September 21, 2015 [St. Petersburg, FL] — The Florida Holocaust Museum will open its doors free of charge on Saturday, September 26 as part of St. Petersburg’s Arts Alive! Free Museum Day and Smithsonian magazine Museum Day Live.
The Museum will be open Saturday, September 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All of the Museum’s exhibitions will be open for viewing, including the permanent exhibition History, Heritage and Hope, and two new exhibitions on the Civil Rights Movement.
This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement, presented by Bank of America, shows the Civil Rights Movement through the work and voices of nine activist photographers – men and women who chose to document the national struggle against segregation and other forms of race-based disenfranchisement from within the movement.
Unlike images produced by photojournalists who covered breaking news events, most of the photographers in this exhibition were affiliated with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and documented its activities by focusing on the student activists and local people who together made the movement happen.
The exhibition is comprised of 157 black and white photographs, the majority of which were taken in Mississippi and Alabama from 1963 to 1966.
This Light of Ours is an exhibition organized by the Center for Documentary Expression and Art. Major support for the exhibition has been provided by the Bruce W. Bastian Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Beaches, Benches and Boycotts: The Civil Rights Movement in Tampa Bay, an original exhibition of The Florida Holocaust Museum presented by the Tampa Bay Times, is on display in conjunction with This Light of Ours.
The focus of most Civil Rights history is written about places like Alabama and Mississippi, as if few challenges occurred elsewhere. Tampa Bay remained racially segregated at the dawn of the Civil Rights era and many local institutions and establishments held out on integration for several years after Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The Civil Rights Movement in Tampa Bay may have had characteristics similar to other areas of the South, but its stories are its own. Beaches, Benches and Boycotts features documents, advertisements, photographs and other memorabilia that accurately present the history of Civil Rights in our Tampa Bay-Sarasota communities, while illuminating our region’s struggle with racial equality and shining a light on the local leaders who changed our cities.
Photos and other artifacts for Beaches, Benches and Boycotts were provided by the Tampa Bay Times, the University of South Florida, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, the Sarasota County History Center, the City of St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg Museum of History.
Special thanks to media partners the Tampa Bay Times, Bright House Networks, and The Weekly Challenger, as well as support from the State of Florida for making these exhibitions possible. Additional thanks to Community Partners Watergarden Inn and Sylvia’s Restaurant for their support.
About The Florida Holocaust Museum
The Florida Holocaust Museum honors the memory of millions of innocent men, women and children who suffered or died in the Holocaust. The Museum is dedicated to teaching members of all races and cultures the inherent worth and dignity of human life in order to prevent future genocides.