In 1929, Dr. Horace Mann Bond, social science researcher, historian, and father of the late Julian Bond, participated in a two-year field study of black student achievement in North Carolina, Alabama, and Louisiana. Visiting more than 700 schools across these states, Dr. Bond administered standardized tests and photographed the educational experiences of close to 10,000 students. Funded by Julius Rosenwald, the study explored poverty and race relations in the rural South. Rosenwald hoped to show that the students in these segregated schools exceeded educational expectations despite the lack of resources that were available to white students and gain support for his “Rosenwald Schools.” Dr. Bond, however, according to his son James, “was hoping to prove that it’s environment, that if you give people the opportunity, they’ll achieve,” regardless of their circumstances.
The exhibit, curated by Gallery L1, Atlanta, showcases over 80 photographs from Bond’s study.