Digital event on Friday will highlight “thought-provoking” images and stories about racial justice

"Block Talk" is part of an ongoing collaboration between Arts on the Block and the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights

A stop in Birmingham, Alabama, during the 10th Anniversary Maryland Civil Rights Educational Freedom Experience
Photo by Christopher Barclay

Arts on the Block, a local creative development program and organization, will host a virtual “Block Talk” this Friday with photographer Christopher Barclay and James L. Stowe, director of the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights. The digital event will feature a photographic presentation and “insightful” conversations all focused on the Maryland Civil Rights Educational Freedom Experience, according to the event’s official press release.  

“[Christopher Barclay] has selected a number of images from the 10th anniversary tour and around those images, Mr. Stowe and Mr. Barclay will be having conversations that touch on the experiences of the tour and also the historical event,” Anne L’Ecuyer, executive director of Arts on the Block, told Montgomery Magazine.

Barclay was the official photographer of the Maryland Civil Rights Educational Freedom Experience’s 10th anniversary tour, which took place in 2019. He and other participants traveled by bus to retrace the Freedom Trail, stopping at the sites of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Greensboro Sit-Ins and other important events of the Civil Rights Movement.

“Going to all of the sites and having conversations with people involved directly in these historical moments changed how I saw the movement,” Barclay said. “It gives energy for why it’s important to continue the fight right now.” 

Additional notable landmarks of the tour included the Lorraine Motel, Mississippi Delta, the Legacy Museum, Central High School, the home of Medgar Evers and Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.  

This year’s Maryland Civil Rights Educational Freedom Experience was slated to take place in late April, but due to the ongoing pandemic, the trip has been postponed until this fall.

“The nine day experience opens the door to the living history of the Civil Rights Movement through stops along the journey engaging the people and places where history was made,” said Stowe. “Your life will be changed.”

Friday’s “Block Talk” will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The event is free but requires advanced registration. To register, click here.


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