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Exhibition Date

November 2023


Panels: Sintra, paper. Object: 20th Century police Billy club, wood. Content: Etchings, photographs-Library of Congress, Tennessee Department of Archives.


With the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation and subsequent Constitutional Amendments guaranteeing the end of slavery, citizenship to all natural born persons, and civil rights protections, African Americans entered the Reconstruction period with high hopes. However, the attitudes and beliefs of white Americans towards the black race had not changed. Despite the federal laws, southern state and local governments created numerous laws aimed at maintaining white superiority and keeping the African race at an inferior status. These regulations became known as the Black Codes. The purpose of this section is to enforce the fact that emancipation did not guarantee civil rights and equality for African Americans. Based on their engrained belief system, whites continued to insist on their own superiority and power over people of color. The images displayed tie the exhibition themes into more modern historical events, such as a sign and photo from segregation in the mid-twentieth century south. Highlighted are local events that affected Calhoun County and Alabama. The intent is to help viewers, especially those who lived during those times, see how harmful beliefs about race were not eradicated with the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation race but have transitioned even into the modern era. Panel sizes: 45x18in, 20x47in.


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The MFA Thesis Exhibition was held in the Hammond Hall Art Gallery.