The African American Museum Opens An Exciting Exhibition To Celebrate Its 40th Anniversary

Check out more than 20 commissioned works in this groundbreaking exhibition...

The African American Museum of Philadelphia has transformed a poetic performance into a two-gallery art exhibit in celebration of the 40th anniversary of author Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf.

Fast Facts

  • for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf is a 20-poem work from 1976, which is performed with dance that has been turned into a play and adapted into a movie
  • i found god in myself: the 40th anniversary of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls is a two-gallery art exhibit that will be on display until January 2, 2017
  • The African American Museum is open Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m
  • Along with the gallery exhibit, Shange will come to Philly for various exhibition-centric events this fall

AAMP’s Expanded 40th Anniversary Celebration

i found god in myself was curated by journalist and arts advocate Peter “Souleo” Wright and includes 20 commissioned art pieces designed to portray the themes, characters and stories from Shange’s celebrated choreopoem.

The two-gallery exhibit includes works from artists including Renee Cox, a renowned feminist artist and photographer who produced the poster for Spike Lee’s 1988 film School Daze, and Rafia Santana, the young artist behind SELFiE, a multimedia exhibit inspired by self-care.

The diverse showcase also features artists with backgrounds from around the globe like Asian-American Uday K. Dhar and Nigerian artist Wura-Natasha Ogunji.

Germantown’s own Colored Girls Museum is one of the local collections that will be on display in Philly’s expanded version of the i found god in myself exhibition. The Colored Girls Museum collects and features artwork and personal, everyday items associated with common experiences of colored girls.

Craftsman Beau McCall, another featured Philadelphian, uses button work and fabric to communicate ideas about class, race and politics — that are central to Shange’s honored choreopoem.

The exhibition also marks the African American Museum in Philadelphia’s 40-year anniversary.

(Photo courtesy Jonathan Blanc)
for colored girls includes 20 commissioned art pieces designed to portray the themes, characters and stories from Shange’s celebrated choreopoem.

A Conversation With Ntozake Shange

In collaboration with the AAMP 40th anniversary celebration of for colored girls, Philadelphia’s First Person Arts Festival will hold a conversation, reading and performance by Ntozake Shange. Shange will read from her groundbreaking for colored girls piece, a compilation of 20 poems narrated by seven characters named Lady in Red, Lady in Blue, Lady in Purple, Lady in Yellow, Lady in Brown, Lady in Green and Lady in Orange. The work explores some controversial social and political subjects like race, sexual violence and self-love.

Shange will also perform a brand-new piece — a drama with music by jazz musician and composer Craig S. Harris.

Actress Jasmine Guy, most known for her iconic role as Whitley Gilbert on “A Different World,” will also be performing at the event, which will be moderated by exhibition curator Souleo.

Tickets for the conversation with Shange are $15 for members and $17 for non-members. Tickets increase to $20 after October 28. The event will be held on Friday, November 11 at the AAMP with doors opening at 7 p.m. and the show beginning at 8 p.m.

for colored girls: Interactive Screening & Artist Talk

AAMP will also present an interactive showing of the original 1982 taping of Shange’s for colored girls hosted by Souleo accompanied by WURD radio host Stephanie Renée. The film features Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning actresses Alfre Woodard and Lynn Whitfield.

Join the two hosts along with numerous featured artists on Friday, December 2 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. for the screening of the PBS taping and a conversation between the exhibits curator and the artists chosen to celebrate Shange’s legacy.

As part of the recurring film series Films at AAMP, the museum will screen Nefertite Nguvu’s feature film In the Morning on Friday, November 4 from 7-9 p.m. The film chronicles friends and lovers set in Brooklyn as they navigate through life, love, infidelity and friendship. It comes in conjunction with i found god in myself.

AAMP is partnering with Eastern State Penitentiary in November to present author Dr. Heather Ann Thompson’s newest work, “BLOOD IN THE WATER: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy.” The book accounts the famous prison uprising and explores mass incarceration.

“My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me” is a memoir by Black-German woman Jennifer Teege, written after Teege unearthed the fact that her grandfather was the infamous Nazi concentration camp commandant Amon Goeth. Author Teege will come to Philadelphia for a book reading and conversation about how heritage affects us today. AAMP, in partnership with First Person Arts and the National Museum of American Jewish History, welcomes panelists Jacob Winterstein and Katrina Browne to discuss their family legacies from the lenses of the holocaust and slave trade. This event will be held at the National Museum of American Jewish History and begins at 7:30 p.m.

Be sure to check out all of the exciting programming at the African American Museum this fall.

i found god in myself: the 40th anniversary of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls at AAMP

When:October 1, 2016-January 2, 2017
Where:Various locations including The African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch Street
Cost:Free with admission


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