Come and enjoy a reception to honor the opening of photographer Ernest Lowe's exhibit entitled "Black Migrants to the Central Valley, 1960-1964."
The reception takes place from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb, 1, on the second floor of the Kolligian Library, in front of the Library Office Suite doors.
Refreshments will be provided.
The exhibit runs through April 5.
Immediately after World War II, more than 30,000 black sharecroppers migrated to California's Central Valley. Coming from places like Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi, these migrants looked to escape the oppression of new-slavery tenant farming and the Jim Crow south.
These migrants established communities in the shadows of the giant farms of the Central Valley, but soon found themselves without work as industrial agriculture took root, and mechanization further decimated the number of available jobs. Some migrated again to the coastal cities in search of new opportunities, but others remained.
In the early 1960s, photographer Ernest Lowe visited the Central Valley towns of Pixley and Dos Palos. The photographs showcased in this exhibition are a record of that visit -- examining communities of single-walled houses with little to no electricity, no roads and no infrastructure.
They tell the remarkable story of those who ventured west in search of a dream, and who were forced to simply survive, and keep dreaming, in the face of poverty, racism, and the broken promise of California.
The exhibit come from the Fresno Art Museum and is sponsored by the UC Merced Library, Arts UC Merced Presents and the UC Merced Center for the Humanities.