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November 9, 2021
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JP O'Hare

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State Museum Opens Exhibition: “Courage: The Black Struggle for Quality Education”

Exhibition on Loan from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

A new exhibition, Courage: The Black Struggle for Quality Education, is now open for the public to view at the New York State Museum, State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced today. The exhibition explores the visions and aspirations of courageous leaders and parents who have sought to equitably educate Black children. Developed by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, and on loan to the State Museum, the exhibition will be on view in the Museum’s Photography Gallery through June 2022. The Adelaide L. Sanford Institute made the exhibition available to the Museum in honor of Vice Chancellor Emerita Dr. Adelaide L. Sanford of the Board of Regents.

“This exhibition shines a light on generations of courageous leaders in New York City who fought for educational quality and equality for Black students,” said Chancellor Lester W. Young. “For too long—centuries, in fact—the education system has failed our communities of color. This exhibition gives voice to that injustice, highlights the contributions of those who led the charge to right it, and demonstrates that we must continue to address systemic inequities in a system that puts our students at a disadvantage during critical developmental years.” 

“The Department is proud to host the Schomburg Center’s Courage exhibition at the State Museum,” Commissioner Rosa said. “Sharing this story with the broader public and raising awareness of the history of unnecessary and unjust obstacles Black schools, students and teachers in New York City chronically face, aligns with our mission to raise the knowledge, skill and opportunity of all people in New York.”

“This exhibition provides an opportunity to both honor and bring attention to those who have fought tirelessly for equitable education for Black children,” said Vice Chancellor Emerita Sanford. “We must acknowledge and learn from the injustices faced by communities of color and celebrate those who have pushed for change while continuing to advocate for quality education for all.”

Before coming to the State Museum, Courage, which was originally developed in 2009, was updated under the direction of the Schomburg Center’s former deputy director, Kara Tucina Olidge, Ph.D., who is now executive director of the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University in New Orleans.

The State Museum is a program of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education. Located at 222 Madison Avenue in Albany, the Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. In observance of Veterans Day, this year the Cultural Education Center will be closed on Thursday, November 11. It is also closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free. For information about COVID-19 safety and policies, visit the State Museum’s website.


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