Thursday, February 9, 2017

New Smithsonian museum features stories of African-American faith

RELIGION NEWS SERVICE
By Adelle Banks
A platinum and diamond necklace that Elijah Muhammad, onetime leader of the Nation of Islam, gave his wife is on display at a gallery of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks
WASHINGTON, DC---Long before the grand opening neared for the Smithsonian’s new museum devoted to African-American history, Amirah Muhammad had a difficult decision to make. Should she donate the platinum and diamond necklace that Elijah Muhammad, her grandfather and onetime leader of the Nation of Islam, gave to her grandmother after designing it with the word “Allah” above their family name? The National Museum of African American History and Culture, [which opened September 2016], tells many stories of African-Americans of diverse faiths who have shaped U.S. history. Close to 10 percent of the 2,586 artifacts in its inaugural exhibitions are related to faith and religious history. [link]
Aaron Douglas, The Creation, 1935, oil on Masonite, 48 x 36 in. (121.9 x 91.4 cm), Howard University Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
The new National Museum of African American History and Culture’s top donors represent all corners of philanthropy.
A Walk in Paradise Gardens, 1955 by Romare Bearden
Praying Ministers, 1962 Spelman College Collection, Atlanta, Georgia © Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence. Courtesy of the Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation.
"Disciples Healing the Sick" by Henry Ossawa Tanner (1930); Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia; oil on cardboard
"Behold Thy Son" (1956) by David C. Driskell
"Ceremony" (1993) by Herbert Gentry

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