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Civil rights writings, photos on display at Library of Congress

Sunday - 8/25/2013, 4:19pm  ET

Civil rights stories on display at the Library of Congress

WTOP's Thomas Warren

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WASHINGTON - The Library of Congress is giving the public an inside look at the civil rights movement through interviews, photos and writings in a new collection.

Kate Stewart, archivist for the Library of Congress Civil Rights Project, says the collection will also include an audiovisual blog with five posts dedicated to the March on Washington.

The March on Washington was not an event that happened in a vacuum. In one blog post, sisters Joyce and Dorie Ann Ladner recall the harrowing events that preceded and influenced the march, including the murder of NAACP member Medgar Evers, who was shot in the back in the driveway of his Mississippi home by a white supremacist.

"There was a boycott of all the stores in Jackson, Miss., and people were being arrested in Greenwood, Miss. We were under siege," Dorie Ann Ladner says.

In another post, Rachelle Horowitz, who served as a transportation director for march organizer Bayard Rustin, discusses the long hours and days that led up to planning the march.

On Aug. 28, the anniversary of the March on Washington, the Library of Congress will present a photo collection to commemorate the event. The exhibit, "A Day Like No Other: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington," will consist of 42 black-and-white images.

"These photographs -- from newspaper and other media photographers, independent photojournalists and people who participated in the march -- represent the cross- section of individuals who were there," the Library of Congress says in a statement.

Guha Shankar, Library of Congress folklife specialist and director of the Civil Rights Project, says the goal in releasing the materials is to give the public a broader view of the civil rights movement and the struggle for freedom black people endured.

"We would call attention, for instance, to things like the ex-slave interviews which we have in our collections, which go back to people who were freed and lived part of their lives in slavery," Shankar says.

The exhibit will run though March 1, 2014. It is free and open to the public, Monday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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