TESTIFY: Americana from Slavery to Today Exhibit
TESTIFY: Americana from Slavery to Today, an exhibit of art and artifacts from the Diane and Alan Page Collection
Building on the success of the original exhibit in 2018, the groundbreaking TESTIFY exhibit returns to Hennepin County Library – Minneapolis Central on February 1, through March 29, 2023. Plum Creek Library member libraries will be hosting a smaller traveling version of the TESTIFY Exhibit, complete with audio narration and banners depicting images of items in the Page collection.
“Our hope, in creating the exhibit, was that by shining a light on our country’s past we could learn to better understand the racial divide of the present,” said Justice Page. “At the same time, we hoped to illuminate a path to a brighter future, highlighting the strength, persistence, and resilience of the African American community.”
“Before reconciliation, there must be truth – and the truth can be ugly,” said Justice Page of the exhibit. “But we cannot reconcile and move forward if an increasingly louder group of people continue to deflect, minimize and sweep history under the rug.”
The Pages wanted to share this exhibit in rural Minnesota because “We have respect for our fellow Minnesotans. So we want as many people as possible to have direct access to this information so they can form their own opinions – and these objects are facts. What folks choose to do with these facts is obviously up to them, but we hope they will create more understanding and help us move beyond the divisiveness we’ve seen lately,” said Georgi Page-Smith. “I was actually very uncomfortable growing up with some of these objects and even with this conversation, but I do believe that ‘if we don’t know our past we are doomed to repeat it’ – and we can’t afford that; as a country we are wasting so much time already.”
The Pages are also encouraging people to find ways they can respond and take their inspiration into action. “Even just calling or writing elected officials to share how they think we might make things better and more fair can really make a difference, whether it’s education, healthcare, environmental justice or some other cause; TESTIFY is about inspiring action and finding ways to move forward,” said Page-Smith.
This photography exhibit is made possible with Arts & Cultural Heritage Funds from Minnesota’s Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment.
TESTIFY: Americana from Slavery to Today can be seen at the following Plum Creek Library System locations:
March 13 – April 1, 2023
Siverson Public Library (Hendricks)
April 10 – 21, 2023
April 24 – May 12, 2023