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The World of Henry Billups: Jim Crow at the College of William & Mary

Portrait of Henry Billups commissioned by the Alumni Association, 1952.Swem Library at the College of William & Mary presents the exhibit, "The World of Henry Billups: Jim Crow at the College of William & Mary." During the Jim Crow Era this country was once again divided, this time along racial lines. Everything was separate--toilets, restaurants, even cemeteries. Survival meant that most blacks operated in two worlds--living in one, working in another. This was not an easy life; W.E.B. DuBois argued that the emotional toll might have destroyed a weaker people.

Henry Billups labored at William & Mary from 1888 until 1955, and he operated in two different worlds--on the campus he was the "Doctor of Boozeology"; at home he was a respected family man. This exhibit, curated by Professor Jody Allen's class "The World of Henry Billups," includes four cases. One focuses on Billups, the other three explore the College, the community, and the struggle against change.

"The World of Henry Billups" is on display in the third floor rotunda gallery in the Swem Library. The exhibit will be open through November 7, 2011, whenever the library is open. Admission is free.