Black Genealogy Through the Eye of an Artist

Artist Nate Creekmore was inspired to create this artwork by the story of a formerly enslaved African named Litt Young given him by curator Kheven LaGrone for the “I Am America” exhibit.

“I Am America:  Black Genealogy Through the Eye of An Artist,” a well-received traveling exhibit, will open at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, previously known as the Alice Arts Center, at 1428 Alice St. in Oakland. Public viewing is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 14 through Tuesday, Sept. 11.  The public is invited to hear from the participating genealogists and artists at a reception, 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 16. “I Am America” commemorates the Black citizens and families who contributed to the making of America immediately before, during and after the Civil War. Family stories and documentation uncovered by African American genealogists refute the kind of U.S. history that W.E.B. DuBois called “lies agreed upon.” For” I Am America, “a few genealogists provided family stories, black-and-white photographs, marriage certificates, land deeds, census records, military papers, and published narratives.  Then artists used the documentation to re-imagine these stories and images. “This exhibit features an American—even world—history and identity I wasn’t taught in school.  Thus, I titled the exhibit ‘I Am America,’” said curator Kheven LaGrone. “We are the quintessential ‘All-American.’” For information contact Kheven LaGrone at
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