BELTON — The nationally touring exhibit “For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights” takes a look at the civil rights movement from the vantage of how it looked: the visual context of media coverage and how it changed public opinion.
The exhibit officially starts a two-month run at noon Jan. 31 at the Bell County Museum in Belton with remarks by Dr. Fred McGhee, an expert on the history of black Americans and public housing, at 2 p.m. Parts of the exhibit are presently open to the public.
The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture and the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture organized the touring show, which shows how media photographs and television footage helped shift momentum to support the civil rights movement.
“For All the World to See” takes its title from a quote by the mother of murdered black teenager Emmett Till, who wanted images of her son’s body published to show the ugly face of racial hatred in the South.
The exhibit features photos and articles from magazines such as Life, Jet and Ebony, plus CBS news footage and clips from “The Ed Sullivan Show,” contrasted with racial images found in popular culture of the time, such as children’s toys and Aunt Jemima syrup dispensers.
The museum show, which runs through March 14, isn’t so much a history of the civil rights movement, but a sampling at the images that served as context.
The Bell County Museum is located at 201 N. Main St. Hours are from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays with free admission.