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Ghosts of Segregation
July 28, 2022 – December 4, 2022
In Ghosts of Segregation, photographer Richard Frishman explores the lingering presence of segregation, slavery and institutional racism hidden in everyday American architecture. From the New Orleans Slave Exchange and “colored entrances” at movie theatres to the abandoned Negro Nursing School in Houston, Frishman's photographs show how our surroundings bear witness to history, reminding us where we have been, where we are now, and crucially asking, “where do we go from here?”
The built environment is society's autobiography writ large. Seeking to spark an honest conversation about the legacy of racial injustice in America, Ghosts of Segregation explores vestiges of racism in places that have been repurposed or partially covered up: the curious side window at Pascagoula's Edd's Drive-In, the enigmatic barred door at Seattle's Moore Theatre, or the quaint cabins dotting Idlewild, Michigan. The shock of Frishman’s pictures is how insidious evidence of segregation and historic racism can be. Jim Crow not only extended across America, it became part of everyday life in communities across the country.
Implicit in this uniquely powerful project is the belief that together we have the capacity to rise above the deep-rooted ramifications of slavery, “America's original sin.” Frishman’s photographs speak to the complex and difficult road towards social justice and equality in America, and cast light on generations of painful inequality and social turmoil. The project arrives at a moment when our culture struggles to re-evaluate the dynamics of race, and re-calibrate the prospects for improved race relations in America.
Ghosts of Segregation ignites conversations about systematic oppression in America, and the Museum aims to connect Ghosts with Milwaukee's history of segregation through educational programming.
The Ghosts of Segregation traveling exhibition is organized by Curatorial Exhibitions, Pasadena, California.
This exhibition would not be possible without the support of:
Shorewest, REALTORS® Northshore Office