Dr. Marcy Sacks of the Albion College history faculty will present the address “The Most Laughable Things I Had Ever Seen: Currier & Ives’ ‘Darktown Comics’ and Yankee Nostalgia for the Old South” through the Department of History Colloquium Series at Hope College on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 4 p.m. in the Fried-Hemenway Auditorium of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
Sacks, who is the John S. Ludington Endowed Professor of History at Albion College, will explore the historical and cultural significance of physical portrayals of black people in the late-19th-century popular culture. Focusing on a specific set of popular lithographs from the 1880s and 1890s, Currier & Ives’ “Darktown Comics,” she will examine the ways northern whites lampooned black people in order to discredit the urban migration of southern blacks. She will discuss how, through grotesque representations of blacks’ physical attributes and behavior, Yankees justified both their retreat from Reconstruction and their tacit acceptance of oppression and outright violence against African Americans in the South.
The talk is co-sponsored by the De Pree Art Center and Gallery, and is being presented in conjunction with the “Hateful Things” and “Resilience” exhibitions that are on display in the gallery through Friday, Oct. 7.
The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., at the corner of Columbia Avenue and 10th Street.