Race, Myth, Art and Justice ~ CCCADI East Harlem



Race, Myth, Art, and Justice at CCCADI

Race, Myth, Art, and Justice celebrates a community of voices who illuminate how art continues to serve as a powerful tool for justice. As part of CCCADI’s commitment to public engagement and collaboration, the curators invited thirteen dynamic scholars, activists, artists, and writers to reflect on the exhibition’s works.

Raisal Abdu’ Allah & Kofi Allen: The Last Supper 1, 2012

The exhibition explores intersecting ideas of race, myth, art, and justice through the lens and unique interpretations of twelve inter-generational photographers. Via innovative contemporary art practices, the photographers engage with the premise of “race” as a social construct rooted in myth, while simultaneously interrogating its profound implications and indignities on our 21st-century lives.

Artist Deborah Willis: Blackamoor Table Base, 2014; Blackamoor Earrings, Florence Shop Windows, 2014; Gestures, Villa La Pietra, Florence, 2014. From the series Myths and Gestures: Objects among Objects, 2013-2018

With roots in the United States and throughout Africa and the Caribbean—including Guyana, Jamaica, Nevis, Panama, Puerto Rico, St. Martin, and Sierra Leone—the photographers draw from an African Diasporic worldview steeped in their personal experiences as well as larger geographical political histories. Collectively, their images offer a poignant and provocative portrait of the ways the mythology of race and the pursuit of justice continue to permeate the global African experience.

Jonathan Gardenire: Untitled (A Mighty Fortress is Our God/Imperfect Man) 2017

Through their thoughtful framing, we witness how the images transcend limiting labels of “political,” “radical,” or “protest” art. These photographs are not merely gestures or symbolic meditations on race and justice. Instead, they reflect exclusion, erasure, and invisibility as the lived realities we wrestle and resist every day.

The historic East Harlem firehouse, home to CCCADI

Featured Artists:
Kwesi Abbensetts, Faisal Abdu’Allah, Terry Boddie, Jonathan Gardenhire, John E. Dowell, Jr. Adama Delphine Fawundu, Deborah Jack, Zoraida Lopez-Diago, Radcliffe Roye, Stan Squirewell, Ming Smith, Deborah Willis.

Stan Squirewell: Taken to the Water, 2014

Featured Writers: 
Patrick Bova, Garnette Cadogan, Christopher Cozier, Tao Leigh Goffe, Claude Grunitzky, Natalie Hopkinson, Oneka LaBennett, Bárbaro Martínez-Ruiz, Pamela Newkirk, Seph Rodney, Niama Safia Sandy, and Brittany Webb.

Curators: Grace Aneiza Ali and C. Daniel Dawson

Project Coordinator: Marta Moreno Vega, President of the Creative Justice Initiative

CCCADI, 120 East 125th Street in East Harlem

Race, Myth, Art, and Justice will be on view at Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI) to June 15, 2019. The exhibition is a component of the Race, Myth, Art, and Justice project conceived by Dr. Marta Moreno Vega and Creative Justice Initiative, Inc. CCCADI is located at 120 East 125th Street in El Barrio.