Research conducted by a student exhibit at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore has uncovered examples of racism in the college’s history and developed an exhibit to showcases her findings.
Deyane Moses’ exhibit, titled “Blackives: A Celebration of Black History at MICA,” features curated photos and documents that show how the college reacted after being forced in 1891 to admit African-American student Harry T. Pratt.
“I was deeply stirred when I visited the Blackives exhibition and the [institute’s] website,” MICA President Samuel Hoi, who apologized for the school’s racist past, said in a statement. “While specifically celebrating the Black students at MICA – past, present and future – they should resonate with all students who overcome obstacles with strength and determination to receive the best education they deserve. They remind me of MICA’s mandate to empower all of our talented students to thrive, to achieve and to impact positive change. Deyane and her project represent student agency at its best and underscore the power of art in pursuit of social justice.”
After Pratt was admitted, more than 100 White students left the school, resulting in the college establishing a policy to only admit “reputable White people.” That policy stood until the Supreme Court ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954.