As the National Museum of African American History and Culture prepares to open, its staff is preparing a vast collection of artifacts and documents for display—but, though the museum won’t officially open until next year, a new series of books offers a sneak peek at its photography collection. The second book in the Double Exposure series, Civil Rights and the Promise of Equality, will be available July 7. (The first came out earlier this year.)
Some of the images of the civil rights movement—the fire hoses, the marches—are likely to be familiar to readers. But as other photos in the collection make clear, those weren’t the whole story. The movement was also captured in photographs of a new voter’s happiness and a new father’s insistence on a better future for his child.
“Civil rights, certainly, is something where people expect a story to be told but we want people to look at it in a different way—not just the photos of Martin Luther King,” says Michèle Gates Moresi, the museum’s supervisory curator of collections. “Those are in there, of course, but I think when people actually look at the book they can be introduced to new stories.”