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Release date:
Jan. 11, 2001
Contact: Deb Hammacher, Associate Director, 404-727-0644, or

King Week Celebration at Emory Highlights Role of African Americans in the University's History

An exhibit exploring the contributions and history of African Americans at Emory University is the centerpiece of the university’s 2002 Martin Luther King Jr. Week Jan. 21-27. "A Dream Deferred: African Americans at Emory and Oxford Colleges, 1836-1968" opens with a celebration featuring the MLK Interdenominational Choir of Newton County at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 22 in Cannon Chapel, 515 Kilgo Circle. The event is free and open to the public. The exhibit will be on display in Special Collections, Woodruff Library, 540 Asbury Circle, through May 15. For more information on King Week events, call 404-727-4148.

"A Dream Deferred" examines the history of African Americans at Emory and Oxford College 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 Oxford College anthropology professor Mark Auslander.

"The exhibition seeks to encourage thoughtful reflection on race, racism and struggles for social justice as we look back at Emory’s history," says Auslander.

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.
Many of the families descended from the early African-American residents of Oxford who worked for the college will be in attendance. These descendent families will be officially represented by Callie "Pat" Smith, a 1969 Emory alumna and 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 at the university, 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, 550 Asbury Circle on the Emory campus, 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 professor of Latin Andrew Sledd published an article in the Atlantic Monthly denouncing lynching. Sledd was denounced by leading white Georgians and forced to resign from Emory College. (He later returned to Emory’s Candler School of Theology as the first professor of Greek and new testament theology.) Sledd’s father-in-law, Bishop Warren Candler, soon took up the anti-lynching cause in print. On display will be letters written by black residents of Atlanta in 1903 praising Candler’s denunciation of violence against African Americans. The materials shed light on interracial conversations about lynching at the dawn of the 20th century.

Visitor parking is available in the Fishburne and Peavine parking decks. The Fishburne deck is on Fishburne Drive, behind the Goizueta Business School off Clifton Road. The Peavine deck is on Fraternity Row behind the Woodruff P.E. Center and near the Oxford Road entrance to campus. For a map of Emory, go online to

All King Week festivities are free and open to the public. For more information on these events, call 404-727-4148. Following is a complete list of Emory’s 2002 Martin Luther King Week celebration:

Monday, Jan. 21

Community service project. "Remembering Martin Luther King through Service." Volunteers will plant trees in the Martin Luther King Jr. historic district in conjunction with Trees Atlanta. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. To volunteer, call Volunteer Emory, 404-727-6268.

Tuesday, Jan. 22

Keynote event: "A Dream Deferred: African Americans at Emory and Oxford Colleges, 1836-1968," opening celebration, featuring the MLK Interdenominational Choir of Newton County. 6 p.m. Cannon Chapel, 515 Kilgo Circle, Emory. 770-784-4664

Wednesday, Jan. 23

"Women Talking With Women: Women of Color and White Women in Dialogue." A Women’s Center forum facilitated by Pamela Epps, Emory Counseling Center. 4 p.m. Women’s Center Conference Room, 618 McTyeire (behind the Dobbs Center), Emory.

Performance by Voices of Inner Strength, Emory’s student gospel choir, and birthday cake celebration honoring Martin Luther King Jr. 8 p.m. Coca-Cola Commons, Dobbs University Center, 605 Asbury Circle, Emory.

Thursday, Jan. 24

"A Vision of the Beloved Community," a chapel service celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream in word, song and dance. 11 a.m. Cannon Chapel, 515 Kilgo Circle, Emory.

Jazz vespers service featuring musician Dwight Andrews, Emory associate professor of music. 6 p.m. Cannon Chapel, 515 Kilgo Circle, Emory.

Ecumenical celebration featuring speaker Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore, chief judge, Fulton County Superior Court. 7:30 p.m. Allen Memorial United Methodist Church, West Pierce Street, Oxford.

Friday, Jan. 25

Student tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. in song, dance and the spoken word. Reception to follow honoring the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholars of Emory. 7 p.m. 208 White Hall, 480 Kilgo Circle, Emory.

Sunday, Jan. 27

11:15 a.m.
Non-denominational worship service. The Rev. James Lawson, pastor emeritus, Holman United Methodist Church, will preach. Voices of Inner Strength will sing. Reception follows in Brooks Commons. 11:15 a.m. Cannon Chapel, 515 Kilgo Circle.




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