February 10, 2017
In honor of Black History Month, the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce will be hosting “Atomic Integration,” a photography exhibition focusing on African-American life during the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge. The month-long exhibit will open on Thursday, February 23, with a reception starting at 4:30 p.m. The photo exhibit is sponsored by the National Park Service, Department of Energy, Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, and Explore Oak Ridge.
The images displayed in the photo exhibit illustrate the experiences and contributions of African-Americans during the Manhattan Project period during the 1940s in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Often overlooked in our remembrance of one of the world’s largest scientific undertaking that produced the atomic bomb are the works of a people who, in spite of discrimination, met the challenge and changed the course of history.
The photographs were taken by James Edward Westcott, a renowned photographer who worked for the United States government in Oak Ridge during the Manhattan Project and the Cold War. Westcott was one of the few people permitted to have a camera in the Oak Ridge area during the Manhattan Project. The photo shown above was taken by Westcott at a post office in the 1940s.
The Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce is located at 1400 Oak Ridge Turnpike. For more information, please call Manhattan Project National Historical Park at (865) 567-6767.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s more than 400 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.