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‘Making Space’ explores advocacy efforts since desegregation at UGA

Alan Flurry

A new exhibit at the Special Collections Libraries chronicles the journey of students advocating for a more inclusive learning environment at the University of Georgia over the past six decades.

The exhibit, “Making Space: Fighting for Inclusion, Building Community at UGA,” begins with the experiences of Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter (now Hunter-Gault), the first Black students to enroll at UGA in 1961, as well as other early path-breakers such as Horace Ward, the first Black applicant to the law school, and Mary Frances Early, UGA’s first Black graduate.

Located in the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library’s gallery at Special Collections, the display continues by exploring the advocacy of individuals and student groups for racial and social justice into the 21st century.

Through memorabilia, photographs and official documents from university archives, “Making Space” illustrates the adversity Black and LGBTQ+ students faced, along with their work to gain opportunities in classrooms, in athletics, and in campus life. In addition, QR codes connect visitors directly with the men and women who lived those experiences through the Black Alumni Oral History Project and news film footage from the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection.

“My favorite piece is a 1969 list of demands that shows the Black students coming together and deciding what they wanted out of their institution,” said Chanara Andrews-Bickers, a doctoral student in the department of English who curated the exhibit.

Andrews-Bickers said that working on the project helped inspire her and give her purpose while she teleworked during the pandemic.


Image:  doctoral student Chanara Andrews-Bickers.

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