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mgtgcc
02-25-2005, 01:43 PM
"Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America"
Chicago Historical Society -- Exhibit runs June 2005 thru December 2005

February 25, 2005 — Lynching! It's one of the most frightening chapters in America's history and now an important part of that story is coming to Chicago. The Chicago Historical Society just finalized an agreement to present a show called "Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America."

The Chicago Historical Society has never exhibited a show like this before and when it opens in a little over three months there will be controversy. The show is from the James Allen book called "Without Sanctuary." It's about lynching and it pulls no punches.

"This was without a doubt the most difficult show I've ever done in my career. Because I think looking at lynching ... this is a horrific story. This is a story where the images are barbaric to look at. It's a story without obvious heroes and a lot of victims," said Lonnie Bunch, president, Chicago Historical Society.

Presently the exhibit is playing in Detroit. Next stop -- Chicago. Visitors are having similar reactions. Not only are people horrified by the lynchings themselves -- but also by the crowds that gathered to watch.

"I think that's the most painful part. On the one hand this is not just work done by a few maniacs. In a way large communities throughout the south, and in the north as well, sort of saw these as some ways theatre," said Bunch.

The show opens in June -- and it won't be easy to look at. It's brutal in many ways. The Chicago Historical Society knows it might get some complaints but feels it's just too important not to be seen.

"We talk about being able to wrestle with one of the greatest problems in American, which is race relations, and yet we don't really don't get at the root of all those problems. Well helping to get at the root is through stories like this," said Bunch.

"Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America" opens June 4th and runs until December 4th.

swingbolder
02-25-2005, 01:59 PM
I wonder if this is the same show that ran at the NY Historical Society a few years back. You had to wait in line for hours to see it bc it was so packed. Basically, it was just dozens of photos of black folks (men mostly but some women) being lynched. One thing I learned is that white people used to make postcards out of these pictures and send them to each other.

mgtgcc
02-25-2005, 03:10 PM
Long ago, an unremarkable man, on an ordinary day, placed a postcard in my hand. For the life of me, I cannot recall his face. The card, of standard size, fit snugly in an envelope, and was easily wedged between two stout books on a cluttered shelf in a disorderly room I seldom entered. I could not have told you exactly why I bought it. Weeks of common occurrences passed; then a persistent yearning disquieted me. It calmed as soon as the enveloped card was back in my hand. I could see it, through the linen paper walls. It seemed to be lit from behind, like an x-ray. I was drawn into the image and deep into a woods where stern, pitiless faces fixed on me. Melancholy rode a current of air that strummed the trees and slowly wound the dead weight and rope that descended from high up in the branches. Men circled round crushing fallen matter common to all forest floors. An old timepiece ticked.

A year or so later, another man stepped from a crowd and handed me another postcard: a black mother in a printed house dress, plunged broken-necked to the end of a rope, high above a river, low below a bridge. Her hem is torn, and a chill breeze blows it about.

There are these, and hundreds more. There is a sameness to them, a punishing sameness. We find them still. All told, the images we have found might fill a high-top sneaker box and weigh about as much. Most Americans have never seen these photos; but they are in them. Not to look is to imperil all life.

Someday, I would like to store them away, each photo in its proper place, like silverware in a velvet, fitted drawer: the knives far left, the forks by their side, and then the graduated spoons. It is not to be.

Memory scoffs at coffin nails; it scrapes the human conscience. No grave for memory, all walls are flesh, and through them time and the generations pass, only to remain.

James Allen -- Jim@WithoutSanctuary.org

http://www.afriware.net/afribo6.gif by James Allen, Hilton Als, Jon Lewis, Leon F. Litwack, Leon Litwack, John Lewis, Hilton Als Twin Palms Publishers (January 1, 2000)
ISBN: 0944092691


I wonder if this is the same show that ran at the NY Historical Society a few years back. It's quite possible. Many museums and universities have hosted exhibits. The book is mind-blowing; very memorable.

Nappalonia
02-25-2005, 03:46 PM
Thanks Kasey!

I'm glad the exhibit is being shown but, I don't think I want to see this :Angry_boese008:

mgtgcc
02-25-2005, 04:58 PM
Originally posted by Nappalonia@Feb 25 2005, 10:46 AM
Thanks Kasey!

I'm glad the exhibit is being shown but, I don't think I want to see this :Angry_boese008:
733563
When this first came out, the website had the images on display. They were horrific, yet inspiring. I am taking my children to see this, so that this part of history is never forgotten.

NLight1
02-25-2005, 07:34 PM
Wow, this is some powerful stuff. I don't think I could go see it, it would be too painful. I've seen enough pictures of lynchings to last me a lifetime. But I think it is important for our younger generation to see this. I think it's awesome Kasey that you are taking your kids to see this. I wish all schools, were required to take their students to this exhibit, white and black kids. This is not only our history, but an ugly part of AMERICAN history that needs to be put on display for all to see and so not to be forgotten.

Now that I think about it, I think I may actually go and bring some of my former students to this. Anyway, thanks again Kasey.

mgtgcc
02-25-2005, 09:21 PM
Originally posted by NLight1@Feb 25 2005, 02:34 PM
...............This is not only our history, but an ugly part of AMERICAN history that needs to be put on display for all to see and so not to be forgotten.

Now that I think about it, I think I may actually go and bring some of my former students to this. Anyway, thanks again Kasey.

733928 Your welcome............Yup, AmeriKKKa has some serious history. It needs to be displayed for all to see.

Jacqui_M
02-25-2005, 10:11 PM
My father and I went to the exhibit when it was in Atlanta a few years back. The experience was surreal... My father and many other people in the exhibit room were moved to tears.

I think it is something that needs to be seen by our young people...

elleebeme5
02-25-2005, 11:21 PM
I saw it in Mississippi last year. It was deep and moving.

QueenLocks
02-26-2005, 11:57 PM
I have the book, but I could barely get through reading the lynching of Mary Turner, a pregnant black woman in Valdosta, Ga. {even in the 90's it is still racist down there! I experienced a little.} Oh I could just K___ a man! :angry: :Angry_boese008: