13th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
Dorm Room Desk - Gaines Hall
A large bell hangs in the clock tower overlooking the now quiet campus of Morris Brown College. Its inscription reads, in part, Dedicated to the Education of Youth, Without Regard to Sex, Race or Color. Founded by African Americans in 1881 under the auspices of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Morris Brown lost its accreditation to financial pressures and scandal in 2002. Today its campus is largely abandoned.
Andrew Feiler was granted unique access to Morris Brown’s hauntingly silent campus. His documentary artistic photography portrays a proud past, a challenging present and an uncertain future, not only for this one institution but for all of America’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). More broadly, this work offers a new way into the debate raging in our society about the essential role education has played as the foundation of the American Dream. That tradition and legacy are now at risk. Too many Americans cannot afford to go to college. Too many Americans are being crushed by college debt. Too many of these American dreams cannot be fully realized.
© Andrew Feiler.
All rights reserved.
||The American Experience
||Nov. 14, 2015, 3:14 p.m.