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2019 SPE Annual Conference: The Myths of Photography and the American Dream / Major support by The Joy Family Legacy Foundation

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Bunn Lectureship in Photography: Wendel A. White

Friday, October 13 - 5:30PM to 6:30PM
Bradley Univ., Neumiller Auditorium

Haunted Places: The Veil of Race in the American Landscape


 
The veil (DuBois) has been a visual metaphor for the representation of race within my work for several decades; particularly in the two projects known as, "Schools for the Colored" and "Red Summer." Each is concerned with the remnants of America's complex and unresolved history of race. The "Schools" project is a photographic portfolio of the segregated buildings and sites for the education of African Americans located in NJ, PA, OH, IN, and IL. Though we still operate a system of deeply segregated schools in many parts of the country, this project is concerned with the architectural remains of legally imposed segregation between the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth century. The images in the "Red Summer" portfolio are landscapes made in various locations throughout the U.S. combined with images of contemporaneous newspaper articles  The title refers to a series of deadly race riots that swept across the country during 1919. The photographs describe some of the locations where significant racial conflict occurred between 1917 and 1923, using Red Summer (1919) as a center-point for an era of significant racial violence in post World War I America. The newspapers are the veil of information through which most of the country as well as many in the international community, understood and misunderstood these events.   

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Wendel White
Wendel White

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