(July 2, 2022 - April 16, 2023)
Founded in 2015 by Vashti Dubois, The Colored Girls Museum resides within a Victorian twin house in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. TCGM's purpose is to honor the living history of Black girls and women: the “ordinary extraordinary colored girls” of the African diaspora who have contributed so much to this country’s prosperity, yet too often remain overlooked and under-appreciated.
The three-story, seven-room memoir museum has become a home base for an intergenerational circle of artists, scholars, and community members who understand the power of reflection. While focused on the story of Black girls and women, the museum offers itself as a refuge and sanctuary for all. When a person sits for a spell, a phrase that originates from Southern Black folk, we are able to regroup, reflect, and become receptive to new ideas and inspiration.
This installation is borrowed from “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” a traveling exhibition that typifies TCGM’s transformative approach. With the understanding that Black girlhood is often fraught with societal hardships that can interfere with health and well-being, the show features the work of six Black women artists who were paired with African American girls between the ages of 10-18. The resulting portraits evoke both movement and rest, contemplation and action.
Like the museum it emerges from, “Sit a Spell” reminds us that while stillness and motion might seem to be at odds, in truth they sustain each other. Even the most urgent mission requires us to slow down for a moment. Be still. Know that when we arise, it will be with renewed insight and purpose.
Portrait Artists (left to right) Chanell Phillips, Nile Livingston, Misha McGlown, Misty Sol, Serena Saunders, AR Walker
The Colored Girls Museum