May 17. A Day to Remember. A Day of Decision. A Time of Thanksgiving. A Day of Action. Freedom Sunday.
New York: NAACP, 1959. Poster on heavy card stock, 13 x 10 inches. Some foxing to edges, near fine condition overall. Near Fine. Item #List920
In 1959, to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision, the NAACP coordinated a group of celebrations in churches throughout the country to celebrate Freedom Sunday. The effort, led by Reverend Edward J. Odom, Jr., the NAACP church Secretary, involved over 100 local chapters across the country. The celebrations on May 17th were a part of a larger coordinated campaign by the NAACP to register voters, raise funds, and engage in desegregation projects. Coverage in the mainstream press was scant, with several short articles on the celebrations appearing in a range of states including Michigan, Alabama and Indiana.
We find no other record of this poster promoting the event, which was produced in New York, and can’t confirm whether it was distributed to local chapters. Overall a visually striking poster commemorating both the landmark court decision and the role that the church would play in the Civil Rights movement in general.