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The Bending Toward Justice Digital Exhibit Project Mission Statement: 

“The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice,” words spoken by Theodore Parker, an abolitionist minister in 1853. Martin Luther King Jr. modified the quote during the Civil Rights Movement when he proclaimed, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” (The Gospel Messenger 1958). The quote in either form can be interpreted to mean that a passive wait for justice will be rewarded. It can also imply that justice is conferred by those of superior moral, political, or social status on those less fortunate.  

Bending Toward Justice digital exhibit project:

The Bending Toward Justice digital exhibit project builds on a different interpretation. The exhibits planned and 3 presented in this digital space document the ways in which African Americans “bent the arc” toward justice through their everyday lives and under extraordinary conditions. Sustaining family life, building schools and churches, organizing fraternal associations and charities, accumulating wealth through physical labor and entrepreneurship, and participating in civic, social, and political life chipped away at the injustices perpetuated by racism, segregation, and disfranchisement. When justice arrived, as it did most notably in the 1860s and the 1960s, it did so through the efforts of ordinary men and women whose persistent efforts on behalf of justice, and whose daily rebellions against injustice made advancement along the arc possible. Understanding that the work of justice is never finished, men and women constantly renew their efforts to “bend the arc” as they address ongoing examples of discrimination and inequality. The digital exhibits in this RICHES project explore and document daily life and extraordinary events in Florida’s African American communities to understand the “bend toward justice” over time. 

The first exhibit, “Voting Rights and Voter Suppression” opened in July 2021.  It focused on the 1920 Ocoee Massacre as a case study of the suppression of the Black vote. It included three phases: the Ocoee Massacre, a short history of the expansion and suppression of voting rights, and Central Florida’s commemoration and remembrance of Ocoee 100 years later. 

Future exhibits include Black Capitalism, Black Churches, Black Social Organizations, Black Education, the Black Family, and a collection of oral histories titled “This is My Story.” 


Interns should be: 

  • Enrolled and pursuing a degree in History, Public History or similar field at UCF  
  • Self-motivated  
  • Computer fluent, including Microsoft Office and WordPress 
  • Able to work independently 
  • Able to conduct independent research and verify factual sources 

Interested interns should contact [email protected] for further information or to send their resume and CV for consideration.