Black Meetings and Tourism

July/Aug 2013

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•pg_14-18_ICI__BMT_pg3-58 8/12/13 6:43 PM Page 14 M U S E U M N OT E S BY PATRICIA ANN JORDAN RIVER ROAD MUSEUM, HONORING ROSENWALD SCHOOLS PLUS, MOAD HAS NIGERIA, ITS TRADITIONS R eaders, how are you? I know by now you've heard the Trayvon Martin verdict, and must be feeling the hurt, and the loss. I pray that there is justice (some kind) found in the Federal Courts. For the Martins' sake and all Black people in America sakes. On a more pleasant note, wanted to share these Museum tidbits: RIVER ROAD AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM – DONALDSONVILLE, LOUISIANA In June, River Road celebrated Louisiana's Rosenwald Schools with an open house at the centerpiece building at the future site of the museum's new campus. The celebration offered the community and River Road's benefactors the first formal tour of the school's restored exterior and partially restored interior. In 1912, Booker T. Washington, our preeminent African-American educator and president of Tuskegee Institute, teamed with Julius Rosenwald, the son of German-Jewish immigrants and president of Sears, Roebuck & Co., on an innovative program to improve education for Blacks in the rural south, One of Washington's many goals was to provide Black children in rural communities with safe, purposebuilt school buildings. Together Washington and Rosenwald had a shared vision that education offered Black children the best chance to experience the full benefits and rights of citizenship. Their collective effort resulted in 5,300 schools built in 15 southern states. Louisiana had nearly 400 Rosenwald Schools thanks to the leadership of an Ascension Parish native named John S. Jones. He was the Rosenwald agent responsible for securing the land donations for these schools. Jones later became the dean and president of Southern University. To learn more about the new forthcoming River Road Campus and their exhibitions, including "Free People of Color, in Ascension Parish," please go to or call (225) 4745553. MUSEUM OF AFRICAN DIASPORA (MOAD) – SAN FRANCISCO "J. D. 'Okhai Ojeikere: Sartorial Moments and the Nearness of Yesterday" is the second exhibition in the Curator's Choice Series, organized by Olabisa Silva, director of the Contemporary Centre for Art, Lagos, and Oyinda Fayeke, independent curator. It is the first showing of the work of Nigerian national treasure J. D. Ojeikere on the West Coast. "Sartorial Moments" is about preserving cultural traditions in the face of Nigeria's change from colonial rule to independence. Ojeikere's photographs, which date from 1955 to 2008, document traditional dress and hairstyles along with the Western-style adaptations that enabled the youth of Lagos to feel themselves part of the modern world. Many, Ojeikere included, feared that these sartorial transformations (that is, the Western fashions) would diminish the importance of Nigerian traditions and culture among the youth. Yet, as Ojeikere's photographs show, traditional styles continued to be ever-present sartorial expressions of what it means to be Nigerian. "Sartorial Moments" is the first of several exhibitions at MoAD that will examine the effects of African and Caribbean independence movements on Africans both in Africa and in the global diaspora. The next exhibition in the series, opening in fall 2013, is "Cultivating Crosscurrents: African and Black Diasporas in Dialogue, 1960-1975." Exhibitions, in this series are on view at MoAD through September 29, 2013. Also, MoAD kicked off its summer series with more exhibitions, free admissions and family events. For more information please go to or call (415) 358-7200. 14 B M & T ••• July/August 2013 •••

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