January 14, 2002
'Dream Deferred' exhibit highlights 2002 activities
By Beverly Clark
An exhibit exploring the contributions and history of African Americans
at Emory is the centerpiece of this years Martin Luther King Jr.
Week, a celebration of the civil rights leaders legacy, Jan. 2127.
King Week kicks off at Monday, Jan. 21, with the annual volunteer tree
planting in the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District. Volunteer Emory
coordinates the popular service project in conjunction with Trees Atlanta.
The event begins at 9 a.m.; to volunteer, call 404-727-6268.
Several other events, from performances and forums to chapel services
and the popular jazz vespers program, also are on tap for the week.
The weeks keynote event is the opening of the exhibition A Dream Deferred: African Americans at Emory and Oxford Colleges, 18361968, on display on Woodruff Librarys Special Collections.
The opening celebration features the MLK Interdenominational Choir of
Newton County at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 22 in Cannon Chapel.
Dream Deferred examines the history of African Americans
at Emory and Oxford from the time of Emorys founding in 1836 to
the desegregation of the university during the 1960s. The exhibit was
developed by students of Mark Auslander, assistant professor of anthropology
at Oxford College.
The exhibition seeks to encourage thoughtful reflection on race,
racism and struggles for social justice as we look back at Emorys
history, Auslander said.
The opening will include presentations to J.P. Godfrey of the Oxford
City Council (and grandson of Israel Godfrey, the mason who built Oxfords
chapel) for his work to desegregate the Oxford Historical Cemetery, and
the three African American community historians who have worked to bring
the history of African American Oxford to light.
In attendance will be several of the families descended from the early
African American residents of Oxford who worked for the college. These
descendent families will be officially represented by Callie Pat
Smith 69C, great-granddaughter of William H.F. Thomas, a builder
and farmer who helped build a number of the early buildings at Emory.
Eugene Emory, professor of psychology, will speak on the intertwining
of personal, family and institutional memory in his life.
As a special segment of the Dream Deferred exhibit, Pitts
Theology Library will have on display Racial Violence in Our History:
Andrew Sledd, Warren Akin Candler and Lynching in Early 20th century Georgia.
The Pitts display marks the 100th anniversary of the Sledd affair, which
drew Emory into national prominence on the lynching issue. In 1902, Emory
Latin professor Andrew Sledd published an article condemning lynching
and racial violence. The resulting backlash by leading Georgians at the
time caused Sledd to resign his position.
Warren Akin Candler, Sledds father-in-law and Emorys first
chancellor, took up the anti-lynching cause, writing a series of articles
that received national attention. Sledd eventually returned to Emory a
decade later as the first professor of Greek and New Testament theology.
Dream Deferred will be on display through May 15. For more
information, call 770-784-4664.
All King Week festivities are free and open to the public. A complete calendar of events will be published in next weeks Emory Report.
Emory University, Copyright 2002