Photographer Andrew Feiler unveils book on Morris Brown College

Some images are startling.

Broken glass in some of the buildings, Papers and musical instruments strewn across the floor. Deserted labs.

Morris Brown College was once filled with thousands of students, but now it's campus is basically deserted with only a few dozen students.

Georgia photographer Andrew Feiler was given access to photograph the Atlanta campus of what was once one of the South's most prominent historically black colleges.

“I knew on a very intrinsic level that this was a powerful and important story,” said Feiler, a native of Savannah. “I just didn’t know if there was a visual way to tell the story or what shape it would take if I had the opportunity to get in these spaces.”

Sixty of his photographs, taken over a yearlong period in 2013, are collected in the book “Without Regard to Sex, Race, or Color: The Past, Present, and Future of One Historically Black College,” published by the University of Georgia Press in association with the Georgia Humanities Council. It includes older photographs of students hard at work.

The 102-page book includes an essay by Robert E. James, a 1968 graduate and president of Carver State Bank in Savannah.

“I’ve been around abandoned buildings before, but to look at some of these things and remember what the chemistry lab looked like when I was in it, with students excited about the experiments they were working on and teachers moving around…,” said James, trailing off.

Once you get over the sadness, he said, there’s still a story to tell.

“Publishing of this book presents the story, hopefully, to another, broader audience,” said James, who later went on to earn a master’s in business administration from Harvard University. “There is hope for a rebirth. We must reclaim this history and do something to rebuild.”

Several of those photographs will be on display through Nov. 29 at the Atlanta University Center's Robert W. Woodruff Library, 111 James P. Brawley Drive S.W.

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