Find Events Find People Find Jobs Find Sites Find Help Index


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 year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Week, a celebration of the civil rights leader’s legacy, Jan. 21–27.

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 week’s keynote event is the opening of the exhibition “A Dream Deferred: African Americans at Emory and Oxford Colleges, 1836–1968,” on display on Woodruff Library’s 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 Emory’s 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 Emory’s 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 Oxford’s 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, Sledd’s father-in-law and Emory’s 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 week’s Emory Report.




Back to Emory Report January 14, 2002

Emory University, Copyright 2002