Regional history museums are uniquely positioned to cultivate a sense of place for their visitors and are often called upon to steward thoughtful community dialogues. These duties are particularly important when a community is struggling to reconcile its past as it confronts contemporary issues. This essay explores Levine Museum of the New South’s K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace initiative—a rapid-response exhibit and related programming cocreated with community members in the aftermath of the police-involved shooting of Keith Lamont Scott and the protest that unfolded in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September 2016. This essay interrogates the approaches, processes, and lessons learned as the Levine Museum sought to spark civil dialogue and understanding at a time when its community needed it most.
K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace: The Making of a Rapid-Response Community Exhibit
Brenda D. Tindal is director of education at the Detroit Historical Society. Prior to this appointment, Tindal was the staff historian at Levine Museum of the New South, in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she cocurated the K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace exhibit and spearheaded the museum’s Breaking Bread Dinner & Dialogue program and its corporate and civic enrichment experiences to foster historical inquiry and community engagement in the aftermath of the Charlotte protests in 2016. She is a PhD candidate at Emory University, where she is completing a dissertation entitled “‘What Our Common Past Had Done to Us’: Movement Widows in American Public Life, 1963–2013” in which she explores the social and political identity of the widows of martyred civil rights leaders, namely Coretta Scott King, Myrlie Evers-Williams, and Betty Shabazz.
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Brenda Tindal; K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace: The Making of a Rapid-Response Community Exhibit. The Public Historian 1 February 2018; 40 (1): 87–96. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2018.40.1.87
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