Getty Images, Jackson State, HBCU

Jackson State University, Getty Images Join Forces For Photo Exhibition Celebrating JSU’s Homecomings

Jackson State University (JSU) and Getty Images are teaming up for a photo exhibition on the spirited culture of JSU’s homecomings, from the early years through the present day.

“A JSU Homecoming Legacy: Connecting the Past to the Future” aligns with the 2023 homecoming theme. It will showcase 30 rarely seen images sourced from JSU’s Archives, now digitally accessible through Getty Images’ Photo Archive Grants Program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), according to a press release received by BLACK ENTERPRISE.

Last year, JSU was one of four recipients for the Getty images Photo Archives Grant. The grant, funded by the Getty family and the philanthropic organization Stand Together, provides $500,000 to digitize HBCU photographic archives and has contributed to the digitization of 5,000 archival photos from JSU’s library. 

A diverse, multigenerational group from JSU and Getty Images staff and administration helped assemble the display. The images reflect the history of Mississippi movements and highlights the significance of the university and homecoming to the community.

Visitors can expect to see images of early football teams, cheerleaders, the Sonic Boom of the South, the  Prancing J-Settes, and of course a whole lot of Afros and bell-bottoms. 

“Jackson State University has a tremendous Tiger legacy, and we are very excited to collaborate with Getty Images on the release of this exhibit and continue to build upon the foundations established around homecoming with students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and all included in the history of our HBCU,” said Locord Wilson, Ph.D., interim dean of libraries.

JSU’s H.T. Sampson Library is home of the university’s archives. 

“We are proud to work with JSU and all other HBCUs to increase access to unique imagery and bring awareness to untold stories,” said Cassandra Illidge, vice president of global content partnerships at Getty Images. “A single photo can encompass a lifetime of experiences that help shape the world. This exhibition is … a celebration of the impact of HBCU’s history for generations to come.”  

A group of committee members were instrumental in selecting the photos for the exhibition, including Brittany Myburgh, Ph.D., assistant professor of art history in the Department of Art and Theatre; Mark Geil, interim chair and associate professor in the Department of Art and Theatre; JSU archivist Darlita Ballard; and Getty Images curator Shawn Waldron.

“The fact that the Getty Images program has supported our students in learning the archival skills they need to preserve and tell this history is truly significant,” Myburgh said. “Our students are the next generation of archivists and historians who will tell the story of Jackson State University and continue this legacy.

“To tell the story of Jackson State University in one exhibit is no small task, but these images truly capture the milestones of this HBCU and the joy and celebration of homecoming.”

The exhibition will open to the public on weekdays from Oct. 11 through Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Johnson Hall Art Gallery on JSU’s main campus. Guests can purchase images seen on display at the exhibition using onsite brochures via 

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