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  • University of Kansas, Spencer Research Library

    The images provide an "inside" view of African American life rarely seen by the general public. They show family gatherings celebrating marriages, birthdays and graduations and reveal a vibrant community life comprised of a wide array of churches, schools and organizations. Together, these photographs suggest how African Americans, for centuries, refused to allow the nation's color line deny them experiences of love, faith, dignity, and grace. It is this rich context of family and community life in Wichita, Kansas that enabled the city's African American youth to express their pride and determination by successfully organizing the nation's first successful lunch counter sit-in during the beginning of the Modern Civil Rights Movement, July 1958.

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