a nigga’s newyear

Black and white photo. Tiye Olufumilayo (CQ) (L) and Monica Gaskin (R) are having yellow rice and collard greens. Photograph by Akira Suwa, June 9, year unknown. Courtesy of Free Library of Philadelphia, Print and Picture Collection.

Janus is the Roman God / Deity of New Beginning and Transitions, thus on the Gregorian calendar, the year begins in January. For enslaved Black Americans, January 1st, New Year’s Day, was known as “Heartbreak Day” or “Hiring Day.” On

Taps Illustrated

A spider sure knows how to ensnare the unexpected in its web.

A friend received from her sister a discarded library book titled Illustrated Tap Rhythms And Routines by Edith Ballwebber, an Assistant Professor of Physical Education teaching at the …

A Paragraph in that Look

What does Louise tell us about herself in what appears to be the only existing professional photo of her? What clues are there in her attire, her make-up, her facial expression, her stance, or in her inscription to dancer Ludie …

knick knacks: notes on a curatorial practice

also knickknack, nicknack, “a pleasing trifle, toy,” 1570s, a reduplication of knack (n.) “ingenious device, toy, trinket” (1530s), a specialized sense of knack (n.) “stratagem, trick.” (from the Online Etymology Dictionary)

i buy back all the spirits turned into toys:…

Louise, Deep in the Heart of Blackface

“Spidering” is how Nadine George-Grave describes the dynamics of her research approach—“some lines of the webs…will break through other lines of wisdom and memory; some will be dead ends….” Since Louise didn’t leave us much to know her by, I’ve …