As we move into February and Black History Month, a new exhibit at the Hannibal Arts Council reflects on Hannibal’s part in the Black Lives Matter movement.

The exhibit called Rise-Up looks at where our region is today in the struggle for equality. Images from Hannibal’s BLM demonstrations and march will line the gallery at the Arts Council to show the power of protest. The exhibit opens February 6.

The Rise-Up exhibit is curated by Jim’s Journey: The Huck Finn Freedom Center. The center sits at the base of 3rd Street in Hannibal, right at the start of history downtown. The Freedom Center is a memorial to Jim, the runaway slave featured in Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The character Jim is based on a real-life slave named Daniel Quarles. Quarles was owned by Twain’s uncle at his farm in Florida, MO. When Quarles was freed, he lived and died in Hannibal.

From the Jim’s Journey website:

“In a town awash with everything Twain, we tell a much different story of Samuel Clemens and Hannibal.
Mark Twain wrote things as they were. His writings showed the unfiltered reality of life in rural Missouri. Jim, from "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," is one of Twain's most renowned characters. Twain gave us Jim to show the plight of African Americans in the pre-Civil War United States.”

“Additionally, Samuel Clemens was the first white American author to humanize a slave, making him more than a fixture as he contributed to the fight against racism, bigotry and social justice. This is a tribute to his legacy and an opportunity to learn what it was like for his descendants, and the people whose resilience made this story possible and made Hannibal a richer community. It's an intimate look at the local African American condition from Hannibal's 1819 founding.”

Rise-Up opens from 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 6.  The public is welcome to stop by during Opening Day to view the exhibit or stop by during regular gallery hours. Images from the exhibit will also be available online on the Gallery page at

Rise-Up runs through March 13 at the Hannibal Arts Council, 105 S Main St. Gallery hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday and Wednesday through Friday and 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturdays. The gallery is closed on Tuesdays and Sundays.

Sponsors for this special exhibit are the Hannibal Arts Council, Jim’s Journey and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

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