This is the final week for the "African-American Experience from Slavery to Freedom" exhibit here in the library. The exhibit, which has been in the gallery since early February, has brought together documents from special collections, the Littlejohn Collection, the college archives, and the Methodist archives. We've tried to show some books, papers, letters, and photographs that tell us something about the experience of slavery and life after emancipation.
I've previously blogged about some of the items in the collection. Those items would include the Letter from George Washington Carver to Dr. Henry Nelson Snyder, which gives evidence that the noted African-American educator spoke at Wofford during the height of the era of segregation. There's no evidence in the local press of this talk, so it's hard to know how the community or campus reacted other than what's said in the two letters.
An important development in the years after Emancipation was the growth of black churches. Silver Hill Methodist Church, in Spartanburg, was an early black Methodist church, and we've put up a picture of their founding minister, Rev. James Rosemond. In an earlier post, I shared other images – one in particular of a receipt for the purchase of a slave by Wofford Professor James Carlisle.
As part of the exhibit, we hosted three well-attended lectures, one by Dr. Phil Racine, one by Dr. Denise Frazier, and one by Dr. Tracy Revels. I hope these will be available for us to share with a wider audience soon.
Special Collections Librarian Luke Meagher, Dean of the Library Oakley Coburn, and I all put a lot of thought and planning into the exhibit, and college photographer Mark Olencki turned the images into very attractive posters during a very hectic month. If you're around this week, come by and see it before the images disappear back into special collections.