Page 20

ART museum FALL exhibition ~ september 2 - DECEMBER 6 faces of freedom summer ~ walter i. farmer gallery

F

ifty years ago, Oxford, Ohio, became a pivotal site in the fight for civil rights in America. The Western College for Women hosted two oneweek training sessions in preparation for what became the Mississippi Freedom Project. Volunteers prepared to travel south to Mississippi where they would help disenfranchised African Americans register to vote and establish freedom schools. Eight hundred volunteers from diverse backgrounds across the country, approximately 135 of whom were African Americans, attended the sessions held during the weeks of June 14-20 and June 21-27, 1964. On June 21, Herbert Randall attended the orientation held in Leonard Auditorium in Peabody Hall on Western Campus. During that meeting, the frightful news regarding the disappearance of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner was announced. The three men, who attended the first week of training, went to Philadelphia, Mississippi, to investigate a recent church burning and beatings in Neshoba County. Several of Randall’s photographs poignantly capture the somber mood of the assembled volunteers. The disappearance of the three volunteers shocked the second week trainees back in Oxford, and the nation. The bodies of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner were found on August 4, 1964.

Herbert Randall (American, b. 1936); Entrance to Western College for Women, Oxford, Ohio, 1964; Gelatin silver print; The University of Southern Mississippi Museum of Art, and McCain Library and Archives Herbert Randall (American, b. 1936); Voter registration canvassing by Sandy Leigh and Doug Smith, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, 1964; Gelatin silver print; The University of Southern Mississippi Museum of Art, and McCain Library and Archives

Herbert Eugene Randall, Jr., a photographer living in New York City, was 28 years old when he met Sandy Leigh, the Director of the Freedom Summer Project in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Reluctant at first, Randall agreed to come to Oxford to document the second week of training and then travel with volunteers to Hattiesburg as the official project photographer. Randall amassed 1,759 negatives that tell the compelling story of young volunteers who fought for civil rights in America. Faces of Freedom Summer: The Photographs of Herbert Randall (comprised of 102 photographs) is on loan from The University of Southern Mississippi Museum of Art, and McCain Library and Archives.

Profile for Miami University Art Museum

Miami University Art Museum - Fall 2014 - visual arts @ miami  

Miami University Art Museum - Fall 2014 - visual arts @ miami A publication of Visual Arts exhibitions, programs, and events at Miami Unive...

Miami University Art Museum - Fall 2014 - visual arts @ miami  

Miami University Art Museum - Fall 2014 - visual arts @ miami A publication of Visual Arts exhibitions, programs, and events at Miami Unive...

Advertisement