The Celebration of Black Girl Genius

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Black Girl Genius Week "Black Girls Are Forever" Opening Night, 2019. Photo by Amber Crawford.
Black Girl Genius Week "Black Girls Are Forever" Opening Night, 2019. Photo by Amber Crawford.

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Black Girl Genius Week "Black Girls Are Forever" Opening Night, 2019. Photo by Amber Crawford.
lovenloops during Black Girl Genius Week "Black Girls Are Forever" Opening Night, 2019. Photo by Amber Crawford.

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Black Girl Genius Week "Black Girls Are Forever" Opening Night, 2019. Photo by Amber Crawford.
Black Girl Genius Week "Black Girls Are Forever" Opening Night, 2019. Photo by Amber Crawford.
Amber Crawford
Students at KAM

Black Girl Genius Week, for me, meant inclusion. It meant community and representation.

Attending Black Girl Genius Week “Black Girls are Forever!” exhibition opening night was like a family reunion. There was music, laughter, stories of perseverance, community, and food. You saw people you may not have seen in a while and met others you have never met before. Regardless of where any of the attendees came from or where they were going, we were all dedicating time and energy to honoring black women in art—in whatever form that took.

The crowd was diverse in backgrounds but united in our purpose. This fact alone broke barriers that made that space, the Hood Gallery at Krannert Art Museum, safe. It made that space home, where the soul was at peace, and levitation was achievable.

That comradery, with the voices of young black girls on loop in the background, mixed with the imagery of black girls laughing flooding one wall, and the creation of black girls' art (past and current) plastering the opposite wall, topped off with the panel of black women in their element, was peace and reassurance, that (to quote a great leader) “yes we can.”

As black women, we can create spaces where we thrive and our voices are heard. We can lift each other up. We can reach our full potential.

The “Black Girls are Forever!” exhibition hosted by KAM in collaboration with SOLHOT (Saving Our Lives Hear Our Truths) reminds us that it is okay to take up space. The exhibition tells us that it is okay for black women to speak our truths and to be unique in our form. We are not alone in our uniqueness. This gathering was a celebration.

The artwork is on view through October. I encourage anyone in the area to take some time to soak in the genius of the work that stems from the experience of the black woman, to consider freedom in the form of art, and to come face to face with a reflection that is rooted in love.

Saving Our Lives Hear Our Truths