logomark 4-22 SM

Rema Hort Mann Foundation

Azikiwe Mohammed

By re-contextualizing well defined and documented ideas /display methods traditionally attributed to white people and their accompanying history do I hope to offer a different look or starting point for a current conversation about black history / people. Both the black race and the white race are American constructs that are maintained to protect white interests. If these two races / ideas are
constructs, than is the history based on these things a construct as well? Is this history as malleable as the lies we are fed in retellings of
events passed? What if we were given a different starting point? What if the language that has been developed to talk about whiteness was
used to describe blackness? What would that look like? Once placed back in their appropriate historical context do these new images / items carry the same message?
What are the items that prove extance of location? What are theitems that inherently hold stories more than others? There are many
places I have never been yet I still know they exist. I know from postcards, the stories people share, photographs and other (mainly) physical ephemera. If I can create the ephemera, I can help curate the stories each of these items hold and in doing so help tell not my, but our story of which I am but a small part. If you make an object that adheres to the rules of said object the question becomes not who made this, but where did you get this from. Where is not ownership.
Where is a location. One physical location that all of these items live in is a thrift store. Thrift stores are a portrait of a town like nothing else can be as old memories are left for someone to pick them up and make new ones. These items are physical manifestations of an otherwise intangible past. No one is going ten towns over, a towns residents go wherever is closest. My thrift store is named Jimmy’s Thrift of New Davonhaime.
New Davonhaime is a fictional town that offers respite from that which tires many of us here, in America (and beyond America’s walls as well). By averaging the names of five of the most densely populated Black cities in America according to years of Census data (New Orleans, LA, Detroit, MI, Jackson, MS, Birmingham, AL and Savannah, GA) I fell into New Davonhaime. Many of the cities that make up the name New Davonhaime at one point were the landing pads in the search for a freedom we were promised but never delivered. If one of these attempts at this safe space had worked than we might not have so many of these towns. Maybe as a unit they can work where individually they each fell short. Hopefully New Davonhaime can be that place of togetherness.
Most people will wait till they have enough items, bag them up and take them to their local thrift shop. You won’t go ten towns over, you will go where ever is closest, as will most of the people in your 30-50 block radius. These memories and storied items as a collection
speak to the history of these people. They are physical manifestations of an otherwise intangible past. However, not every item that comes into a thrift store sells. The only items that sell are what that same populous needs going forward, so in one place you have the past
stories/memories and the future wants/needs of a town. What are these items?