For Immediate Release
THE SIXTH FLOOR MUSEUM ANNOUNCES A NEW SPECIAL EXHIBITION: SOLIDARITY NOW! 1968 POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN
Dallas, TX – July 13, 2022: On Saturday, August 13, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza will open a special temporary exhibition, Solidarity Now! 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The exhibition will be on view through February 26, 2023.
The exhibition is part of a prestigious national tour which began at the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, where it is on view through July 31. Other stops include the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati; New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe; Washington State Historical Society in Tacoma; and the Abraham Lincoln President Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, among others.
The exhibition title is a reference to the Solidarity Day Rally held June 19, 1968, a major highlight for the Civil Rights movement. The rally at the Lincoln Memorial featured speeches by celebrities, activists and campaign organizers as a continuation of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
In the 1960s, as the United States emerged as a global model of wealth and democracy, an estimated 25 million Americans lived in poverty. From the elderly and underemployed to children and persons with disabilities, poverty affected people of every race, age and religion. In response, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, led by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ralph David Abernathy, organized the Poor People’s Campaign as a national human rights crusade.
Solidarity Now! features photographs, oral histories with campaign participants and organizers, and an array of protest signs, political buttons and audio field recordings collected during the campaign. The exhibition explores the significance of the tactics and impact of this campaign that drew thousands of people to build a protest community on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. For nearly six weeks they inhabited “a city of hope” on 15 acres between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial to call the nation’s attention to the crippling effects of poverty for millions of Americans. The protest site was called Resurrection City.
As a multiethnic movement that included African Americans, Mexican Americans, Native Americans, Puerto Ricans, Asians and poor whites from Appalachia and rural communities, the six-week protest community in Washington attracted demonstrators nationwide. The campaign leaders presented demands to Congress, including demands for jobs, living wages and access to land, capital and health care. It was the first large-scale, nationally organized demonstration after King’s death. It helped focus national attention on poverty and became a catalyst to federal programs and legislation that laid groundwork for later change.
According to Nicola Longford, CEO of The Sixth Floor Museum, “The Museum is proud to be the only stop in Texas for this important national tour. A key aspect of our mission is to explore the legacy of President Kennedy whose antipoverty agenda was expanded on after his death to become the broad war on poverty of the Johnson administration. We are excited to bring this little-understood chapter of history to our North Texas community and very grateful to our local partners who are working with us to create a robust series of programs and community conversations about this complicated, but still very relevant, topic.”
“The African American Museum is very pleased to partner with The Sixth Floor Museum to co-sponsor programs in conjunction with this exciting and timely exhibition that will inform the public about not only the past antipoverty efforts of people and organizations like Dr. Martin Luther King and SCLC, but also the ongoing and current effort to address the problem of poverty in our society. We look forward to co-sponsoring programs that will motivate people to take action against poverty in our society. The time is now.” – Dr. W. Marvin Dulaney, Deputy Director/COO of the African American Museum.
The exhibition is supported by the CVS Health Foundation, a private foundation created by CVS Health to help people live healthier lives.
The exhibition will be on view in the Museum’s 7th floor gallery Saturday, August 13, 2022, through Sunday, February 26, 2023. Admission to Solidarity Now! is included with Museum admission. Descriptive/explanatory text and object labels will be provided in both English and Spanish. More information about the exhibition is available at jfk.org/Solidarity-Now.
Kimberly Camuel Bryan
Chief Philanthropy Officer
About The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
Mission Statement: The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy; interprets the Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza; and presents contemporary culture within the context of presidential history.
Vision Statement: To be an impartial, multi-generational destination and forum for exploring the memory and effects of the events surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy, through sharing his legacy and its impact on an ever-changing global society.
Located at 411 Elm Street in downtown Dallas, the Museum is open Wednesday – Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit jfk.org or call 214.747.6660. Admission: $18 Adult, $16 Senior, $14 Youth (children aged 5 and under are free).
About SITES and Smithsonian Affiliations
SITES and Smithsonian Affiliations are critical national outreach units at the Smithsonian Institution. For more than 70 years, SITES has been connecting Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science, and history. Smithsonian Affiliations establishes and maintains the Smithsonian’s long-term partnerships with museums, educational organizations, and cultural institutions in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Panama. Together, SITES and Affiliations share the Smithsonian’s vast resources with millions of people outside Washington, D.C. Visit sites.si.edu and affiliations.si.edu for more information.
About the National Museum of African American History and Culture
Since opening Sept. 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., has welcomed more than 7 million visitors. The nearly 400,000-square-foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. For more information about the museum, visit nmaahc.si.edu and follow @NMAAHC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.