Group Exhibition
9 February–16 June 2024

Deborah Roberts features in 'One History, Two Versions'

Spencer Museum of Art, The University of Kansas, Kansas, USA

'One History, Two Versions' features art by contemporary Black artists that expands on themes in the traveling exhibition including Black life, Black love, media representation, and activism. It is a companion exhibition to 'Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley: Let the World See', a traveling exhibition that tells the story of Emmett and his mother, whose brave actions fueled the Civil Rights Movement. 'One History, Two Versions' draws on Emmett and Mamie’s legacies to explore both historical and contemporary events of racial violence and racial justice movements.

The title of the exhibition comes from a work of the same name by Deborah Roberts and references how racial injustices are perceived and reported differently through various media channels. Works featuring Black mothers and children reinforce Mamie’s love and motivation to seek justice for her son. Other artworks speak to more recent events including the murders of Trayvon Martin and Breonna Taylor.

Visitors will encounter the perspectives of community leaders from local racial justice organizations who provide their own stories and interpretation of the art on view. Community partners include the Lawrence Branch of the NAACP, NAACP Youth Council of Lawrence, B.L.A.C.K. Lawrence, the Lawrence/Douglas County Community Remembrance Project Coalition, and Justice for Wyandotte.

The exhibition includes works from the Spencer Museum’s collection alongside loans from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and Bill and Christy Gautreaux.

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