Current Exhibits

Lift Every Voice: Geneva’s Black Community Since 1966

A gospel choir dressed in green robes singing and clapping.

Mount Olive Choir, 1977

This exhibit explores the history of Geneva’s Black community since the period of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. It continues the story started in the 1991 exhibit and 1993 book Make A Way Somehow: African American Life in a Northern Community 1790-1965. On the 30th anniversary of the book’s publication, Historic Geneva revisits the story of Geneva’s Black community and examines the changes of the last 57 years.

In light of the racial justice movements of 2020 and the upcoming anniversary of the book’s publication, in early 2022, staff at Historic Geneva decided to document the changes in the community since 1966. To do so, they consulted with members of Geneva’s Black community, researching local organizations and collecting oral histories and contributions from those willing to share their experiences. Examining subjects like education, civil rights action, housing, work, and culture, the exhibit looks at how these areas have been transformed in the last fifty years. It also includes profiles of notable Genevans and their contributions to the community. This exhibit is a continuing story; the Geneva community is invited to come see it and add their perspective within the exhibit itself.

Visit the Make A Way Somehow project page to contribute stories or materials.

To listen to some of the audio from the original Make a Way Somehow project, visit the audio section of our Digital Collections page.

Throughout the coming year, Historic Geneva is planning programming and online content connected to the themes of the exhibit. Lift Every Voice: Geneva’s Black Community Since 1966 will be on display at the museum through spring 2024.