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Oh Freedom! Teaching African American Civil Rights Through American Art

Following current scholarship, Oh Freedom! expands our understanding of the length and breadth of the Civil Rights movement. Instead of the traditional story of civil rights, which focuses primarily on the events of the 1950s and 1960s, Oh Freedom! presents the movement as a longer, more varied, and ongoing African American struggle for freedom, justice, and equality throughout the course of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Oh Freedom! helps clarify this longer history by breaking it down into three distinct eras:

Media - 1971.447.18 - SAAM-1971.447.18_1 - 51973

Early Civil Rights — Forgotten Movements (1900–1945)

Booker T. Washington, about 1908, and W. E. B. Du Bois, 1918, by Cornelius M. Battey

A.R.C. Canteen, World War I, 1918, by Henry Ossawa Tanner

Evening Attire, 1922, by James VanDerZee

Gamin, 1929, by Augusta Savage

Employment of Negroes in Agriculture, 1934, by Earle Richardson

The Fugitive, 1935, by John Steuart Curry

School's Out, 1936, by Allan Rohan Crite

Mural of Sports, about 1937–1938, by Joseph Rugolo

Make a Wish (Bronx Slave Market, 170th Street, New York), 1938, by Robert McNeill

Marian Anderson #1, about 1939, and Marian Anderson, about 1945, by William H. Johnson

"Crute" Drill, about 1942–1944, by William H. Johnson

John Brown held Harpers Ferry for 12 hours. (No. 20 from the series The Legend of John Brown), 1944, by Jacob Lawrence

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The Modern Civil Rights Movement (1945–1968)

Can Fire in the Park, 1946, by Beauford Delaney

Dixie Café, 1948, by Jacob Lawrence

The Children, 1950, by Charles White

Behold Thy Son, 1956, by David C. Driskell

Walking, 1958, by Charles Henry Alston

Young woman receives her voter registration card, Fayette County, TN, 1960 and "Tent City" family, Fayette County, TN, 1960, both 1960, by Ernest C. Withers

A Beauty Pageant, about 1960, by Henry Clay Anderson

Move On Up a Little Higher, 1961, by Charles White

Evening Rendezvous, 1962, by Norman Lewis

Washington, D.C., USA (March on Washington, 8-28-1963), 1963, by Leonard Freed

Untitled (Birmingham, Alabama) (from the portfolio Ten Works x Ten Painters), 1964, by Andy Warhol

Ali Jumping Rope, 1966, by Gordon Parks

Sanitation Workers assemble in front of Clayborn Temple for a solidarity march, Memphis, TN, March 28, 1968, 1968, by Ernest C. Withers

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Beyond 1968 — "Post–Civil Rights?" (1968–2008)

April 4, 1969, by Sam Gilliam

Unite, 1971, by Barbara Jones-Hogu

South Capitol Street at M Street. Washington, D.C., February 1972, 1972 (printed 1982), by Roland L. Freeman

Phillis Wheatley, 1973, by Elizabeth Catlett

Untitled (from the portfolio Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law), 1973, by Ed McGowin

Roots, 1977, by Romare Bearden

Untitled (A lie is not a shelter), 1989, by Lorna Simpson

The Guardian, 1990, by Earlie Hudnall Jr.

Top of the Line (Steel), 1992, by Thornton Dial Sr.

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