NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Frist Center for the Visual Arts presents “We Shall Overcome: Civil Rights and the Nashville Press,” a selection of 50 photographs from the archives of The Tennessean and The Nashville Banner that documented Nashville’s struggle for racial equality. The photographs will be on display March 30-Oct. 14 in the Conte Community Arts Gallery.
“We Shall Overcome” opens to the public 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. The images were taken between 1957, the year that desegregation began in public schools, and 1968, when Dr. King was killed in Memphis. Of central significance are photographs of lunch counter sit-ins led by a group of students—including John Lewis and Diane Nash—from local historically black colleges and universities, which took place in early 1960.
The Frist Center has partnered with Vanderbilt University Press to co-publish a book titled We Shall Overcome: Press Photographs of Nashville in the Civil Rights Era. The publication will feature 100 plates selected from the archives of The Tennessean and The Nashville Banner. The book will also include a foreword by Congressman John Lewis, who was a leader in the local student nonviolent resistance; an essay outlining the history of the period by Linda Wynn, Fisk University professor and assistant director of the Tennessee Historical Commission; and an overview of the position of photojournalism during the movement by Dr. Susan H. Edwards, photography historian and Frist Center executive director. A timeline and a bibliography will also be featured. The book is edited by Katie Delmez, curator of the accompanying exhibition. Generous support from various community leaders will allow the book to be placed in all Davidson County public schools and libraries.
This exhibition was organized by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.
All images generously provided by The Tennessean and the Nashville Public Library, Special Collections, which houses the Nashville Banner Archives.
Presenting Sponsor: HCA Foundation on behalf of HCA Healthcare/TriStar Health
Additional Sponsors: R. H. Boyd Publishing Corporation and Ryman Hospitality Properties Foundation
Supported in part by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts
Connect with the Frist: #FristCivilRights
About the Frist Center
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit art exhibition center dedicated to presenting and originating high-quality exhibitions with related educational programs and community outreach activities. Located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tenn., the Frist Center offers the finest visual art from local, regional, national, and international sources in exhibitions that inspire people through art to look at their world in new ways. The Frist Center’s Martin ArtQuest Gallery features interactive stations relating to Frist Center exhibitions. Information on accessibility can be found at fristcenter.org/accessibility. Gallery admission is free for visitors 18 and younger and for members; $12 for adults; $9 for seniors and college students with ID; and $7 for active military. College students are admitted free Thursday and Friday evenings (with the exception of Frist Fridays), 5:00–9:00 p.m. Groups of 10 or more can receive discounts with advance reservations by calling 615.744.3247. The galleries, café, and gift shop are open seven days a week: Mondays through Wednesdays, and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.; and Sundays, 1:00–5:30 p.m., with the café opening at noon. For additional information, call 615-244-3340 or visit www.fristcenter.org.
# # #