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Let Us March On: Lee Friedlander and the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom

Presented by Fisk University - Carl Van Vechten Art Gallery at Fisk University - Carl Van Vechten Art Gallery, Nashville TN

Apr 13 2018
Aug 19 2018
Let Us March On: Lee Friedlander and the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom

This exhibition presents photographer Lee Friedlander’s images of the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom, a critical yet generally neglected moment in American civil rights history. On May 17, 1957—the third anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka, which outlawed segregation in public schools—thousands of activists, including many leaders from religious, social, educational, labor, and political spheres, united in front of the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, D.C. At this first large-scale gathering of African Americans on the National Mall, an event that was a forerunner of the 1963 March on Washington at which Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his famed “I Have a Dream” speech, protesters called on federal authorities to enforce desegregation, support voting rights, and combat racial violence. Friedlander photographed many of the illustrious figures who attended or spoke at the march, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Ella Baker, Mahalia Jackson, and Harry Belafonte, and he wove among the demonstrators on the ground to capture the energy and expressions of the day.

Let Us March On: Lee Friedlander and the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom exhibition organized by La Tanya S. Autry, Curator of Art and Civil Rights at the Mississippi Museum of Art and Tougaloo College and former Marcia Brady Tucker Fellow, Yale University Art Gallery. Made possible by the Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund and the James Maloney ’72 Fund for Photography.

Image credit: Lee Friedlander, Mahalia Jackson (at podium); first row: Mordecai Johnson, Bishop Sherman Lawrence Greene, Reverend Thomas J. Kilgore, Jr., and Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., from the series Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom, 1957, printed later. Gelatin silver print. Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of Maria and Lee Friedlander, HON. 2004. © Lee Friedlander, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

For more information on Let Us March On and Yale University Art Gallery click here.

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$6/Seniors and Groups of 10+
FREE Admission/Ages 18 and Under

Contact: (615) 329-8720

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Fisk University - Carl Van Vechten Art Gallery

1000 17th Avenue North, (On the corner of Dr. D.B. Todd Jr. Blvd. and Jackson Ave.), Nashville, TN 37208
(Neighborhood: North Nashville)

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Free parking is available right in front of the Carl Van Vechten Gallery. The driveway is on Jackson Street and looks like a sidewalk. Additional parking is available behind the gallery; the entrance to that parking lot is on D.B. Todd, Jr., Blvd. Visitors parking in the lot behind the gallery should inform a Gallery Ambassador upon arrival. This is the best parking lot for visitors requiring wheelchair access; if this is the case, please call when you arrive or send a member of your group to the front entrance so that a Gallery Ambassador or member of staff can greet you and facilitate access. There is also a parking lot across Jackson Street, and there is a crosswalk linking the lot and the gallery.

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