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The Movement

2A-01-23-14-KIWANISThe Movement

By Marie Carrie Email:

“I accepted the fact that I might be done in and that gave me a strange kind of courage,” Bob Adelman.

Bob Adelman is a renowned photographer whose work is on display at the NSU Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale from now until May 17, 2014. The exhibit is entitled The Movement: Bob Adelman and Civil Rights Era Photography.

At a time when most people feel we have overcome, Adelman’s work reminds us of what it took to get to this point and how much still remains to be done.

“I hope young people get the idea of what needed to be done to change things. To work together and be organized,” says Adelman

The photographs showcase Bob’s work with CORE, SNCC and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund during the tumultuous 60’s. Events such as the Freedom Rides in 1961; the Children’s March in 1963; the in-famous March On Washington in 1963; the victorious Selma to Montgomery March in 1965 and various iconic images of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through it all abound.

In fact Mr. Adelman spent a lot of time with Dr. King and got to know another side of him. “Because of or maybe in spite of the fact that he lived in a constant state of terror, he had a great sense of humor. I remember his laugh.”

It is extremely fitting that this exhibit opened on the weekend that our nation and our city celebrated the birthday of this great leader and man. The Director and Chief Curator of the NSU Museum of Art, Bonnie Clearwater, made this exhibit the number priority of her new administration.

“Reflecting on the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act last year, we realized we had in our vicinity the most important photographer in the movement. We had access to i-mages so instrumental to persuading the American Public that monumental change was needed. We needed to showcase that,” states Clearwater.

Ms. Clearwater took over in her current position only last September and in four short months her vision has become a reality.

On Saturday, January 18th, a reception and free preview of the exhibit was held for the public. Over 300 people were in attendance and witnessed the unveiling of images that changed the world.

Prior to the opening of the exhibition there was a short program where Adelman’s work was praised by dignitaries such as Shirley Franklin, former mayor of Atlanta and Isaac Newton Farris, Jr. nephew of Dr. King and Senior Fellow of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Center in Atlanta.

Newton stated, “Bob Adelman’s work has great artistic merit and historical value and we must celebrate those who made sure Dr. King’s work was publicized.”

Newton went on to say, “we are still fighting for some of the same things Adelman documented that were going on in the Civil Rights era.”

Adelman seconded this opinion during his closing remarks when he stated, “Our nation was completely frozen in many ways as it is now. It was an organized system of terror. Anything is possible because you broke that system of terror.”

Surely that is the message everyone should remember and take away from this amazing exhibit: People working together can change things!

Make sure you check out The Movement: Bob Adelman and Civil Rights Era Photography on exhibit now at the NSU Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale.


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