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Race and Resistance: Then and Now

American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it. —James Baldwin, “A Talk to Teachers” (1963)


Black protest and black representation have always existed in a complex relationship with whiteness and racism. Within that arena is a constant struggle of reclamation, resistance, and empowerment, alongside misrepresentation, misconception, cultural and economic appropriation, and various forms of physical, emotional, and psychological violence.

Historical and contemporary stories of black protest, black representation, and the reception of black culture are not easy to talk about. However, the pages that follow and the curated artifacts they contain were compiled to help tell parts of that story and to draw connections between individual and group stories and the generative actors who have resisted and continue to resist. The contributors of this exhibit ask that as you view these historical items you consider their contemporary echoes.

This exhibit features archives that are held at Bowling Green State University’s Jerome Library. These archived materials include photographs, book covers, album covers, newspaper and magazine clippings, documentary soundbites, song clips, artwork, and selected pages from state and federal documents, and more. As you take this tour, please be advised that an exhibit of this nature might include explicit materials and language which could be disturbing to some viewers. 

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