January 28, 2002
King Week opens with wide-ranging tribute
By Eric Rangus email@example.com
Emorys celebration of King Week began Jan. 22 at Cannon Chapel
with the opening ceremony of the exhibit A Dream Deferred: African
Americans at Emory and Oxford Colleges, 18361968.
The program was at times exciting, moving, informative, playful and reverent.
In short, everything that Martin Luther King Jr. was.
Never in my wildest dreams have I ever dreamed I would be here
at a time like this, in a place like this, said J.P Godfrey, Oxford
city councilman. Godfrey was one of many men and women associated with
Oxford and Emory who were honored during the evening.
The history that makes up A Dream Deferred, which debuted
on the Oxford campus in January 2001 and now is taking up temporary residence
in Special Collections, was put together through the efforts of anthropology
Assistant Professor Mark Auslanders Culture of the African
The project uncovered the stories of the many African Americans (a great
deal of whom were descendents of slaves or slaves themselves) whose lives
and labor helped build both Oxford and Emory. Many of the students whose
work created the project were on hand, and Auslander served as master
As a result of these students work, we are a closer community
than we have ever been, Godfrey said.
Godfrey was lauded for his work to desegregate the Oxford Historical
Cemetery. Also honored were three African American historians from Oxford:
Sarah Thompson Hardeman, Mildred Joiner and Emogene Williams who were
presented with certificates and recognized.
Callie Pat Smith, a graduate of Emory College whose great-grandfather,
William H.F. Thomas, helped build an number of Emorys early buildings,
represented the descendants of the scores of African American men and
women who helped construct the University.
You have verified what we have always sensed, Smith said,
that our predecessors were great people.
In addition to Auslander, more than a dozen speakers took the podium.
They included some of Emorys top administrative leaders (President
Bill Chace and interim Provost Woody Hunter), as well as Oxford (Dean
Dana Greene), along with the Universitys religious leaders (Dean
of the Chapel Susan Henry-Crowe, Associate Dean of the Chapel Bridgette
Young and Oxford Chaplain Darryl Barrow all shared the benediction).
Finally, foremost among the evenings highlights were the performances
of the Martin Luther King Jr. Interdenominational Choir of Newton County
and soloist Mary Beavers, each of whom received standing ovations for
Following the event, attendees were invited to tour the exhibit in Special Collections as well as an accompanying exhibit in the Pitts Theology Library called Protesting Racial Violence: Andrew Sledd, Warren Candler and Lynching Controversies in Early 20th Century Georgia. The exhibit includes three images from the Allen-Littlefield collection of lynching photographs, which is scheduled go on full display in May at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.