Westfield State University | Ten Little Nigger Girls

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When Ten Little Nigger Girls exhibited at Westfield State University, it was accompanied by a provocative lecture/discussion series, “Ten Little Nigger Girls: 3 Conversations.” These conversations took place a few days prior to the opening of the exhibition, to provide context. The conversations, held in the intimate space of the Black Box theatre, were between myself and three other scholars at the institution. Together, we carefully unpacked different aspects of the project, navigating historical objects, atrocities, and the connections between American music, literature, and visual art to the marketing of black trauma in white American circles.

Artist Imo Nse Imeh with Bill Costen, a collector of Americana memorabilia whose installation provided historical context for Imo’s large-scale drawings [Photo credit: Dave Roback, MassLive.com]

Art For The Soul Gallery

Art For The Soul Gallery in Springfield Massachusetts, directed by the inimitable Tracy Rosemary Woods, was the very first space to house my developing project, Ten Little Nigger Girls. Tracy, who has contributed immensely to the visual art culture in this area, especially in Black Diaspora circles, fully embraced my project, and provided the space for many meaningful dialogues during the exhibition. Her decision was not without courage, on account of the controversial title of my project, for which she was severely scrutinized.

The photographs in this gallery show the opening day of the Ten Little Nigger Girls exhibition, which also marked the reopening of the Art For The Soul Gallery, which had been under renovations for some months. The opening reception for the exhibition drew a large crowd, and intrigued even those among Springfield’s political ranks, including Springfield’s own Mayor Domenic Sarno. 

Photo Credit: Darryl Moss, Springfield, Massachusetts

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