May 11, 2011

IndiVisible at CAAM

I saw this exhibit at the California African American Museum Tuesday:

IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas
March 17-May 15, 2011
From the Smithsonian comes an important and enlightening traveling banner show about the intersection of American Indian and African American people and cultures. IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas explores historical and contemporary stories of peoples and communities whose shared histories are woven into the fabric of American identity, but whose presence has long been invisible to many in the U.S. The exhibition sheds light on the dynamics of race, community, culture and creativity, and addresses the human desire to belong. With compelling text and powerful graphics, the show includes accounts of cultural integration and diffusion as well as the struggle to define and preserve identity. CAAM will supplement this traveling banner show with objects.

IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas was developed, produced, and circulated by the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, with generous support from Akaloa Resource Foundation and the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.

Sampling of works on display.

Adolphus “Doc” Cheatham
Of Cherokee and Choctaw heritage, Doc Cheatham was a journeyman trumpeter and vocalist who received many awards in recognition of his remarkably long career. Here, he joins trombonist Vic Dickinson and alto saxophonist Earle Warren during an appearance at the Overseas Press Club in New York.

“Edmonia Lewis: Wildfire,” by America Meredith (Cherokee), 2007
Born in New York to an Ojibway mother and a Haitian father, Edmonia Lewis ca. 1844-1911) was the first African American woman to gain international acclaim as a sculptor. Finding the racial climate in America unbearable, Lewis moved to Rome in 1866.

Jimi Hendrix, The Royal Hall, London, February 18, 1969
Hendrix, who spoke proudly of his Cherokee grandmother, was one of many famous African Americans in the 1960s who cited family traditions linking them to Native ancestry.

Radmilla Cody, Miss Navajo Nation, and her grandmother, 2006
Radmilla Cody became Miss Navajo in 1997. Although she proved her cultural knowledge, her selection was controversial in the Navajo community because of her heritage.
I also walked around Exposition Park and its collection of museums and other attractions. For some photos of my excursion, see:

Exposition Park--May 10, 2011

For more on IndiVisible, see IndiVisible Is "Long Overdue" and IndiVisible Causes Divisions.

Below:  Radmilla Cody.

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