Image of Jim Alexander, Carlton Mackey, and Tom Dorsey

Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library and the Michael C. Carlos Museum present a conversation with celebrated Atlanta Black photographers Jim Alexander and Tom Dorsey, moderated by Carlton Mackey, assistant director, community dialogue and engagement, at the High Museum of Art and co-creator/co-director of Emory University’s Arts and Social Justice Fellows Program. The conversation was held in conjunction with two exhibitions at Emory, Dare to Explore: Emory University's Arts and Social Justice Program, which features Jim Alexander's work alongside that of other Emory Social Justice Fellows, on view from March 17-May 13, in the Schatten Gallery in Woodruff Library and A Very Incomplete Self-Portrait: Tom Dorsey's Chicago Portfolio at the Carlos Museum. 

Creative Justice: A Celebration of Emory’s Arts and Social Justice Fellows Program

March 17 – May 13, 2023, in Schatten Gallery, Woodruff Library, Level 3

Amid a groundswell of national attention to racial and social injustice, in the fall of 2020 Emory professors and students joined with Atlanta artists to explore how creative thinking and artistic expression can inspire change. The Arts and Social Justice Fellowship was envisioned as an opportunity for faculty members to work alongside partnered ASJ Fellows to embed creative projects that reflect on social inequities into existing courses. This exhibit provides a survey of the work the ASJ fellows and faculty did to help students translate their learning into creative activism in the name of racial justice. One component of the exhibit features the works of renowned Atlanta photographer Jim Alexander, who placed a large collection of his photographs (circa 1960-2022) with the Rose Library.

A Very Incomplete Self-Portrait: Tom Dorsey’s Chicago Portfolio

February 18 – July 16, 2023, in the Michael C. Carlos Museum’s Works on Paper Gallery, Level One

The exhibit presents never-before-exhibited works by celebrated photographer Thomas Dorsey. Widely known for his intimate portraits of African American families in their homes in Chicago and Atlanta, Dorsey also photographed the streets, houses, and buildings of his childhood neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side. This portfolio of black-and-white photographs, taken while Dorsey was enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago, reveals the barren infrastructure of an underserved community and the resilience and stark beauty that can be discovered amidst bleak circumstances.