Frederick Douglass, James Baldwin, and PW cartoonist Ollie Harrington featured at Yale exhibition

An exhibition on view through Sunday, July 7, explores extraordinary materials collected by Walter and Linda Evans now in the Beinecke Library’s care at Yale University in New Haven., Conn. Douglass, Baldwin, Harrington celebrates three towering figures of Black history, art, and culture: Frederick Douglass, James Baldwin, and Ollie Harrington, a longtime collaborator with People’s World and its antecedent papers with his trenchant illustrations and cartoons.

The Evans collections together bring political and cultural history into close engagement with arts and letters. These collections and the figures they feature demonstrate powerful ways creative work may serve as a form of social justice advocacy in ways that continue to inspire.

Douglass, Baldwin, Harrington honors Walter and Linda Evans and their work advocating for, documenting, and celebrating Black arts in America. Their ongoing leadership in public dialogue about the need for more inclusive American arts and cultural heritage collections, and for greater public access to the work of Black artists, serves as an inspiration to all of us.

The exhibition has three parts:

Frederick Douglass: Family and Legacy
Curated by Melissa Barton, Curator, Drama and Prose, Yale Collection of American Literature and James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of African American Arts and Letters
Ground floor, south side of building & Mezzanine (upstairs)

Love Jimmy”: Letters from James Baldwin to Mary Painter, 1957
Curated by Nancy Kuhl, Curator, Poetry, Yale Collection of American Literature and James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of African American Arts and Letters
Ground floor, north side of the building

Ollie Harrington: Expressing the Revolution
Curated by Kassidi Jones, Ph.D. Candidate, Yale Departments of African American Studies and English
Mezzanine (upstairs)

Readers who are not in the New Haven area are still able to appreciate not only this exhibition through the links supplied below, but a host of further material associated with the university’s efforts to grapple with the long history of slavery and racism and how these impacted the venerable academic institution.

The exhibition labels can be found here. An educators guide rounds out more of the background of the displays.

In addition, the following six videos lend more focus to the role of African Americans at Yale, as students, staff, and as victims of slavery dating back to the early years of the American colonies:

Douglass, Baldwin, Harrington: The Collections of Walter O. Evans at Beinecke Library (ON DISPLAY)

A Discussion with Curators: Douglass, Baldwin, Harrington: The Collections of Walter O. Evans.

Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives with Kenneth B. Morris, Jr.

Early Black Students at Yale with Jennifer Coggins and Charles Warner, Jr.

Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha at Yale and in New Haven

Designing “Shining Light on Truth” with David Jon Walker and Michael Morand


Special to People’s World
Special to People’s World

People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.