Civil movement

The Maltz Museum’s Civil Rights Movement exhibit, “This Light of Ours,” opens October 26

BEACHWOOD, Ohio — A new exhibit from the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movementfeaturing more than 150 black-and-white images chronicling the Southern Freedom Movement of the mid-1960s, is set to open October 26.

Based on a book of the same name edited by Leslie G. Klein, the exhibition features the work of nine activist photographers who have documented the clash between institutionalized discrimination and the determined resistance of activists and volunteers. The photographs chronicle a pivotal period in American history that can be explored through interrelated sections: Black Life in the Deep South, Organizing for Freedom, State and Local Terror, Marching Against Fear, and Black Power.

The Maltz Museum, 2929 Richmond Road in Beachwood, added video footage, life-size installations and material on current voter suppression. An audio tour, included with admission, allows guests to hear the photographers and curator first-hand. Featured are the work of photographers Bob Adelman, George Ballis, Bob Fitch, Bob Fletcher, Matt Herron, David Prince, Herbert Randall, Maria Varela and Tamio Wakayamas.

The exhibition is organized by the Center for Documentary Expression and Art, with major support from the Bruce W. Bastian Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. The films, design and exhibition experience were conceived and produced by the Maltz Museum.

The exhibit premiered six years ago in Cleveland and then toured the country. He is now heading home for his final screening.

“We have added a new section for this run,” Maltz Museum chief executive David Schafer said in a statement. “We are in a voting year, and this exhibit is about Americans participating in democracy. That’s why we chose to add a new section on voter suppression, then and now. What happened 50 years ago is very relevant to what is happening today.

A launch event for the exhibit, titled “Otis’ Dream,” will take place at 7 p.m. on October 26. It will feature Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. of Cleveland and his son, Reverend Dr. Otis Moss III. Reverend Otis Moss Jr. is a former regional director of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference and participated in the Selma march.

The launch event, which costs $5 per person, will include a film screening of OTIS’ DREAMthe story of Otis Moss Sr. and his trip to vote in 1946 Georgia, 20 years before federal legislation banned racial discrimination in voting and at a time when a black man’s attempt to vote could cost him his life.

Following the film, Dr. Alex Johnson will be joined by Otis Moss Sr.’s son and grandson, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr. and Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, discussing their mission to fulfill the dream of Otis through the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the ongoing struggles of today.

To register for the launch event, call 216-593-0575 or visit

Through October 22, visitors to the Maltz Museum are invited to try out the new interactive biography of the Reverend Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. for free, in which an AI version of Moss answers questions from museum visitors.

Also in conjunction with the exhibit, the museum will be offering discounted admission of $5 per person during the week of October 26-30.

And, from November 1 to April 2, 2023, the museum will offer discounted rates for groups of adults and students who want a full immersive experience, including a guided tour of This light which is ours. Discounts will apply to adult groups of 10 or more. School groups cost $3 per student (one accompanying adult free for every 10 students). Schools in the Cleveland Municipal School District can attend for free, with the museum covering public transportation for schools in northeast Ohio with 50% or more students benefiting from the reduced meal program. To book a group tour, email [email protected].