Behind The Scenes

Tag Archives: Civil Rights

The Legacy of Voting Rights 50 Years After Selma

“Write right from left to the right as you see it spelled here.” Did you print your answer? If so, you got it wrong—it should have been written in cursive. “Spell backwards, forwards.” Did you include a comma? Wrong. Did you omit the comma? That’s wrong, too. These are only two of the 30 questions […]


Interview With Photographer Stephen Somerstein

On January 16, the New-York Historical Society will open Freedom Journey 1965: Stephen Somerstein Photographs from Selma to Montgomery. This exhibit features the stunning and historic photographs of Stephen Somerstein, documenting the Selma-to-Montgomery Civil Rights March in January 1965. We spoke to Mr. Somerstein about traveling to the march, the art of photography, and being present at […]

Before Claudette Colvin and Rosa Parks, Elizabeth Jennings

Most American students learn about Rosa Parks, the African American civil rights activist who was famously refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in 1955. A few learn of Claudette Colvin, a teenager who was arrested for the same crime earlier that same year in Montgomery, Alabama, and whose testimony in Browder […]

Tracking Time

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and our new exhibition, The Dream Continues: Photographs of Martin Luther King Murals by Vergara, we present “Tracking Time,” written by photographer Camilo Vergara. Here, he speaks about his decades of documenting America’s poor urban communities, and how he became a “builder of virtual cities.”  For more than […]

AIDS And New York: An Epidemic of Fear

It’s been over twenty years since the peak of the AIDS crisis, and evidence of activists’ fight for recognition and action can still be found all around the city. People With AIDS plaza is located right outside City Hall. Thousands of people participate in the AIDS Walk every year in Central Park. Still, twenty years […]