Dawn of Mourning Exhibit in Athens

Athens OH 02-26-2013I was back in Athens, Ohio, on February 26, walking on rain-slicked cobblestones and helping set up my exhibit of photos of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Mourning taken in 1968.

Dawn of Mourning” is presented by Sigma Gamma Rho, Inc. in conjunction with the College of Arts and Sciences, the Athens Historical Society and Museum, the Foster and Helen Cornwell Lecture Series, University College, the Campus Involvement Center, The Athens Messenger and The Post.

Here is a radio interview the local NPR station, WOUB, did with me. (To be honest, I could only listen to about five minutes of it. I always cringe when I hear myself being interviewed.

Danielle Echols, who has been the Sigma Gamma Rho coordinator on the project, did a great job of keeping me more or less between the lines during the radio program. I could tell she had a basket of questions to ask if I was one of those laconic “Yes, Ma’am,” “No, Ma’am” subjects, but she need not have worried. Rambling is one of my better things.

Photo gallery of show catalog photos.

Here is a catalog of the key images showing a highly emotional day at Ohio University. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.

7 Replies to “Dawn of Mourning Exhibit in Athens”

    1. Thanks,Carla. I wouldn’t be doing this kind of thing had I not stumbled into the Altenburg museum with a stack of pictures. You made me realize how important those images are in documenting our past.

      Like I say too often, “History is news with whiskers.”

  1. Dramatic pictures of a dramatic time. Congratulations, Ken, and thanks not only for the exhibit, but for doing a wonderful job of documenting these events.

    It’s kind of a shame that there is no record of the WOUB radio and TV coverage as well.

    What a time to be on a college campus.

  2. Just to add that I just listened to the show you mentioned above — and what a group of memories.

    I thought maybe I was the only one who remembered the “Snow Ball” riot. I was standing on the front steps of old Baker Center and the kids had rolled up several huge snow balls — which of course turned to solid ice — and blocked Union Street in front of the Center. The city’s idea to clear the street was to get a couple of big state road graders to charge through and break up the snow balls. Unfortunately, they were a little too hard to break and bounced into a couple of parked cars. The cars definitely got the worst of that decision.

    We’ve talked before, I think, about the Peter, Paul and Mary concert — especially backstage afterward. My wife still has a string of “love beads” that Paul Stookey gave her that night. She wore them to the “Hair” musical revival last year. Remarkable stuff.

    Thanks again for the memories — both good and bad.

  3. Former OU Post editor Tom Price left this comment on Facebook:

    “Incredible memories — again — Ken. That first photo, of the torn Post lying in the street, shows my photo of Martin Luther King Jr., taken in Chicago at the New Politics convention in 1967. King and Benjamin Spock, of all people, trying to unite the civil rights, antiwar and anti-poverty movements into a third party presidential campaign. Needless to say, they didn’t get far. After I covered the convention, my college roommate (Rob Shulman) and I set off on a camping trip to the West Coast. My first venture west of the Mid West, and I fell in love with the Rockies in the process.”

  4. Thank you for sharing this outstanding collection of photo history of our American rites of passage. It seems we are stuck in a patho-adolescent society.At least during the 60’s and 70’s there was a sense of student consciousness to some degree a movement.
    Many of us pictured as part of the Mourning of Dawn continue to be active in our ways of carrying out the legacy of Dr King and Malik El Shabazz. Some in the photos have transitioned such as Van Lue, Dayton.
    You have captured an important episode of our history.
    Each generation must out ofrelative osbcurity discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it.
    Again thank you for the memories captured in photo journalism.

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