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LETU To Present Free Civil Rights Exhibit Jan. 18-March 1



LeTourneau University’s Department of Humanities and Social Sciences will present a free, public exhibit on civil rights that will run for six weeks, in time for Martin Luther King Day on January 21 and running throughout Black History Month in February.

“The Road to the Promised Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement” will feature photographs, facsimiles of landmark documents and quotations by the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others engaged in the struggle for civil rights. The exhibit surveys the civil rights movement from MLK’s emergence as a civil rights leader in the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott of 1955 through the 1990s.

The free exhibit featuring photographs, facsimiles of landmark documents and quotations by those engaged in the civil rights struggle will be open from Friday, Jan. 18, through Friday, March 1, in Longview Hall on the university’s main campus, 2100 South Mobberly Avenue in Longview. Hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and from 2 to 8 p.m. on Sundays. LeTourneau University is closed for business on Martin Luther King day, Monday, January 21st, so the exhibit will not be available for public viewing on that day.

“The Civil Rights Movement brought about social revolution and was a time for minorities to claim their civil rights and achieve equality,” said Dr. Daniel Ostendorff, LETU associate professor of history and chair of LETU’s Humanities & Social Sciences department. “This exhibit illustrates the movement’s enduring significance by focusing on the people and the events that made it possible.  Panel topics include Dr. King, Marian Wright Edelman, Jesse Jackson, Barbara Jordan, Malcolm X and feature many events that reshaped our country.”

Ostendorff said hosting this exhibit is part of a larger series of events examining the history of civil rights and race relations in the United States, all in partnership with the LETU offices of Student Life and the university’s Campus Pastor.  Opportunities for students, staff, and faculty to join in local marches and other local activities during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend are also planned.

LETU students will participate in a convened panel discussion Jan. 17 on MLK’s dream, progress and challenges and will participate in coordinated opportunities to serve in the community.  The university is also partnering with the local community on MLK Day, Monday, Jan. 21, for Longview’s MLK march and church service at Mt. Olive Baptist Church.

Those include a special presentation by Dr. Walter Strickland, vice president for Kingdom Diversity Initiatives at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, at 10:50 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, in the Belcher Chapel.  The chapel service is free and open to the public.

For more information or to arrange group visits for the civil rights exhibit, contact Ostendorff at (903) 233-3394. The exhibit was made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Humanities Texas develops and supports diverse programs across the state, including lectures, oral history projects, teacher institutes, traveling exhibitions and documentary films. For more information on Humanities Texas, visit online at or call (512) 440-1991.

LeTourneau University is the Christian polytechnic university in the nation where educators engage students to nurture Christian virtue, develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, integrate faith and work, and serve the local and global community. LETU offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs across a range of disciplines and delivery models at LETU’s residential campus in Longview, Texas, hybrid options at centers in the Dallas and Houston areas and fully online programs. For additional information, visit


Categories: History, Political Science