For Black Americans, Generational memory is the great miracle of Pan Africanism.
The passing down and celebration of African memory is our birthright. An exhibit at the Anacostia Arts Center right now, Blood Memories: Celestial Reflections of Our Ancestors celebrates the wonder of African beauty and survival in America.
While many Black Americans may never know their ancestors’ names and geographic origins, many have received a wealth of cultural memory passed down for generations. A wide array of distinct African traditions have driven the Black community forward in the face of decades of systematic oppression in America. This magic isn’t a mistake or a happy coincidence.
The exhibit features the work of Rashad Ali Muhammad and Dominiqua Eldridge. Muhammad is an interdisciplinary artist of the African diaspora from the Washington metropolitan area.
Muhammad’s series of work featured in Blood Memories centers on collage, a method that he said reminds him of his ancestor’s ability to create new ways of existing from disparate sources. While ties to their indigenous homes were broken, they blended their knowledge and skills in a new world to survive and persevere. Collage fuses various repurposed material, each with a distinct meaning, combined to create new connections and meanings that captivate and engage the mind.
Eldridge is a digital artist who pushes herself to create and design balanced, clean, cohesive, colorful, and detailed pieces. Her work depicts black women and men who represent the identity of Black culture in America. With a Digital Art & Design background, studied at Towson University, Dominiqua uses her learned skills and techniques to create digital and mixed medium art.
Blood Memories runs from August 13, to October 2 in the Anacostia Arts Center (1231 Good Hope Rd. SE). An Opening Reception will be held on August 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.. The event will feature a brief artist forum, live music, and karaoke. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m..
Learn more about the exhibit and the Anacostia Arts Center by visiting anacostiaartscenter.com