In this interview with Anthony McKissic, we talk about ritual and recall in Black art and Black spaces. A resident of Baltimore, Maryland, McKissic was born and raised in Washington, DC. A part of his cultural upbringing is rooted in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and Chattanooga, Tennessee. He attended Morgan State University and the Maryland Institute College of Art. McKissic is currently pursuing a doctorate in English from Morgan State University while continuing to teach with Baltimore City Schools.
McKissic talks up Blues artists Jr. Kimbrough, R.L. Burnside, and Cotton Patch Soul Blues a form of Blues music with roots in Mississippi.
Included here are links to a couple of the Blues artists that McKissic is inspired by:
R.L. Burnside and family. R.L. Burnside on guitar, Burnside’s grandson on drums. Song title, “Boogie Instrumental”
[source: YouTube, Alan Lomax Collection]
“I Came to Praise His Name” by Leo Bud Welch [source: YouTube, Easy Eye Sound]
On July 3, 2020, the Trump administration issued the “Executive Order on Building and Rebuilding Monuments to American Heroes.” State Governors and county officials were asked to give recommendations for a park that will feature historically significant Americans. Breonna Taylor, Rosa Parks, and John Lewis are some of the names that have been recommended.
The Department of Interior has a public database in which you can view the recommendations submitted by your local and state representatives. (see link in bio).
Pictured above is a report of archaeological findings performed at the birthplace of Josiah Henson. Born in Charles Country, Maryland, Josiah Henson was an abolitionist that escaped to freedom. Half brother of explorer, Matthew Henson. A distant relative of actress, Taraji P. Henson.
The archaeological study and report was prepared by St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Josiah Henson is one of the historical figures recommended by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.
VisitBlackHistory.com Notes from Articles listed above:
Johnny Johnson was born and raised in Covington, Ga. Johnson received a basketball scholarship to Savannah State but attended Clark Atlanta University instead. In a 2012 article with the Erie Reader, Johnson shared, ”I moved to Erie in 1969 during the time they had racial trouble in the city…They needed African-American Teachers, and they recruited some of us from the south.”
Johnson went on to spend 42 years with Erie (Pennsylvania) School District. He developed a number of education programs, including the community’s first Black History Month youth forum, a spelling bee, and an African-American newsletter ”intended to educate, inform, and uplift Erie’s African-American community.”
In 2012, Johnson was joined by Mercyhurst University history professor Chris Magoc, and Preservation Erie Chair Melinda Meyer. Together they produced the ”African-Americans in Erie County: A Trail of Shared Heritage, ” a driving/walking tour of more than 200 years of Erie County, Pennsylvania’s African-American history. The tour was recently published and made available to the public.
The trio worked alongside the Mercyhurst University Thomas B. Hagen Department of History and Public History Program. Melinda Meyer explained that a lot of the physical evidence of Erie’s African-American historic sites had been lost in the last 100 years. Johnny Johnson said primary sources were used to identify the history of the 29 sites included in the tour.
The driving/walking tour is available on SharedHeritage.org. It includes a tour map and oral history interviews with leading contemporary voices of Erie County, Pennsylvania’s African-American Community. Congratulations to Johnny Johnson and his colleagues for seeing this 8-year project through and getting it to the people!
History to remember! The Magnolia Tree Earth Center of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Inc. was founded in 1972 by Hattie Carthan. A resident of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Mrs. Carthan was among the nation’s first African-American, community-based, ecology activists. Her pioneering efforts brought a variety of “green” programs to her neighborhood during the early emergence of the grassroots and environmental education movements
Preservation in action! Today this group kicked off a Preservation Plan for the Georgia B. Williams Nursing Home in Camilla, Georgia! Here, Beatrice Borders, a third generation African-American midwife, operated a nursing home from 1941 to 1971, delivering over 6,000 babies! Providing an essential service through segregation and the Jim Crow era, Beatrice provided a safe place for expectant mothers, and “birthed a city.” #thisplacematters#PreservingHope@thegeorgiatrust#preservationplanning@visitblackhistory#grassroots#kickoff
Come get your royal at Ęlęgba Folklore Society’s Cultural Center, or select for shipping. @neighborhoodbruja_ knows what time it is. Thanks for your patronage💛 Beauty accentuated. And, don’t we deserve it?