Nobody Turn Us Around: The Freedom Rides and Selma to Montgomery Marches– Selections from the John Doar Papers
Opening April 24, 2023, a new exhibition at Seeley Mudd Manuscript Library showcases photographs and documents from two watershed events during the 1960s U.S. civil rights movement: the Freedom Rides of 1961 and the Selma-to-Montgomery marches of 1965.
While both initiatives were systematically thwarted, not only by white mobs, but also by state and local officials and police, the images and accounts of the violent receptions these peaceful protestors received ultimately swayed public sentiment, and helped with the passage of an order in September 1961 by the Interstate Commerce Commission to desegregate travel facilities, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The materials in “Nobody Turn Us Around: The Freedom Rides and Selma to Montgomery Marches– Selections from the John Doar Papers” were selected from the papers of John Doar, Class of 1944, who prosecuted discrimination and segregation cases for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department in the 1960s. The papers are housed at Mudd Manuscript Library.
The objects hint at how the Justice Department—as well as the executive branch and the FBI—were watching and reacting to the direct actions of riders and marchers like John Lewis, James Farmer, Diane Nash, Hosea Williams, Ralph Abernathy and King. As it turns out, the world was watching too.
The exhibition is curated by William Clements, Public Policy Papers Archivist, and Phoebe Nobles, Processing Archivist; exhibition graphic design by Barbara Valenza, Director of Library Communications; exhibition project management by Stephanie Wiener, Exhibitions Registrar and Gallery Operations Manager.
The exhibition, which runs from April 24, 2023 through spring 2024, is open to the public during regular Mudd Library hours.
Learn more about current and upcoming PUL exhibitions.
Explore the accompanying digital exhibition on Digital PUL.
Read more about past exhibitions: Inside the Milberg Gallery news series.
Published March 28, 2023
Media contact: Barbara Valenza, Director of Library Communications