A Conscious Collaboration

Museums frequently struggle with how best to include community voices in their institutions. This is particularly problematic when (largely white) museum staffs want to address issues of identity and race. One of the ways museums have dealt with this challenge is to collaborate with partners or “cultural ambassadors.” These partnerships situate museums more as facilitators […]

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“Ain’t nobody caught me”: Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Expressions of Female Sexuality in Blues

From the sexually-charged lyrics of Nicki Minaj and Lil’ Kim to the lyrical exploration of love and sexual independence by Beyonce, black female artists of today use their music as a vehicle to express their sexuality. With the male-dominated music industry and the consumerist nature of women’s sexuality in contemporary culture, the amount of agency […]

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Angela Davis: Rebel With a Cause

When discussing the beginning of the women’s rights movement, most would think of Susan B. Anthony, Seneca Falls, and the suffragette movement. However, there is another layer to this story that needs to be told: the influence of African American women on the women’s rights movement. Angela Davis is one contemporary example, spanning several layers […]

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Mama Likes her Outside Men: Gertude Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Black Women’s Sexual Rights

Throughout American history, women have struggled to achieve the same legal and social status as their male counterparts. One of the longest fights women have engaged in revolves around the issue of sexual rights. Recently, anti-abortion advocates have begun to exploit black history in order to gain support from African-American communities against the termination of pregnancies. […]

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Connecting the Past and Present: One Artist’s attempt to Create Inter-Generational Dialogue

The mother smiled to know her child/ Was in the sacred place,/ But that smile was the last smile/ To come upon her face. For when she heard the explosion,/ Her eyes grew wet and wild./ She raced through the streets of Birmingham/ Calling for her child. She clawed through bits of glass and brick,/ […]

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