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September 4, 2001

Lynching exhibit set for 2002

By Deb Hammacher


Emory and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site have formed a collaborative partnership to present an exhibition on the history of lynching throughout the United States from the 1870s to 1960s. The exhibition will run May 1–Dec. 1, 2002, and will be mounted in the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. Additionally, Emory faculty and staff will start the development of educational materials and programs to accompany the exhibit.

The partnership’s centerpiece, a collection of photographs and postcards owned by Atlanta collectors James Allen and John Littlefield that depict lynchings in the United States, is currently on long-term loan at Emory. Many of the images appear in the book Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America. This will be the first public exhibition of the material in the South. Items from the collection previously appeared in New York and will open at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh in September.

Joseph Jordan, director of the Sonja Haynes Jones Black Cultural Center at the Univer-sity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and former director of the Auburn Avenue Research Library in Atlanta, will return to Atlanta to serve as curator of the exhibition.

President Bill Chace announced in March the University’s decision to sponsor the exhibit’s installation after considering a report from a committee of Emory staff, students and faculty charged with engaging the campus and larger community in a dialogue about such an exhibition. Several campus and public forums were held last fall to decide the best forum for presenting the material.

“We think the partnership between Emory, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and Joseph Jordan will result in the intellectual, psychological and educational engagement of the entire city with this pain-filled period of American history,” Chace said.


Back to Emory Report September 4, 2001