Synopses & Reviews
is the most comprehensive study yet published about the long history of representations of, by, and for African Americans at worldand#8217;s fairs and museums. Wilsonand#8217;s book underscores why cultural representations have mattered and continue to matter for African Americansand#151;and for everyone trying to understand what it means to be an American."and#151;Robert W. Rydell, author of All the World's a Fair
and#147;With abundant archival insights, Mabel Wilson's highly original study of the role of world's fairs in the making of a black public sphere vividly illuminates the transition from Reconstruction to Afro-Modernity with page-turning brilliance. Making a unique contribution to the fields of art history, architecture, visual culture and museum studies, this book offers us a bold interdisciplinary model for first-rate scholarship in African American studies that profoundly enriches our understanding of the Black Atlantic world.and#8221;and#151;Kobena Mercer, Professor of African American Studies and History of Art, Yale University
Focusing on black Americansand#8217; participation in worldand#8217;s fairs, Emancipation expositions, and early black grassroots museums, Negro Building traces the evolution of black public history from the Civil War through the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Mabel O. Wilson gives voice to the figures that conceived the curatorial contentand#151;Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, A. Philip Randolph, Horace Cayton and Margaret Burroughs. As the 2015 opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., approaches, the book reveals why the black cities of Chicago and Detroit became the sites of major black historical museums rather than the nationand#8217;s capitaland#151;until now.
About the Author
Mabel O. Wilson is Associate Professor of Architecture at Columbiaand#8217;s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation where she directs the program for Advanced Architectural Research.
Table of Contents
List of Figures
1. Progress of a Race:
The Black Sideand#8217;s Contribution to Atlantaand#8217;s Worldand#8217;s Fair
2. Exhibiting the American Negro
3. Remembering Emancipation Up North
4. Look Back, March Forward
5. To Make a Black Museum