I’m still floating off the energy from the Everyday Black opening reception celebrating a selection of my portraits alongside the work of photographer Zorn B. Taylor and me. Over eight-hundred fifty people came out to view the exhibit curated by C. Davida Ingram and Leilani Lewis. According to the Northwest African-American Museum, it was the largest reception turnout to date. It felt like a family reunion, and that was the most important thing for me. To be wrapped in beautiful energy, surrounded by blackness, and to bring the often-compartmentalized segments of black and brown folks in Seattle together in a room full of love and joy. And I got that and some more.
You could quite literally feel the love in the air. There were smiling faces everywhere, people from all walks of life and friends from many different backgrounds. Colleagues from past jobs, my new colleagues, past directors, the first friends I ever made in Seattle, artists and writers I fangirl over all the time. A couple of my close friends from college even came all the way from Atlanta to bring me love and support from my day-one village. I wanted to cry so bad, but the way mascara is set up...lol. It was so dope to be in a space where black folks got to "just be,” without having to carry the weight of our blackness or our intersectionalities. We all got to exist in the same space --basking in the vibe, munching on soul food, dancing and laughing till our bellies hurt. Meeting new "kinfolk" and celebrating an exhibition centering “every day black folks.” It was everything I needed, and I'm incredibly grateful. It was legitimately one of the best nights of my life, without exaggeration. I'm excited to share a video recap produced by TRIX, a few retrospective thoughts and a bit of awkwardness.
Thank you a million times more, C. Davida Ingram and Leilani Lewis, for curating all of this magic and every little detail that made it work. Thank you to LaNesha DeBardelaben, Barbara Earl Thomas, Marie Kidhe, S. Surface, Chieko Phillips, Eve Sanford, Jared Moore, and the supportive team at the Northwest African-American Museum whose time, energy and contributions made this possible. Thank you to the partners and sponsors whose support help fund projects and exhibitions like Everyday Black.
Slideshow by Michael B. Maine
The Everyday Black exhibit has sparked a little buzz around the city, with a few published pieces from Seattle press.