The Xavier University Center gallery was filled to capacity for the April 4, 2017, unveiling of the New Orleans People Project: New Orleans Black Pride Edition exhibit by award-winning
photographer Gus Bennett Jr. The self-guided photo exhibit will be open through May 4 and has accompanying podcasts featuring the exhibition’s participants at:
Xavier professors, Dr. Kimberly Chandler obtained a grant for the project and assisted her mentee/student Andre’ Morgan in getting the project off the ground with Bennett and the portrait subjects.
“Working with Andre’ on this aspect of a larger research project focused on the African American LGBTQ community is a wonderful opportunity to visibly demonstrate our commitment to, and recognition of, this great community of freedom fighters’ historic legacy of social justice advocacy,” Chandler said.
She continued, “This is an exhibition that allows everyone to see themselves in every photograph on the wall of the UC first floor gallery. Isn’t that our heart’s desire? Don’t we all just want to be seen for who we
are in this world? If we are to create a more just and humane society, it starts with expanding our spiritual, emotional and intellectual capacity to see—not tolerate—see in a way that allows us to accept, affirm—and dare I say even love—the gift that is humanity. My hope is that this work will challenge all of us to see our African American LGBTQ Brothas and Sistas in just this way,” Chandler said.
Morgan greeted guests at the unveiling ceremony. “If you take away anything from this work, leave with this: When you see these pictures on these walls, I want you to see a human inside of these people. See them for who they are, not just how they identify. SEE them! And when you really see them, you will see yourself,” Morgan said.