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Civil Rights Photography Exhibit Coming to Montgomery College

“Most Daring Dream: The Photography of Robert Houston and the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign” on display from April 16-May 12 at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus

An important chapter in the country’s Civil Rights Movement, the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968, is being recognized at Montgomery College in an exhibit called “Most Daring Dream: The Photography of Robert Houston and the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign.” This collection of more than fifty photographs by celebrated photographer Robert Houston will be on exhibit from April 16–May 12, 2009, in the main gallery of The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center, located at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus.

On April 22, from 1–2:30 p.m., a panel discussion and gallery talk for Montgomery College students will be held with photographer Robert Houston, Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin, and Aaron Bryant, the curator of the exhibition from Morgan State University’s James E. Lewis Museum of Art. A reception will be held on the same day from 2–4 p.m.

The traveling exhibition, organized by Morgan State University, features images of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, considered by many scholars to have been Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most ambitious vision. While instrumental in planning the protest, King was assassinated just weeks before the event was scheduled to take place. To honor his memory, the campaign continued under the direction of Ralph Abernathy, Andrew Young, Hosea Williams, and Jesse Jackson.

Houston covered King and the Civil Rights Movement for Black Star and Life Magazine, and arrived in the nation’s capital to photograph the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign. With his camera and artistic vision, Houston photographed America’s poor living along the National Mall in tents made of plywood and tarps. His images reveal the strength of human dignity and find nobility in places where it was assumed not to exist. As his mentor Gordon Parks once wrote, “[Houston’s] camera is guided by his heart.” A Maryland native, Houston still lives in the East Baltimore home in which he was born.

This exhibit was organized by the James E. Lewis Museum of Art at Morgan State University, and is sponsored by the Maryland Humanities Council through its special initiative “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Remembrance and Reconciliation,” funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center is located on the west side of Montgomery College’s Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. Visitors are encouraged to park in the College’s East Campus Parking Garage on Fenton Street and take the pedestrian bridge and path to the arts center.

For more information on the exhibit at Montgomery College, contact Professor Joseph Kabriel at 240-567-5805 or e-mail him at

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