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Visions of Liberty: A Conversation with Ira Glasser and Bob Adelman

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Join us on Monday, August 3, as we welcome world-renowned documentary photographer Bob Adelman and retired executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union Ira Glasser for an afternoon conversation with Robert R. Newlen, chief of staff for the Library of Congress.

The event will take place at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 3, in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C. Co-sponsored by the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division, Interpretive Programs Office, and the Law Library, the presentation is free and open to the public. Tickets are not needed.

The program will focus on themes covered in the book, “Visions of Liberty, The Bill of Rights For All Americans,” which was published in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the U.S. Bill of Rights. The book traces the history of rights in the United States through an examination of free speech, religious freedom, fair legal proceedings, and racial equality. The subject matter of the book is illustrated with photographs by Mr. Adelman.

People's Wall, World's Fair. Queens, New York, 1965. Book Cover, Visions of Liberty: The Bill of Rights for All Americans.  ©Bob Adelman.
People’s Wall, World’s Fair. Queens, New York, 1965. Book Cover, Visions of Liberty: The Bill of Rights for All Americans. ©Bob Adelman.

This program is presented in conjunction with the Library’s exhibition, “The Civil Rights Act of 1964, A Long Struggle for Freedom,” which is on display through January 2, 2016. The exhibition includes Adelman’s August 1963 photograph of current U.S. Congressman John Lewis, then leader of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), rising to speak at the March on Washington. It is among more than 200 items featured in the exhibition.

Mr. Adelman is one of the foremost photographers of the civil rights movement. Born in New York City in 1930, Mr. Adelman grew up on Long Island and has degrees from Rutgers, Harvard, and Columbia. He studied photography with Alexey Brodovitch, the famed art director of Harper’s Bazaar magazine. With an avid interest in social and political events of the early 1960s, Mr. Adelman was drawn to the sit-ins staged by young students across the American South. He volunteered to take photos of the demonstrations for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and continued to be involved with civil rights issues and the human condition for the next four decades.

In 2014, Mr. Adelman was invited to serve as a consulting photographer to expand awareness of the Library’s visual collections and advice on potential new acquisitions.

Ira Glasser served with the American Civil Liberties Union for 34 years, from 1967 until his retirement in 2001. He was associate director and then executive director of the ACLU’s New York affiliate from 1967 to 1978, and then executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union from 1978 until 2001.

During and after his tenure at the ACLU, Mr. Glasser was a widely published essayist on civil liberties principles and issues, whose writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Village Voice, Harper’s, The New Republic, The Nation, and Christianity and Crisis, among many other publications.  He’s also a frequent guest and debater on many radio and television shows, including William Buckley’s Firing Line. In addition to “Visions of Liberty: The Bill of Rights for All Americans,” Mr. Glasser was a co-author of “Doing Good: The Limits of Benevolence,” published by Pantheon in 1978.

Born and raised in New York, Mr. Glasser received a B.S. degree in mathematics and graduated with honors in literature and the arts from Queens College in 1959. He has a master’s degree in mathematics from Ohio State University and also studied sociology and philosophy with the Graduate Faculty at the New School for Social Research.

The Law Library gratefully acknowledges Roberta I. Shaffer, former Associate Librarian for Library Services and former Law Librarian of Congress, for her generous support of this program.

We hope to see you at the event! For those readers who will not be able to attend the program, a member of the In Custodia Legis team will be live-tweeting the event via Twitter @LawLibCongress, using #CivilRights.

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