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Poster: Racism Chains Both.

Black History Month

February 2015

The New York State Library's seventh floor exhibit for February celebrated Black History Month by featuring items from the Manuscripts & Special Collections unit and from the general collections. (Note: Links below are to the catalog record for the item.)

Some of the items on display include:

Left display case

See the Once-In-A-Lifetime Ceremony Implanting the Martin Luther King, Jr. Time Capsule: January 12, 1988 (N BRO5492+). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 1988. "See history in the making as the National Touring Time Capsule is lowered into the ground for 100 years."

The Rights of All: Blacks and the United States Constitution (N 708.147, S369, 90-785). NY: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 1987. Published in conjunction with an exhibit by the same name.

Call for a State Convention: To the Colored Men of the State of New York (N BRO5760). The main object of the convention was to organize committees in every town and city in the state, as explained in this 1869 broadside. "Every Colored Man should justly comprehend the stupendous importance of the New Constitution to his race; it being founded upon principles of justice and equity to the Black as well as the White Man." This copy may have belonged to one Stephen Myers of Albany, as his name is handwritten at the top and printed at the bottom, along with those of the other members of this committee.

center display case

Forge Negro-Labor Unity for Peace and Jobs (N 323.1196073, qR653, 93-20871). NY: Harlem Trade Union Council, 1950. Contains the text of an address delivered by Paul Robeson at a meeting of the National Labor Conference for Negro Rights held in Chicago on June 10, 1950.

Stride Toward Freedom by Martin Luther King, Jr. (N 323.1196, K521, 212-2240). NY: Harper & Brothers, 1958 first edition, second printing, with the dust jacket.

Racism Chains Both (N BRO6046+). NY: National Black Liberation Commission, circa 1970. Poster illustrated by Hugo Gellert.

We Shall Overcome!: Songs of the Southern Freedom Movement compiled by Guy and Candie Carawan (N 784.6832341, C262). NY: Oak Publications, 1963. "Although this book has been compiled for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, it is dedicated to everyone, young and old, North and South, black and white who not only carries the ideal of freedom in his heart but also is actively doing something about it."

right display case

Freedom Now Rally: 369th Armory, New York City, February 15, 1964 (N 323.1, qF853, 201-12180). Brooklyn, NY: Free Hall Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York, 1964. "Our FREEDOM NOW RALLY is a partial implementation of a solemn pledge taken at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on the historic 28th of August, 1963, in the Centennial Year of Emancipation….In that pledge, we affirmed our complete personal commitment to the struggle for Jobs and Freedom for all Americans."

Martin Luther King, Jr. Resource Guide (N 323.1196073, qK53, 91-25578). NY: University of the State of New York, Division of Civil Rights and Intercultural Relations, 1985. Signed on the front cover by Hosea Williams, a trusted member of Martin Luther King's inner circle, at the opening reception of the New York State Museum's "King Remembered" exhibit on January 15, 1985.


Exhibit curated by Shawn Purcell.

Last Updated: November 2, 2021