Current Exhibits

Where: Main Library
When: Thursday, September 14, 2017 - Wednesday, January 17, 2018
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Story of the Project:

  • Do you know what to say if a police stops you in the street and asks to search your things? 
  • Do parents have the right to a translator at public schools in California? 
  • Do undocumented workers have the same rights to workers' compensation and overtime as documented immigrants and citizens? 
  • Should you ever tell the police your immigration status? 

These are a few of the many questions that 11th grade students at Oakland International High School have been asking about their rights in the United States. What is my right to education? My right to interact with police? My right to remain in the country? My right to a fair wage and treatment at work? My right to participate in elections? What do  these rights look like for a citizen? For a documented immigrant? For an undocumented immigrant? As a part of an interdisciplinary project-based Know Your Rights unit in their Reading class with teacher Aly Kronick and Digital Media Arts class with Mallory Moser, students investigated the nuances of our rights in the United States. 

After becoming experts in their rights, the students designed posters as tools to spread the knowledge. The students planned to disseminate the posters and wallet guides to their communities - mosques, churches, community centers, bus stops, schools and corner stores - that teach their neighbors, family and friends how to protect and defend their right to remain in the United States, right to education, right to fair wage and fair treatment at work, right to participate in elections, right to interact with police, and their right to free speech and assembly. Each student printed two posters - one to put up with classmates around North Oakland, and another to put up in their own communities all over Oakland. Beyond these posters, tens of community organizations and schools, from Oakland to Brooklyn, requested more posters and postcards to distribute in their community.

How did this all happen? The posters and postcards are a result of something that was brewing even before the election results. The 11th grade students at OIHS began learning about their rights in their Reading Class in October where they studied, discussed and acted out different elements of their rights, living as documented and undocumented immigrants in Oakland, California. They studied what situations may occur in which they must defend their rights and what to say in order to protect their rights. 

After the students analyzed the most effective ways to communicate their knowledge and educate their community, they began taking their new knowledge and information and applied it to the design of posters and postcards in their Digital Media Arts class. Each poster and postcard includes three different parts of a right, how to respond when that right is at stake and images that bring the right to life, in both English and their native languages.

Where: Main Library
When: Friday, September 1, 2017 - Saturday, December 2, 2017
Oakland War Camp 1919

To mark the centennial of America's entry into the First World War, the Oakland History Room has mounted an exhibit about Oakland before and during the international conflict. Many of the issues raised during this war--nativism, acculturation of immigrants, national security--continue to challenge us today. The exhibit will feature photographs, books, scrapbooks, posters, and ephemera showing how Oaklanders responded to the call of duty.

When: Saturday, October 7, 2017 - Thursday, November 30, 2017
Painted Hummingbird by Priya Handa

Between the chaos of the world, and the order we attempt to create, Priya tries to find the in between and capture it as a visual. Primarily using paint, aerosols, or pencil. Priya is a visual artist born and raised in the Bay Area (Ohlone Land). She creates pieces working with local communities on large scale murals, to smaller pieces on canvases.  She hopes her pieces can be an intention, meditation, and offering to those that view, in hopes of taking them away from their everyday life.  Priya uses her work as a platform for social justice in her community. She has worked in different communities globally, from the Middle East to Mexico.  

When: Saturday, September 23, 2017 - Sunday, December 31, 2017
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The photographs of notable African American photographer P.H. Polk are currently on exhibit at the African American Museum & Library at Oakland. Born in Bessemer, Alabama on November 25, 1898, Polk opened his first studio in Tuskegee in 1927, and in 1928 was appointed to the faculty of the Tuskegee Institute Photography Department, where he served as head of the Department from 1933 to 1938. In 1939, he briefly operated his own studio in Atlanta, but returned to Tuskegee after one year to become the college's official photographer, continuing also to run his own studio. The exhibit features portraits taken by Polk in the 1930s-1940s of African Americans in Bessemer, Alabama and offers a rich visual history of a variety of people from all walks of life. 


When: Friday, October 6, 2017 - Sunday, April 1, 2018
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The African American Museum & Library at Oakland presents an exhibit based upon Ruby Bridges' integration of the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana in 1960. The exhibit features the facsimile of a 1960s classroom and features artifacts that tell the story of Ruby Bridges and the integration of classrooms in the Oakland Unified School District in the 1950s-1960s.