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Release date:
Aug. 30, 2001
Contact: Deb Hammacher, Assistant Director, 404-727-0644, or

Emory, MLK Historic Site To Partner In Southern Debut of American Lynching Exhibit

CONTACTS: Jody Usher, Ph.D Saudia Muwwakkil
  Emory University M. L. King Jr. National Historic Site
  404-727-9331 404-331-5190, ext. 3008

Emory University 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, which runs May 1—Dec. 1, 2002, 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 related to 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" (Twin Palms). 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 F. Jordan, director of the Sonja Haynes Jones Black Cultural Center at the University 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.

Emory President William M. 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 during fall 2000 to help 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," according to Emory President Chace.


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