American Tobacco Hosts Civil Rights Art Exhibition for Durham

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Durham Civil Rights Exhibit
The Durham Civil Rights Heritage Project opened its exhibit at a reception on January 12th.

A VIP reception for the Durham Civil Rights Heritage Project was held on Thursday, January 12, 2006, in Bay 7 at the American Tobacco Campus, in which CBC President & CEO Jim Goodmon opened the exhibit by asking the audience “What would Martin Luther King think about the state of things today?”

Goodmon went on to say …”.The high school dropout rate for black males is 51 percent. And young black males make up more than 60 percent of our prison population although they account for only 10 percent of our population. Dr. King would be heartbroken .”

Durham Civil Rights Exhibit
The guests at the VIP reception take their time studying each photograph in the exhibit.
Durham Civil Rights Exhibit
The goal of the Durham Civil Rights Heritage Project is to identify, collect & make accessible to the public photographs & personal narratives from the Jim Crow & Civil Rights Movement eras in Durham.
Durham Civil Rights Exhibit
After the presentation guests discuss their recollections & thoughts about the past.

Other speakers included Paul Pope, General Manager of the American Tobacco Campus & CBC VP of Community Relations; Lynn Richardson, Durham County Library; Barbara Lau, Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University; and Keynote speaker Dr. Benjamin Speller, North Carolina Central State University, Historic Preservation Society of Durham.

In addition to the powerful stories and perspectives outlined by presenters concerning the exhibit, the crowd was in awe when Pope unveiled two wooden doors; one indicating “Whites Only” and the other “Blacks.” Both doors had been salvaged and preserved during the American Tobacco Campus restoration project.

Durham Civil Rights Exhibit
Guests enjoyed the reception & the exhibit.
Durham Civil Rights Exhibit
Photographs capturing Durham during the Jim Crow & Civil Rights Era were flashed on the screen at the exhibit opening.
Paul Pope
CBC’s Paul Pope welcomes the exhibit to American Tobacco.

The goal of the Durham Civil Rights Heritage Project is to identify, collect, and make accessible to the public photographs and personal narratives from the Jim Crow and Civil Rights Movement eras in Durham.

Each panel in the collection is printed on cotton textile and suspended from salvaged North Carolina farm equipment which has been welded into artful casings.

Jim Goodmon
CBC’s Jim Goodmon spoke about the lost generation.
Durham Civil Rights Exhibit
The Exhibition is located in the Crowe & Strickland Building lobbies on the American Tobacco Campus.
Durham Civil Rights Exhibit
The Durham Civil Rights Heritage Project is a result of 3 day-long Heritage Day events.
Durham Civil Rights Exhibit
Guests enjoy the results of the photos & memories collected from Durham citizens.
Dr. Benjamin Speller
Dr. Benjamin Speller provided the keynote address for the opening reception.
Durham Civil Rights Exhibit
American Tobacco’s Bay 7 provided the backdrop for the opening event.

The American Tobacco Campus will host the Durham Civil Rights Heritage Project through February 28, 2006. The Exhibit is open and free to the public, and can be found in the Crowe and Strickland lobbies.

Thanks to ATC’s Valerie Ward for this capcom story & these capcom photos.

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