Thursday, April 12, 2012
History of Black Legislators Honored In Atlanta Exhibit
This is interesting. A new exhibit in Atlanta is shedding light on the history of black legislators in Georgia, and honoring those both past and present who have served in the state's General Assembly.
Entitled "Remembering Our Legends And Honoring Our Torchbearers," the exhibit features a large archive of rare 19th century artifacts, civil rights-era documents and interviews current lawmakers. The display showcases the first black men who were elected to the legislature in 1868, but were barred from serving because of their race.
The exhibit also pays tribute to Senator Leroy Johnson, who was the first African American to serve in the legislature since the Reconstruction, as well as Grace Towns Hamilton, the first black woman elected to the Georgia Assembly.
"While working to collect material for the archives of our chapter we discovered the absence of information about Black Georgia Legislators and wanted to do something about this oversight," Dr. Lucretia R. Payton-Stewart told The Grio.
"We don't hear stories about African Americans, especially from the 1800s, who have contributed to the political landscape here in Georgia," Dr. Payton-Stewart said."
Payton-Stewart added the story of 33 African-American legislators who were expelled from the Georgia legislator in 1868 and later reinstated in 1870 by an Act of Congress, "has paved the way for today's African American legislators."
For those in the ATL, the ribbon cutting for the exhibit takes place Sunday, April 15 at 3:30pm. The exhibit will run through May 13.