MTC’s Harbison History Day Introduces Free Art Exhibit Dedicated to the Forgotten Children of Slavery
Feb 21, 2019
Harbison Institute alumni join Ron Rhames to ceremoniously ring the original Harbison Institute bell. Ringing the Harbison Institute bell has been symbolic of the outstanding educational opportunities afforded the African-American community at Harbison Institute.
To commemorate Black History Month and the long tradition of multicultural education offered at the Midlands Technical College (MTC) Harbison Campus, MTC invited alumni of the historic Harbison Institute back to campus to preview a local art exhibit dedicated to the impact slavery had on African-American children. This free exhibit by local artist Mary Burkett will be on display for the community in the Harbison Theatre at MTC lobby through March 10.
“Every February, we celebrate Black History Month on our Harbison Campus,” said MTC President Dr. Ronald L. Rhames. “Midlands Technical College has continued to preserve the Harbison Campus for education the past 40 years. This year, it is an honor to host this deeply moving collection of hand-drawn children’s portraits. I hope the community will visit the Theatre to view this collection, learn about the impact of slavery on children, and learn more about the great heritage and tradition of our Harbison Campus.”
The MTC Harbison Campus was the site of the historic Harbison Institute, which provided African-American students educational opportunities during a time when options were limited. After Harbison Institute closed in 1958, its land and buildings were donated to MTC to continue the legacy of providing access to higher education at the Harbison location.
Artist Mary Burkett said exhibiting her portraits at such a historic location during Black History Month is truly special.
“The rich history of the Harbison Campus creates the perfect backdrop to view Beloved: Legacy of Slavery,” said Burkett. “I hope those who see these forgotten children will start a dialogue regarding what the legacy of slavery is for us today.”
Local artist Mary Burkett’s exhibition, Beloved: Legacy of Slavery, will be on display through March 10 in the Harbison Theatre at MTC.
After viewing the exhibit, Harbison Institute alumni ceremoniously rang the original Harbison Institute bell. MTC preserved the original bell from 1882, dedicating it in a new bell pavilion on the Harbison Campus. Over the past years, ringing the Harbison Institute bell has been symbolic of the outstanding educational opportunities afforded the African-American community at Harbison Institute.
Two years ago, more than 120 legislators sponsored a joint resolution creating a Harbison History Day to honor the long tradition of multicultural education found on the site of the Midlands Technical College Harbison Campus.
“This is a day to ring the bell, take in this remarkable art exhibit, and celebrate this campus that continues to make a difference in the lives of so many,” said Rhames.
Mary Burkett’s exhibition, Beloved: Legacy of Slavery, will be on display through March 10 in the Harbison Theatre at MTC Lobby, 7300 College Street, Irmo, SC. Information on the artist is at https://www.maryburkettart.com/.