Syracuse University Library’s Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) has mounted an exhibition entitled The Small Press and the Black Arts Movement on the sixth-floor of E. S. Bird Library. The controversial Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s was a politically engaged artistic movement that explored the African American experience.
Drawing on its SCRC’s holdings, the exhibit features works by participants in the movement that were published by small independent presses such as Broadside Press and Third World Press. Amiri Baraka (b. 1934) and painter Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000) are very well represented. Their works accompany those of other artists: dramatists, illustrators, novelists, and poets. Among the more well-known names are Gwendolyn Brooks, Chester B. Himes, Ishmael Reed, Sonia Sanchez, Melvin Van Peebles, Alice Walker, and John A. Williams. Also on display are a number of Black Arts Movement periodicals such as Black Theatre, Hoo-Doo, Kitabu Cha Jua (formerly the Journal of Black Poetry), Soulbook, and Y’Bird.
Free and open to the public, the exhibit is available weekdays (excepting holidays) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through May 1, 2008. Pay parking is available in the Marion visitor lot.