Minneapolis, MN – The Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery (MAAHMG) celebrates Black History Month 2024 with a new art exhibition by Azania Tripp titled Okra and Indigo, which is a culinary storytelling art experience that shares the story of historical chefs within the Black community and Black Minnesotan’s relationships with food. The exhibition opens for previews February 6 and an opening reception is February 10, from 2 – 5 pm at the museum, 1256 Penn Avenue N., Minneapolis, MN. Admission and parking are free. There will also food from local vendors at the reception.
Tripp, who is an Artist In Residence at the museum, said her exhibition was inspired by the New York Times bestseller book High on the Hog by Jessica B. Harris, and the Netflix documentary series of the same name. Tripp said the imagery of okra will be prominently displayed in the exhibition as it is a foundation in Pan-African food culture, and represents the intergenerational connection within our community. Okra and Indigo features stories from five local community members about their family food stories and their evolving relationship with the foods they eat and grow. This curated world space includes collage portraits of each community member Tripp interviewed, a collection of visual art pieces of plants called The Okra Garden, a functional family-size table that the artist built in partnership with Frog Tree Farms, and six chairs around the table represent historical chefs who were pivotal in culinary history. Tripp welcomes people to sit and connect at the table during their visit to the museum. A community workshop related to the exhibition will be held February 17 from 1 – 3:30 pm at the museum. The exhibition runs until March 30. The MAAHMG Artist In Residence program is funded by a grant from the McKnight Foundation.
MAAHMG will also present fun and informative free public events at the museum for Black History Month which includes:
- February 1: The Givens Collection presentation by Davu Seru, Curator of the Givens Collection of African American Literature at the University of Minnesota. Seru will share insights about this local treasure which is home to novels, poetry, plays, short stories, essays, literary criticism, periodicals and biographies that span nearly 250 years of American culture, African American art, education, social sciences, sports and entertainment. Event time: 6 – 8 pm.
- February 17: Children’s Reading Circle with author Sideena Grace who will read her book, Adventures with Sideena, ABC’s in Space, illustrated by Roo Taylor. Grace, a scientist and engineer, will take participants on a cosmic journey to space with captivating rhymes and mesmerizing illustrations. Grace will ignite curiosity and inspire interest in STEM education. Event time: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm.
- February 22: Discovering African American Roots: A Beginners Guide, a genealogy workshop with Mica L. Anders. Dive into the exciting world of genealogy with Anders, who is a professional genealogist, and unlock the stories of African American ancestors. In this workshop, Anders will introduce the tools individuals need to begin their family history journey, highlight uniquely African American sources, and help uncover family stories to honor their legacy. Event time: 6 – 8 pm.
- February 24: Youth Zine & Collage Workshop with artist Baki Porter. Join us to create your own zine (a small magazine/book) while learning about the history of African Americans in Minnesota, and how the art of self-publication can be a form of protest. Participants will draw, write, and/or collage to create their zines, and all materials will be provided by the museum. Porter, known as Baki Baki Baki, is a poet and creator whose art focuses on collages and zines. Event time: 11 am – 1 pm.
In addition to the events, visitors can also view the history exhibitions Black Liberation: Dismantling Racism in Minnesota, which highlights Black-led movements and organizations, and Black leaders in Minnesota who fought for racial, social and economic justice from the 1800s to the 1960s; and Unbreakable: Celebrating the Resilience of African Americans in Minnesota, which features stories about early settlers, trailblazing women, the Great Migration, and Blacks in the military during World Wars I and II who fought for freedom abroad but still faced discrimination at home in the United States.
Admission to the museum and all events are free. More information can be found on the
museum’s social media, Facebook and Instagram, or our website at: www.maahmg.org