Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Different Mirror: (Re)Imagining Black Womanhood

I curated a A Different Mirror last May at the height of outrage of one of the most shameful declarations of objective research in modern history. On the website of Psychology Today, Satoshi Kanazawa of the London School of Economics declared that African American women were less attractive than women of other races. Psychology Today deleted the initial post and issued an apology in the wake of a firestorm of media attention from the Root, the Huffington Post, and Clutch Magazine (just a few of the multitude).
Here I am with world-renowned artist Wini McQueen,
in front of her awesome fabric art piece, She.
As curator of A Different Mirror, I had this show conceived for months. However, the unfortunate current event set in motion by Kanazawa reminded me why it was so important to assemble works by African women from Macon, Georgia's, Tubman African American Museum's permanent collection that dispelled cruel and stereotypical notions of black female identity. A highlight of the exhibit's opening was a beautiful performance by the renowned dance company, Hayiya Dance Theatre founded and led by Pilar Wilder.

The undeniable talent of the Hayiya dancers in concert with Nina Simone's emotionally charged and historically relevant "Four Women" created a solemn moment for all the women in the room...

As curator of the exhibit there is no way to choose a favorite work of art; they're like children. How could I possibly choose one as a favorite? But at this moment Ce Scott's Beauty Standard defines my curating experience. I wanted to showcase women in the art world who rejected society's mirrors. Scott goes even further by binding (in Kente cloth) the source of some of our societal delusions of beauty: the Barbie doll. Under the cloth the viewers are invited to see themselves: the true standards of beauty...

If you missed the opening to the new exhibit, don't fret because it's permanent.

Tubman African American Museum
340 Walnut Street
Macon, GA 31201
Phone: 478-743-8544

Monday-Closed (Except for scheduled group tours)
Tuesday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday 11:00am - 5:00pm

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