and Other Civil Rights Movements,” an exhibition that explores and examines the social justice movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The exhibition will be on view from Friday, Jan. 20 through Saturday, March 4, 2017 in the Ritter Art Gallery, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus. There will be an opening exhibition on Thursday, Jan. 19 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The exhibition and the opening are free and open to the public.

The “Community Justice” exhibition will feature photography, film/video and vintage and digital print materials that highlight various social justice movements, including the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement. These still and moving images and printed documents showcase the type of change-provoking programs these movements instituted, such as the Black Panther Party's various survival programs offering education, healthcare, and free food to aid their respective communities.

 “The exhibition is a timely reminder of how activism and dissent can influence change in our society,” said Chris Robé, Ph.D., film scholar and associate professor in FAU’s School of Communication and Multimedia Studies. Robé has contributed to the exhibition’s planning and content through his expertise in social activist movements and radical media.

The exhibition presents materials from several collections and photographers including the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach; Ilka Hartman, a west coast based photographer; and oral histories featuring members of the Young Lords, a Latino Civil Rights organization, from a collection founded by Yong Lords founder Jose “Cha Cha” Jimenez housed at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. The “Community Justice” exhibition acknowledges and joins a host of other exhibitions celebrating the 50th anniversary of Huey Newton’s founding of the Black Panther Movement in the fall of 1966.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a series of mostly free public programs will present reflections upon contemporary events that parallel the exhibition’s historic documents as well as a program including New York-based filmmaker Iris Morales who was active with the Young Lords in the late 1960s and 1970s.

Headlining these programs is Angela Davis, scholar, activist, and author, who will give a ticketed public lecture on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m., in the University Theatre. Davis, a professor emerita from the University of California, Santa Cruz, is an icon of the black civil rights movements, who like many other Black Panther leaders was incarcerated for her civil disobedience in the early 1970s. Throughout her career and continuing in recent years, Davis has been an outspoken opponent of America’s “Prison Industrial Complex,” a phrase she coined. Tickets and information about the Davis lecture can be found at www.fauevents.com.

In association with the “Community Justice” exhibition and Davis’ lecture, the University Galleries are also presenting an exhibition featuring the work of Sharon Daniel, in dialogue with exhibits by FAU faculty, in the Schmidt Gallery from Friday, Feb. 3 through April 1, 2017. Daniel is a media scholar and artist whose work explores social and economic injustice across a spectrum of public institutions – the criminal justice system, the prison industrial complex, the public health system, and the public education system. Her work is informed through years of work within the California prison system where she has interviewed and interacted with numerous incarcerated individuals.

All exhibitions in FAU’s galleries are free and open to the public Tuesdays through Fridays from 1 to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m. School and group tours can be arranged via appointment during public hours or alternative times by e-mailing (knuruddin@fau.edu) or calling the University Galleries at 561-297-2661; or visiting www.fau.edu/galleries. The Schmidt Gallery is located in FAU’s Performing Arts Building.  The Ritter Art Gallery is located adjacent to FAU’s Wimberly Library, on the second floor of the University Breezeway. Currently, due to renovation construction of the Breezeway, the Gallery is accessed through the Library’s Hillel Center.

The “Community Justice: The Black Panther Party and Other Civil Rights Movements” exhibition and programs have been made possible in part by the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and Council on the Arts; Cultural Council of Palm Beach County; R.A. Ritter Foundation and Beatrice Cummings Mayer. The exhibition and associated public programs are a collaborative effort of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters’ Dean’s Office; School of Communication and Multimedia Studies; Department of English; Peace Justi

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