Marching Toward Justice on display at public library

The Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights announced Friday that the Marching Toward Justice exhibit will be on display at the Detroit Public Library from May 15 to June 25. Marching Toward Justice is part of the Damon J. Keith Law Collection of African American Legal History, a central repository for the nation's African American legal history. The exhibit will be displayed on the first floor of the library, in the Cass Concourse, and is free and open to the public.

The exhibit coincides with the groundbreaking of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights on Wayne State University's campus. The May 17 ceremony will feature The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General of the United States, as the keynote speaker. It will also bring together a large number of dignitaries, including The Honorable Damon J. Keith, Governor Jennifer Granholm, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, A. Alfred Taubman, Edsel B. Ford II, WSU Board of Governors members, WSU President Jay Noren, Wayne Law Dean Robert M. Ackerman, and a number of additional judges and elected officials.

"We wanted to have the Marching Toward Justice exhibit available in Detroit at the same time as the groundbreaking for the new Keith Center," said Wayne State University Law School Professor and Keith Center Director Peter Hammer. "The Keith Collection of African American Legal History is integral to the work of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights. The historic challenges detailed in Marching Toward Justice help us define the present-day civil rights agenda."

The Marching Toward Justice exhibit was created by the Keith Collection to inform the public about the fundamental importance of the 14th Amendment and our nation's ongoing quest to realize the high ideals of the Declaration of Independence. It tells the story of our government's promotion of justice and equality for some, while condoning the enslavement of others.

The 14th Amendment's ratification in 1868 created a dramatic and fundamental break from the past by promising full protection to all American citizens, regardless of race, social status, gender, or conflicting state laws. It was a significant step toward fulfilling the American Revolution's promise that all men are created equal and entitled to full and equal protection under the law.

Since the inaugural exhibition at the Thurgood Marshall Law Center in Washington, D.C., the exhibit has traveled to more than 30 sites, including destinations in San Francisco, Chicago, Topeka, Kan., Boston, Dallas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Contact Holly Hughes, Keith Center program coordinator, at (313) 577-3620 or with questions or to schedule the Marching Toward Justice exhibit in your community.

Published: Mon, May 17, 2010


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