Freeedom Papers Poster

What does it mean to be free?  In its final weeks, be certain to drop by M-Level to view Freedom Papers: Black Assertions from the Archives.  Telling five compelling stories, the exhibit gives voice to Black people, who through their own determination and will, defined and claimed their freedom as they saw it.

Drawn from the library’s archives, an 1886 pamphlet recounting the Amistad trial helps tell the story of Cinque, the captured African, who in 1839, led a successful revolt on a slave ship to regain freedom.  A 1937 souvenir program of Josephine Baker at the Folies Bergere and photos help enrich the story of how a Black woman escaped the limitations and restrictions of America to find a stage to spotlight her ambition and talent.  Curt Flood at great personal sacrifice, declared his own free agency to begin a revolution in major league baseball.  The image of the Black Gold Star mothers on a segregated pilgrimage to visit the graves of their loved ones from WWI frames the story of courage of both the mothers who took the journey and the Gold Star mothers who refused.  Love letters, postcard images and vernacular photography from WWII show Black men and women affirming themselves and determined to fight for freedom abroad and at home.

Supplementing some of the stories are exquisite, one-of-a kind book art pieces, created by Baltimore Artist, Martha Edgerton.

If you visit the physical exhibit, please sign the guest book.  The exhibit closes on February 28 but you can view the accompanying online exhibit at

See the recent article about Freedom Papers published in the HUB.