Join Special Collections and University Archives on Thursday, March 31 from 12:30-1:30pm in Steely Library Room 102 for Democracy Square LIVE!, co-hosted with The Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement. The discussion will examine difficult historical knowledge brought to light in “When Covington, Kentucky Executed an Innocent Man: the Legal Lynching of John Montjoy,” a new exhibit in the Archives Research Room. Katie Bramell, Public History graduate student and exhibit curator, will talk about her exhibit research and lead a discussion on the complex topics she unearthed during the process.
The exhibit focuses on the case of John Montjoy, an African American accused of the rape of a white woman in Covington, Kentucky in 1935. In this real life version of To Kill A Mockingbird, John Montjoy was convicted by an all-white jury, forced to confess under physical harm, subjected to racial prejudices during his criminal trial and was executed two years later by way of hanging in the courtyard of Covington’s City Hall. The exhibit, using primary sources from Steely Library’s Eva G. Farris Special Collections along with other archival resources, highlights the racial inequalities and injustices Montjoy was subjected to as well as the impact this unfair execution had on the African American community of Covington. The exhibit seeks to engage visitors in dialogue about the larger social effects this case and others like it have on the way we think about history and how we understand inequalities in the justice system in communities across America.
The exhibit will be on display in the Archives Research Room in Steely Library Room 106, beginning March 30. Open public visiting hours are 1-4pm, Monday-Friday.