The power of the visual to change hearts and minds is undeniable. While activists had been campaigning for civil rights long before protesters marched in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963, it was the images of those protesters set upon with dogs and fire hoses that intensified public opinion and ultimately helped bring about the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But the visual impact of that struggle went far beyond the reportage of the day, combining with other burgeoning movements, from pop art to feminism, to create a distinctive moment.
W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute
The W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute at Harvard University has experienced a most colorful history since its establishment in 1975. After a protracted struggle for its very existence, the first home of the Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research was in Canaday B, a new dormitory in Harvard Yard. After a few years, and a great deal of lobbying, the Institute moved to somewhat more generous digs at 44 Brattle Street, over the Harvest Restaurant. When Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. arrived at Harvard in 1991 with a mandate to assemble a worldclass team in Afro-American Studies, they took up residence at busy 1414 Massachusetts Avenue, over CVS and next to the Harvard Coop. In 1997, the Institute achieved a dramatically new kind of status at the university, sharing a space with the Department of Afro-American Studies in the newly refurbished Barker Humanities Center at 12 Quincy Street. Finally, in 2005, the W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute moved to its permanent home at 104 Mount Auburn Street.