With the echoes of his words sweeping over the exhibit through speakers fixated in the ceiling, the “And Freedom for All” exhibit at DuSable Museum highlights Martin Luther King and the famous civil-rights march in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963. Containing fifty unpublished photographs taken by famed photojournalist Stanley Tretick, the exhibit is exceptionally powerful as it lets the photographs speak for themselves. Instead of the usual factoids that go hand in hand with an exhibit, “And Freedom For All” bucks the trend by merely offering quotes from leaders who in some way helped or participated in the march, such as A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins and Martin Luther King himself, as supplemental anecdotes. The simple presentation forces visitors to take in nothing but the photos themselves and in some way feel as if they are a part of this great event in history. Located in the downstairs exhibit hall of the DuSable Museum, you are greeted with an oversized photo of Martin Luther King delivering a speech at Soldier Field in Chicago with an equally large plaque displaying the words to his famed “I Have a Dream” speech. These images juxtaposed to hearing his speech when walking up to the first photos create a chilling effect. While some may argue that it lacks any real substance beyond the photos that are on display, having the opportunity to see such well-done unpublished photographs is quite a treat—especially when they pack the narrative quality that Tretick’s photographs possesses. (Thomas Barbee)
“And Freedom for All” runs at DuSable Museum of African-American History, 740 East 56th Place, (773)947-0600, through June 1.