In honor of Black History Month, the Athens-Clarke County Library will be hosting a month-long exhibit, “Georgia’s Great ... African Americans of Historic Distinction.”
The exhibit is to chronicle several men and women as a way of adding to the narrative of the African American experience in a statewide, national and international context.
The first African American jockey to win the Kentucky Derby, the first to be elected to the Georgia General Assembly since Reconstruction and the first to graduate from West Point will be among the many featured at the event.
“Though this exhibit, viewers will witness the boundless range of Georgia’s cultural and historical diversity,” the ACC library’s press release said. “Meanwhile, [viewers will] gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the rich multicultural inheritance that belongs to all Georgians, as well as a clearer understanding of the full spectrum of the American story.”
The purpose of the exhibit, in part, is to preserve African American cultural heritage. By educating the community about the history of those involved with government, politics, business and activism, the individuals who constructed the exhibit hope to create an open dialogue.
“Too often the story of these barrier-breaking achievers has been cast in the shadows and certainly not recorded in the history books or showcased in other media,” said Eleanor Kinlaw-Ross, the director of the Heritage Project and curator of the exhibit.
This exhibit is the first installment of a series sponsored by the Heritage Project.
Since 1985, this organization has produced different events and celebrations to “educate, enlighten and entertain audiences about the various facets of history and culture that have shaped the image and narrative of the African American experience and the the African Diaspora,” the press release said.
The exhibit is set to be displayed throughout the entire month of February at the Athens-Clarke County Library, located off of Baxter Street.
“The objective of the exhibit is to further the preservation of the African American cultural heritage, highlight those events and institutions that shaped the African American experience in Georgia,” Kinlaw-Ross said.