By Alice Bampton
To celebrate Black History Month and the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Joanne Quinn, graphic designer, worked with Judith Giesberg, PhD, an associate professor of history, to create a cultural display. A large central poster, “In Commemoration of Black History Month and the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation,” draws us into the exhibit. Flanking this are two large vertical posters. On the left, “God is Settling the Account” provides a brief account of the Emancipation Proclamation, and under an image of Lincoln appears the text of the proclamation. “African American Reaction to Lincoln’s Emancipation,” the poster to the right, includes portraits, other images and text.
Smaller informative posters highlight “Memorable Days: The Emilie Davis Diaries,” (Dr. Giesberg and her team created the The Emilie Davis Diaries website); “Never Caught: The President’s Runaway Slave,” a lecture by Erica Armstrong Dunbar, PhD; and “How and When to Commemorate Emancipation,” a lecture by William A. Blair, PhD. Various books drawn from Falvey’s collection, a bust of Lincoln, flags, two digital slide shows and other artifacts complete the exhibit.
Eye-catching and informative, the display was mounted by Quinn with the help of Ann Stango, Access Services specialist, and Minh Cao, graduate assistant. Stephanie Liu, a Falvey student employee, prepared the PowerPoints for the digital picture frames. Jutta Seibert, Academic Integration team leader, provided databases for the one slide show; the other one shows images of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Black History Month, celebrated since 1976, is an outgrowth of Negro History Week, established in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, educator, historian and leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Woodson selected the second week in February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), an abolitionist whose birthday is celebrated on February 14.