Anti-slavery gravestone part of art display

Evan Goodenow | Oberlin News-Tribune

A gravestone for a four-year-old runaway slave is part of art on display at the Allen Memorial Art Museum through June 12. The gravestone is for Lee Howard Dobbins, who died in 1853 from consumption shortly after being dropped off in Oberlin by runaway slaves fleeing from Kentucky to Canada on the Underground Railroad. Some 1,000 mourners attended Lee’s funeral and paid for the gravestone which says, “Let Slavery perish!” on it.

The gravestone is part of Wildfire Test Pit, an exhibition by artist Fred Wilson that went on display Aug. 30. The name of the exhibition is a metaphor for historical biases. The exhibition challenges viewers to reconsider traditional historical and social narratives.