Sunday, December 23, 2012

Southern Tradition: Honor, Integrity, and Courage to Call Ourselves Southerners

A Painful Chapter in Southern and American History

This historic collection of postcards and photos, painstakingly gathered over the course of many years by James Allen and John Littlefield, demonstrates a cultural awareness and acceptance of the practice of lynching from the 1890s to 1950s that is hard to fathom today. Images--most of them extremely graphic in content--were captured, and then traded as souvenirs. Lives lost during this era were unacknowledged by much of society for quite a long time. Indeed, the silence surrounding these stories is made even more appalling by an unwillingness and resistance to see or name this history as a violation of human dignity. 
Throughout Without Sanctuary, we ask visitors to share their reflections.

When asked "Do the echoes of lynchings still remain in these regions? What personal connection could you have to lynching in your life?", one of our most powerful responses was the following:

Do you agree with this statement?  

Perhaps, the most passionate submissions came in response to the question "Who among us is without sanctuary today?" This question asks us to build our future on the lessons learned from the past. The answer to this question, one of which is shown below, varied greatly from guest to guest.

This is memory made more. This is a call to bear witness and halt the continuing and fatal impact of living without sanctuary. It takes courage to confront history and to learn from it…

How do you connect?

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