Plaque Memorializing The Thinking Men


Legacies Classification
Memorial Object
Memorial Type
Memorial Context
Memorialized Subject
The enslaved men who built Wofford's Main Building
Plaque Memorializing The Thinking Men
Background and Context
During the 2005-2006 renovation of Main Building, college officials decided to leave some bricks that had been made by enslaved laborers in 1854 exposed to recognize their contribution to the building's construction. The college commissioned a poem by poet Nikky Finney, which she presented at a formal convocation. Some of the lines from the poem have been placed over the bricks.
Physical Description
A panel of exposed bricks, framed and with an etched glass covering with words from poet Nikky Finney's The Thinking Men. A plaque to the left explains the object.
Memorial Inscription
"Our hands were living blackboards.
In ever inch & swirl of ruby brick
we plied math mind and muscle
deep into each and every dark seam."

"In memory of the anonymous and enslaved builders of 'Old Main' 1851-1856
Their strength and skill lie at the foundation of these towers. The line etched on the glass is from Nikky Finney's poem 'The Thinking Men,' composed for the dedication of this window, March 20, 2008.
Creator/Participating Person(s)
Date created, installed or dedicated
20 March 2008
Location: Institution, City, State

Position: 184 (8 views)