Without Regard to Sex, Race, or Color
The Past, Present, and Future of One Historically Black College
Showing January 19 – April 19, 2019 • State of Tennessee Gallery
Included with Admission
Without Regard to Sex, Race, or Color is a visual of account of what remains within the confines of Morris Brown College, a historic black college that closed its doors in 2003 due to financial pressures and scandal.
This gathering of 36 images, gives us a new way to think about the too often troubled status of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The bell in the clock tower at Atlanta’s Morris Brown College bears an inscription about the ideal of educational access, that it be “without regard to sex, race or color.” Yet, most of the Morris Brown campus has lain silent for more than a decade. Established in 1881, it was all but shut down in 2002 after years of fiscal hardship were capped by a mismanagement scandal. Pride still runs high among its alumni, however, and its current leadership vows to revive the school. Meanwhile, as Andrew Feiler’s stirring photos show, Morris Brown is literally falling apart.
Andrew Feiler was granted unique access to the hauntingly silent campus of Morris Brown and spent a year shooting a sixty image body or work. During Andrew’s time on campus, he sought visual moments and emotional touch points that illuminate the stories in these stilled classrooms and hallways. But in the research that he did as part of this work, one statistic is glaring: The roughly one hundred HBCUs that remain are a mere 3% of colleges in America but they represent more than 10% of African Americans who go to college and more than 25% who earn degrees. These facts replant this story firmly in the midst of one of the core debates raging in our society: how do we create opportunity in America? How do we create onramps to the middle class?