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3 Must-See Exhibits Highlighting African American Art, Culture & History in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Posted on January 26th, 2017

From now until September 2017, the Kalamazoo Valley Museum will feature a full schedule of seasonal special exhibitions that will engage visitors to reflect on significant events in African American culture that written history has often neglected.

If you’re unable to make the trip to the KVM, we’ve included links to an online exhibit that you can access today!


And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversations

January 21 – June 4, 2017

Curated by artist, historian, and national lecturer Dr. Carolyn L. Mazloomi, And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversations features works of superb artistry that draw on the enduring American tradition of narrative storytelling through the textile art of quilting. 

The beautifully handcrafted quilts featured in And Still We Rise were created by an international group of artists from the Women of Color Quilters Network and narrate the history of the African American experience, capturing the stories of freedom’s heroes, ranging from Frederick Douglass to Mae Jemison to the first African American President.

Comprising 67 unique story quilts, this is a one-of-a-kind exhibition that makes a spectacular collective visual impact and showcases the diversity, creativity, and power of a texture-rich, color-saturated folk art form. 






Binding Wounds

May 27 – September 2, 2017

“Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries opens the door to this rarely studied part of history and brings a voice to those that have remained silent for nearly 150 years,” says Curator Jill L. Newmark. 

Through historical images and period documents, the exhibit explores the life and experiences of surgeons Alexander T. Augusta and Anderson R. Abbott, and nurses Susie King Taylor and Ann Stokes, as they provided medical care to soldiers and civilians while participating in the fight for freedom.

You may also access an online version of this exhibit at the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s website.







*Online Exhibit* 

The Search For Freedom: The history and archaeology of Ramptown and the Michigan Underground Railroad 

This on-line exhibit on the archaeology of the Underground Railroad in southwest Michigan highlights the work that researchers are conducting on the history of anti-racism in the region, dating back to the nineteenth century. The exhibit demonstrates the lessons that anti-racist organizers can learn from the past.