About the Program
Join us on Wednesday, December 15 from 6 – 7 PM for a conversation about the Middle Passage and its lasting legacy with The Sankofa Project’s fall 2021 featured artist, David McGee, and Dr. Sowande’ Mustakeem, Associate Professor of History and of African and African-American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.
The Sankofa Project Dialogues are presented in conjunction with commissioned artwork created for The Sankofa Project and displayed in Lawndale’s Main Street Windows. Each iteration of this program addresses an aspect of the United States’ historically censored or ignored narratives which reinforce the racial oppression of Black Americans. Hosted by The Sankofa Project’s curator, Tierney L. Malone, the dialogues explore the subject of each artwork with the artist and a prominent scholar.
David McGee, Black Star, Ship (2019). Oil on burlap, 20 x 16″.
David McGee, Black Star, Trickster (2019). Oil on burlap, 20 x 16″.
Images are courtesy of the artist and Texas Gallery.
About the Scholar
Dr. Sowande’ M. Mustakeem is a historian with broad specializations in slavery at sea, medicine, Black women’s history, terror, violence, slavery and memory, criminality, policing, gender and executions in history. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Departments of History and African and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Mustakeem is globally known for her two time award winning book, Slavery at Sea: Terror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage (2016) which won the Wesley Logan prize in 2017 (jointly awarded by The American Historical Association and The Association for the Study of African American Life) for the best book for the history of the African Diaspora. She likewise won the 2020 Dred Scott Freedom Award for the Historical Literacy Excellence from the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation. The audio version of Slavery at Sea was released spring 2021. She has articles published in The Journal of African American History, Atlantic Studies, along with a number of essays in edited volumes. Her most recent contributions have appeared in BBC Magazine, the online publication Vox, “6 Myths About the History of Black People in America” and Keywords in African American Studies. She has been featured on BBC radio, and was on Henry Louis Gates’ PBS documentary series “Many Rivers to Cross.” She is also cohost of the Apple podcast “TheBookLane365”, which empowers future writers with tips and tools to activate productivity through writing. Mustakeem is currently working on her next book focused on women and crime.
About the Artist
David McGee is a Houston-based artist born in Louisiana and raised in Detroit, MI. Specializing in painting, printmaking, and drawing, McGee’s work oscillates between abstraction and figurative, and explores the emotional weights of race, language, symbols, material and spirits worlds, religion, jokes and puns, sex, art history, and the recognition of existence.
McGee’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. He has been the recipient of 2 Joan Mitchell awards (Painters & Sculptors Grant in 2006 and CALL Project Artist in 2014/2015) and received a Texan-French Alliance for the Arts award (2011), among others. His work is featured in numerous permanent collections, including the Grand Rapids Art Museum (Grand Rapids, MI); Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy (Andover, MA); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA); Rhode Island School of Design Museum (Providence, RI); W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA); The Menil Collection (Houston, TX); The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Dallas Museum of Art.
About the Curator
Tierney L. Malone is a visual artist and modern day storyteller who uses the canon of African-American history and pop culture to create mixed media works that challenge contemporary culture and politics.
Malone has exhibited his art widely throughout Texas and the United States, including numerous solo exhibitions. His works are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Kansas City Jazz Museum, Kansas City, Missouri; Goldman Sachs, New York, New York; and the Federal Reserve Bank, Houston, Texas. He is the recipient of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, a CACHH Visual Artist Grant, and a Kimbrough Visual Artist Grant.
Collaboration with the jazz community is also at the forefront of Malone’s practice, including commissions to create the jacket covers for jazz musician Don Byron’s 1999 CD, Romance of the Unseen, on the Blue Note Label and for jazz pianist Randy Weston’s 2003 performance at the Miller Outdoor Theater. In 2008, Malone completed two jazz-related major commissions: a limited edition print celebrating Da Camera of Houston’s 20th Anniversary and an outdoor mural entitled “Southern Sounds” for the Coleman Art Center in York, Alabama. Additionally, Malone is the creator of the Jazz Church of Houston and the host of the Houston Jazz Spotlight on 90.1 KPFT, both of which recognize and preserve Houston’s remarkable contribution to the musical genre of Jazz.
Born in Los Angeles and based in Houston’s historic Third Ward, Malone was raised in Mississippi and Alabama and considers himself a Southern Seed.