Black Deaths with See Black Womxn
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Image courtesy of Angela Hennessy.
Join us for a death meditation with Angela Hennessy followed by See Black Womxn guests, Olka Baldeh and Tracy Brown, discussing cultural narratives of survival in sacred, public, and domestic realms. As artists, writers, and activists we will consider how Black Women navigate the work of grieving amidst the ongoing legacy of white supremacy and anti-blackness.
SeeBlackWomxn is an esteemed collective of artists, activists, and writers raised on Black feminist theory. Their platform emphasizes self-representation, free from the stereotypical tropes assigned to Black women. This partnership unfolds through a five-part event series centering the lineage and legacy of Black women and the contemporary Black Arts scene, and features the voices of collective cofounders Tahirah Rasheed, Angela Hennessy, Dana King, and Jamani Montague.
This event is part of Virtual Wednesdays, a weekly YouTube broadcast bringing you unique viewpoints exploring diversity, resilience, and creative spirit in the arts as we aim to reframe our exhibitions and collections. View upcoming Virtual Wednesdays programs.
About the Speakers
Olka Baldeh is a Fulani storyteller, poet, and abolitionist. Olka is the founder of the Black Moon Podcast and currently works as the Communications Manager for the Essie Justice Group, a California-based nonprofit that serves women with incarcerated loved ones.
Tracy Brown is a Photographer, Interdisciplinary visual artist, curator, activist, and San Francisco native. She received her MA in Arts Politics from Tisch at New York University and has spent more than a decade photographing funerals and memorials all over the world. Tracy has taught photography and visual culture in remote villages and urban centers globally. Tracy’s work has been exhibited at the CAAM, The MOAD, SOMArts, The AAACC, and private galleries and public art venues in places like Chicago, Detroit, Brooklyn, and Beijing. Tracy’s work is held in the permanent collections of The City of Oakland and the California African American Museum. Tracy was a participant in the groundbreaking takeover of the New Museum in New York City with a collective called Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter. Tracy also co-curated the Smoke and Mirrors exhibition which explored the devastating effect the war on drugs has had on Black and Brown communities. Her independently curated show Same Game Different Smokers: A look at Tobacco Industry’s Effect on Black Lives and Black Lungs was on view at the San Francisco Main Library for an extended run in 2020. Recently, Tracy participated in the recent exhibition Don’t Shoot, An Opus of the Opulence of Blackness. She also planned, curated, and hosted a weeklong series of events titled "The Benin To The Bay Series" aimed at Celebrating African Spirituality while interrogating and helping to mend the African American community’s relationship with their indigenous traditions.
Most recently, Tracy served as the San Francisco African American Cultural District representative in the seeding reciprocity grant trainers program as well as the curator for the Ancestral Souls Rising Global Memorial dedicated to people of African descent who have died from or during the time of COVID-19.
Angela Hennessy is an Oakland-based artist and Co-founder of See Black Womxn. She is an Associate Professor at California College of the Arts where teaches courses on visual and cultural narratives of death and textile theory. Through writing, studio work, and performance, her practice questions assumptions about Death and the Dead themselves. In 2015, she survived a gunshot wound while interrupting a violent assault on the street in front of her house. Her manifesto, The School of the Dead, was written in the following months of recovery. Alternating between poem, prayer, and call to action, The School of the Dead is in development as an educational program for aesthetic and social practices that mediate the boundary between the living and the dead. Hennessy has worked with families on home funerals, death vigils, and grief rituals in her years as a hospice volunteer. She is certified in the Grief Recovery Method and trained with Final Passages and the International End of Life Doula Association. She serves on the advisory board of Recompose which centers on ecological death care. Her work has been recognized with awards from San Francisco Artadia, the Svane Family Foundation, and the Aninstantia Foundation.
No registration required. Free online event.