Two Marietta History Center exhibits relevant to Black History Month

Marietta History Center taken from other side of railroad tracks

The Marietta History Center has two exhibits with a high level of relevance to Black History Month.

The first is “Marietta 1899: Color Captured in Black and White.”

The announcement on the City of Marietta website describes this exhibit as follows;

Step back in time and experience “Marietta 1899: Color Captured in Black and White,” an extraordinary exhibition showcasing the captivating photography of New York photographer James Shaw during his visit to Marietta in the spring of 1899. This special exhibit offers a unique glimpse into the past with never-before-seen images of Marietta and its surroundings, including the Marietta Square and the Marietta National Cemetery.

“These images offer a truer version of late nineteenth-century Marietta, undiluted by the whitewashing of history,” said Christa McCay, M. H. P., Collections Manager at the Marietta History Center. “While Shaw’s perspective may reflect some bias, his decision to include the activities of both races in his photographs presents multiple shades of color in black and white photography.”

The second is “Divine 9: Take Action. Make a Difference:

The news release states:

This temporary exhibition, curated by the dedicated MHC staff and members of seven out of the nine historically Black Greek letter organizations, promises an impactful look at artifacts from members of the Cobb County National Pan-Hellenic Council.

The Divine 9, sometimes referred to as the “D9”, refers to the nine historically Black Greek letter organizations (BGLOs) that make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). These include five fraternities: Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, and Iota Phi Theta; and four sororities: Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, and Sigma Gamma Rho.

These fraternities and sororities were all founded between 1906 (Alpha Phi Alpha)  and 1963 (Iota Phi Theta), marking a period of significant social and political changes across America. Most were formed due to the racial segregation in colleges and universities at the time, giving African American students a platform to have a voice, cultivate leadership, foster academic excellence, and provide services and advocacy in their communities.

The Divine 9 organizations are renowned for their enduring commitment to public service, social justice, art, and culture. They have been influential in shaping leaders in various fields and have historically been involved in civil rights and community activism. 

Some of their notable members include Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Maya Angelou.

In addition to these two exhibits the MHC also announced the following:

Pop-In for Family Fun: Black History Crafts

The Marietta History Center is delighted to announce its upcoming monthly Pop-In for Family Fun event, scheduled for Saturday, February 17th, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. This February, in honor of Black History Month, the Marietta History Center invites families to join us for a day of crafts and activities centered around celebrating Black History. From memorable exhibits to hands-on crafting stations, visitors of all ages will have the chance to explore and learn about the rich contributions of African Americans to our nation’s history and culture. Pop-In for Family Fun is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Cauthorn, Nohr, and Sanders. Thanks to their support, this program is FREE for all to enjoy, ensuring that families in our community can participate in enriching cultural experiences without any cost barriers.

About the Marietta History Center

The Marietta History Center is located at 1 Depot St, Marietta, GA 30060, adjacent to the western edge of Marietta Square, and facing the railroad tracks.

The center is housed in the historic Kennesaw House, which was at various times a cotton warehouse, a hotel, and a Civil War morgue and hospital.

The museum began in 1996 and became an official entity of the City of Marietta in 2018.

The current staff is:

Amy Reed – Museum Director

Christa McCay – Collections Manager

Anna Monroe – Museum Assistant

Madeline Staubsl – Museum Assistant

For more information about the MHC, visit its website by following this link.