Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow is a traveling exhibit from the New-York Historical Society. The exhibit explores the struggle for full citizenship and racial equality that unfolded in the 50 years after the Civil War. When slavery ended in 1865, a period of Reconstruction began, leading to such achievements as the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution. By 1868, all persons born in the United States were citizens and equal under the law. But efforts to create an interracial democracy were contested from the start. A harsh backlash ensued, ushering in a half century of the “separate but equal” age of Jim Crow.
The exhibition is organized chronologically from the end of the Civil War to the end of World War I and highlights the central role played by African Americans in advocating for their rights. It also examines the depth and breadth of opposition to black advancement. Art, artifacts, photographs, and media will help visitors explore these transformative decades in American history, and understand their continuing relevance today.
This exhibit highlights the ways in which black Americans resisted oppression, defined their own lives, and found strength within their communities. But the story of Jim Crow is grim and sometimes shockingly violent. The materials in the exhibit do not shy away from these realities. Visitors should be prepared for emotional responses to some of the material.
This exhibition has been organized by the New-York Historical Society.
Lead support for the Connecticut Historical run of Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow provided by the following:
Premier Community Partner
Supporting Community Partner