The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian presents the new digital exhibition Ancestors Know Who We Are, that includes works by six modern Black-Indigenous girls artists that handle points of race, gender, multiracial id, and intergenerational data.

Rodslen Brown (Black/Cherokee Nation, 1960–2020), Joelle Joyner (African American and Kauwets’a:ka [Meherrin] descent) Moira Pernambuco (African and Amerindian [Wapishana]), Paige Pettibon (Black, Salish, and White descent), Monica Rickert-Bolter (Prairie Band Potawatomi, Black, and German), and Storme Webber (Alaskan Sugpiaq [Alutiiq] and Black descent) are the artists in the present.

“The women featured in this exhibition powerfully tell their stories through the art they created,” stated Cynthia Chavez Lamar, director of the National Museum of the American Indian. “As a museum, it’s important we share the perspectives of Indigenous women to provide insight into their diverse experiences through exhibitions like this as well as our programs.”

In addition to the works of artwork, Ancestors Know Who We Are additionally highlights artist interviews and writings from Black and Black-Indigenous students in the fields of historical past, gender research, artwork historical past, and schooling, together with Kyle T. Mays (Black/Saginaw Chippewa), fari nzinga, Lilian Sparks Robinson (Black/Sicangu Lakota), and Amber Starks (Black/Muscogee Creek). Often written in the first individual, these quick essays handle the exhibition’s themes.

“The exhibition moves beyond the idea of the ‘Native experience’ or the ‘Black experience’ to highlight how gender and mixed-race identity informs art and creative expression,” stated curator Anya Montiel (Mexican and Tohono O’odham descent). “These artists have unique perspectives and voices that speak to our current moment as a nation.”

The present takes its title from a letterpress print by Storme Webber, created as a response to being advised she was not Black sufficient or Native sufficient.

This venture obtained help from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative.

To view this digital exhibition, go to americanindian.si.edu.

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