“Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice” is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Generous support for this project is provided by Art Bridges. All artworks are from the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, a gift of the Harmon Foundation.
“We are happy to partner with Albany State University and the Dougherty County School System in this event that recognizes these influential individuals,” AMA Director of Education and Public Programming Annie Vanoteghem said. “ASU students will be sharing their performing talents at the event, and DCSS students will, in the vein of William H. Johnson, display their visual tributes to our local heroes.”
A special highlight of the event will be a performance by Harris, one of the original Freedom Singers formed 60 years ago at then-Albany State College. The Freedom Singers, who fused church-style a cappella singing with protest songs, drew aid and support to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the civil rights movement. Through Harris’s powerful voice, the story of those turbulent times and the subsequent trials and triumphs for rights and justice have resonated in the decades since.
Also performing at Hometown Black Heroes Family Day will be the Dougherty High School Chorale and Saints of God House of Worship Choir. AMA Director of Curatorial Affairs Katie Dillard will share insights on the Johnson exhibition with those attending.
“The juxtaposition of the national heroes depicted in ‘Fighters for Freedom’ with our local heroes will remind us that we can all make a difference in our communities,” Vanoteghem said.
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