“One of the most extraordinary and least understood aspects of Dr. Martin Luther King’s leadership was his incisive understanding of the power of visual images to alter public opinion,” says Maurice Berger, standing in front of an oversize silk-screen portrait of the slain civil rights leader. from Smithsonian Magazine
In celebration of Martin Luther King, Junior Day, I’ve collected images from a museum that I’ve been to of Civil Rights Movement art. What and how can art shape the Civil Rights Movement? I think you will agree that the powerful images convey a truth that resonates with viewers and packs an emotional punch that might bring a bystander into a fight for justice. Imagery can be powerful stuff.
Questions to ask kids:
- What is your first reaction to image you see?
- What is happening?
- What elements seem real?
- What do you think the artist is trying to convey?
- What emotions are you feeling when you view the art work?
- Do you emotions change the longer you look at it?
- Why do you think the artist created this piece?
More questions to ask kids from Art Curator for Kids. Art Curator for Kids also has more Civil Rights Art here and here.
What do you think? What images do you like best from this collection? Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
p.s. I have some posts on books for Civil Rights Movement for kids here:
Civil Rights Movement and MLK Books for 4th Grade
Top 10: Best Children’s Books on Civil Rights
(Meeting Ruby Bridges) Civil Rights Picture Book of the Day
The Problem We All Live With by Norman Rockwell, image from Norman Rockwell Museum
From Rhode Island School of Design Museum
From Boston Museum of Fine Art
National Gallery of Canada
Interested in learning more about Civil Rights Movement Art? I found these interesting links:
Smithsonian Oh Freedom! Art Exhibit
These Are The Artists of the Civil Rights Movement, Huffington Post
Black Arts Movement, Wikipedia
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.
8 thoughts on “Civil Rights Movement Art #BlackLivesMatter”
I know you love the Fannie Lou Hamer book, but are you familiar with Carol Boston Weatherford’s book on the photographer, Gordon Parks? It’s also wonderful, so be sure to read it if you haven’t already done so.
No, I need to find that one too! Thanks for your great suggestions, as always!!
The perfect post for today! I enjoyed reading about each piece. I like each one for a different reason — they each tell such a powerful story.
Thanks so much Patricia! I’ve been collecting those photos as I visit different museums. So glad that you like them too! I always like to read the panels that accompany the art work too. Glad you like reading that too! Not everyone does!
Thanks so much for highlighting the struggles that went on in our history today as we celebrate Martin Luther King day. Nothing comes without a cost and this part of our past has some real sacrifices. Blessings.
Thanks so much Rebecca!! There’s so much great art work documenting the Civil Rights Movement. I’m grateful to have seen a few of the pieces!
Very moving art. Great post for this day.
Thanks so much MaryAnne! I was amazed to find Civil Rights Movement art at most museums that I’ve been too.