Compiled by the Milwaukee Courier Staff
The King Drive Commons Gallery and Studio of African Diaspora Culture hosts Gallery Night/Day in opening its tenth year with an exhibit and program titled, Boldacious! The exhibit opens on Friday, Jan. 18 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 19 from noon to 2 p.m., at the King Commons Gallery and Studio, 2775 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.
This visual exhibit explores how racial caricatures promoted during the Jim Crow era affected thoughts, attitudes, mental health and behaviors of individuals and communities, past and present. Bashir Malik our featured artist tells a story in his artwork, inspired through the eyes of his Grandmother’s journey during that era and the importance of the Civil Rights Movement. Much of this exhibit is based on a recent visit to the Jim Crow Museum made by director, Marquita Edwards and the artist Bashir Malik at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. They had the opportunity of personally meeting and touring the museum with Dr. David Pilgrim, founder, scholar and collector of these artifacts. Many of these artifacts and objects show how they were used in such traumatizing and damaging ways towards African Americans yet were considered as everyday household objects.
Dr. Henry Louis Gates who also visited museum wrote the following, “The Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University is one of the most important contribution to the study of American history that I have ever experienced.”
Edwards, the director, said she hopes everyone who is interested in learning more about the necessity of positive social change will visit the Jim Crow museum, it’s astonishing. While there, we saw people visiting from overseas as far away as the Netherlands. Also, from the museum exhibit and the books written by Dr. Pilgrim, you will really begin to understand the importance of the civil rights movement and gain a deeper appreciation of the struggles many people had to overcome. Edwards is also speaking with Dr. Pilgrim regarding having the museum’s traveling exhibit brought here to the Milwaukee.
For the Gallery Night/Day exhibit, artist Bashir Malik, is showing his work inspired from the visit. He is designing collages that express his interpretation of the impact of the Jim Crow system then and what we see now in our communities and what we need to move towards positive change.
Friday night’s program will also present performing arts with live music by the Sam Belton Jazz Experience and Intellectual insight/discussion with lecturer, Alphonso Watkins, M.S. Licensed Psychotherapist.
The event is free, and open to the public. Refreshments and culinary delights are provided by Pas Da Peas Catering.
Produced and Directed by Marquita Edwards. Jim Crow photos taken courtesy of the Jim Crow Museum, Ferris State University.
This event is made possible in part by our major sponsors, Martin Luther King Economic Development Inc. and Bader Philanthropies Inc.