In celebration of Black History Month, Interim President Castell V. Bryant opened the President’s House to the student body for the viewing of personal portraits of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
According to Bryant, her good friend Flip Schulkie, whom she met in Miami about 15 years ago, gave her the photos.
Schulkie traveled with King on an assignment for Life magazine.
“Dr. Bryant wanted to share with the community her pictures,” said Delmas Barber, director of community development.
This is the president’s first time opening her photos to the public in this fashion, Barber said.
The photo displayed pictures of King’s church and of him meeting with other officials.
There were scenes of the civil rights leader being jailed and enduring police brutality from white officers.
There were also snapshots of King and people of all creeds and races participating in the March on Washington that took place Aug. 28, 1963.
Of the many pictures on display, one proved to be Bryant’s favorite. The dearest photo was a portrait showing King shadowed by the American Flag.
The statement inscribed on the flag read, “One day little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and sisters and brothers.”
The exhibit also gave insight to King’s family life. Candid snapshots showed him playing baseball, mentoring his sons and laughing with his daughters.
King’s final speech and the mourning of his widow, Coretta Scott King, were also photos documented by the various images.
Barber added that the photos are important to Bryant because they hold very dear memories.
Students talked about how beneficial it was for them.
“I think it was important to showcase the history and value our president has brought to our campus,” said Jessica Martin, a fourth- year business administration student.
Murell Dawson, curator of the Black Archives also supplied memorabilia of the Civil Rights Movement.
“You hear about Martin Luther King every day, but seeing FAMU’s involvement made it a lot easier to relate to the injustices that occurred,” said Tiffany Sims, a third-year business administration student from Evanston, Ill.
People who visited the exhibit said it served as a learning experience for them.
“I learned so much more about the role FAMU played in the Civil Rights Movement as far as boycotts and things of that nature,” said Ilene Harvey, a freshman social work student from Syracuse, N.Y.
Contact Constance Rush at firstname.lastname@example.org