No “Compact of Silence”: Black Civil Rights Advocates in the Harrison Era

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No “Compact of Silence”: Black Civil Rights Advocates in the Harrison Era

FULL LIST OF LINKS

Benjamin Harrison and the Matter of Race- by George Sinkler 

A people without a Nation- by Barbara J. Ballard

No ‘Compact of Silence” exhibition covers a host of civil rights advocates; we are hoping you continuing learning about them and other advocates. Here are some helpful links to begin or extend your journey.  And learn more about the lives, legacy, and continued influence of these important civil rights advocates.

In 1888, Whitelaw Reid, who was Benjamin Harrison’s running mate for the upcoming presidential election, asked Harrison about his thoughts on black voting rights and the unrest and active suppression in the Southern States. Harrison replied, “I would not be willing myself to purchase the Presidency for a compact of silence upon this question.”

This special exhibit highlights national and local Black civil rights activists during President Benjamin Harrison’s term in office (1889-1893). It explores the complex dynamics of race in late 19th century America, including the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 in Chicago, anti-lynching laws and movements, and black voting suppression. Prominent individuals who will be featured include Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, William D. McCoy, Dolly Johnson and many more local and national advocates.

The exhibit will be open to the public and included with general admission from January 28 through November 1, 2022.

This exhibit is made possible through the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site’s New Century Curator collaboration with the IUPUI Museum Studies program. The initiative seeks to share the Presidential Site’s nationally significant collection in meaningful and relevant ways, while providing unique opportunities for emerging museum professionals to engage in collaborative training, hands-on experience, conservation, preservation, and innovative exhibit design.

 

“I have traversed this broad land of ours, and out of all this journeying, out of all this mingling with our people, I have come to be a prouder and, I hope, a better American.” Benjamin Harrison

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