Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Eugene B. Redmond, Mary Z. Rose, and the Million Man March

Eugene B. Redmond takes photographs of flyers for special issue on Million Man March ©SIUE|siue.edu/digitalcollections

One important example of what a digital exhibit can mean for the preservation and display of the chronicling activities of an African American cultural worker are evident in "Path to 'Visible Glory': The Million Man March in the Redmond Collection." The digital exhibit -- produced Lovejoy Library metadata specialist Mary Z. Rose -- presents posters, photographs, and audio recordings from the Eugene B. Redmond Collection.       

The opening note points out that the exhibit  "tells two intertwined stories." One story charts "the journey to the March, the March itself, and its aftermath." The other story tracks Redmond and his collaborators  Sherman Fowler and Marcus Atkins as they created a special issue of Drumvoices Revue entitled "Visible Glory: The Million Man March."

The exhibit charts a parade held in East St. Louis the day before citizens boarded a bus and traveled to Washington D.C. for the march in October 1995. The exhibit also includes images of students on SIUE's campus participating in a ceremony leading up to the march. Redmond documented both events prior to catching a plane to D.C. himself. 

Rose notes that during the flight to D.C., Redmond "passed a handheld tape recorder around the plane," and the exhibit includes the audio. The audio and photographs reveal that Redmond was traveling with a who's who of leading black men figures from St. Louis, including Jim Buford, president of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Missouri state representative Charles Quincy Troupe, Donald Suggs, publisher of the St. Louis American, and St. Louis alderman Freeman Bosley, Sr.  

The exhibit showcases a sampling of the many, many scenes that Redmond captured during the march. At the end of the march, on the return flight, Redmond once again passed his tape recorder around the plane having travelers document their responses. Later, we see drafts and images from organizational meetings from the upcoming special issue of Drumvoices Revue.    

Overall, the exhibit reveals much about Redmond's and Rose's ingenuity in presentation and documentation. Redmond passed around notes and a tape record to capture people's responses to the March, and Rose in turn tracked down Redmond's materials and found ways to re-present those items as part of this online exhibit.

A Notebook on Lovejoy Library's EBR Digital Collection
Eugene B. Redmond

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