Race and the Atlanta Cotton States Exposition of 1895
The Cotton States Exposition of 1895 was a world's fair in Atlanta held to stimulate foreign and domestic trade for a region in an economic depression. This uses the exposition to examine the competing agendas of white supremacist organizers and the peoples of colour who participated.
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The 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition, a seminal moment in Atlanta’s history, is best remembered as the setting for Booker T. Washington’s opening day address in which he suggested that the races could be “as separate as the fingers” in “all things social.” Theda Perdue considers the white supremacist attitudes of the fair’s organizers and the ways in which people of color were represented. The designated Negro Building allowed Black educators and artists to showcase their accomplishments in a segregated setting, but exhibits about Native Americans by the Smithsonian and Office of Indian Affairs treated them as ancient cultures…
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