A FORMER Middlesbrough player has given his support to an exhibition about the US civil rights movement at Teesside University.

Curtis Fleming, who was a defender, visited the Journey to Justice display at the university which is being featured as part of Black History Month.

A spokeswoman for the university said the exhibition raises awareness of the struggles faced in the US and the UK by people who have been marginalised, not only black people.

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Mr Fleming and his wife Lucie are patrons of Justice First, a charity which works with people in the Tees Valley who are seeking asylum.

The pair will helped to launch the exhibition during a special opening on Thursday, October 6, alongside Dr David Bell, the University’s vice-chancellor.

Journey to Justice is a multimedia, interactive exhibition, with visual displays, artwork and poetry, set against a soundtrack of freedom songs played on a jukebox. It focuses on the role of less well-known women, men and children involved in the US Civil rights movement and its links to movements in the UK such as the 1963 Bristol bus boycott.

One of the stories being shared is that of Ruby Bridges and Barbara Henry. Ruby made history as a six-year-old girl in 1960 as the first African American to be given a place at an all-white elementary school. Barbara Henry was the only teacher at the school who would teach Ruby.

Carrie Supple, Director of Journey to Justice, said that Ruby’s story; “moves, outrages and inspires visitors.”

The exhibition runs until Wednesday, October 19 from 9am to 5pm, in Brittan Hall at Teesside University.