We Shall Overcome

January 16, 2006 - March 26, 2006
Central Library, Foyer Gallery Cases
We Shall Overcome

Civil Rights in Brooklyn (1960-1965)

Sponsored by the Brooklyn Collection

The We Shall Overcome exhibition at Brooklyn Public Library spans a momentous period in the struggle for civil rights in Brooklyn. As recounted by Brooklyn resident and activist Rioghan Kirchner, this exhibition focuses on the dynamic work of the Brooklyn chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and highlights the work of Freedom Organizations Coordinated Unity in Shorefront (FOCUS), another group that fought against racial discrimination. With the display of archival materials donated to the Brooklyn Collection by Ms. Kirchner, the exhibition rediscovers a pivotal chapter in the borough's history.

Rioghan Kirchner moved to Brooklyn in 1955 and joined Brooklyn CORE in 1961. Before long, she found herself on the picket lines and became Housing Chairman and then Vice Chairman of Brooklyn CORE. Later, she helped start FOCUS and organized the campaign against real estate brokers engaged in discriminatory housing practices. She worked at Kings Bay Library when she first moved to Brooklyn and now volunteers with the Brooklyn Collection.