July 24, 2020

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Ebuka Michael, Untitled

Dear Friends,

The summer of 2020 is sweltering with a global pandemic, staggering economic hardship, and protests for a more perfect Union, demanding equality and social change that eradicates systemic racism. Though many of us are quarantined away from pools and beaches, let us be reminded of water as a soothing element that can bring stability and balance through the energy of an undulating tide.

This month, Miami MoCAAD features artists who engage water to convey meditative images of expression and transformation and to illuminate the human spirit. Additionally, we present “Moments” of inspiration and exploration through virtual museum exhibitions, a talk with art historian and curator, Dr. Erica Moiah James, reflections on Miami’s black history, virtual concerts, summer youth activities, and our congratulations to Heavyn Lee, a Miami Beach High graduate heading to Harvard.

We remind all to wear masks, and stay safe and smart to protect ourselves and each other.


The Miami MoCAAD Team

https://www.miamimocaad .net

Water is a transformative element that has the ability to heal, nourish, destroy and make anew. Miami MoCAAD salutes Odili Donald Odita, Calida Garcia Rawles, Derrick Ofosu Boateng, and Kadir Nelson for honoring the essence of water as a powerful and gentle force of beauty and nature.

Odili Donald Odita, The Mother Ship

Odili Donald Odita is a Nigerian abstract painter based in Philadelphia. His work uses color, pattern and design to explore historical context, socio political sense, and the human condition. Odita asks viewers to read his paintings and understand that which cannot be expressed with words. “Color,” he explains, “in itself has the possibility of mirroring the complexity of the world…”.

Calida Rawles, Guardian

Calida Garcia Rawles is an American painter known for distinct portraits of Black bodies in water. African American history regularly associates water with the transatlantic slave trade and Jim Crow segregated beaches and pools. Rawles’ idyllic scenes of Black men and women floating and swimming represent water as a healing element, creating a duality that reclaims and changes the "water narrative".

Derrick Boateng, Untitled

Derrick Ofosu Boateng is a Ghanaian photographer who uses his iPhone to document African life on the continent. His colorfully edited images create a distinct style of strong contrast. As a young photographer, Boateng aims to promote African love and pride with sharp, meditative images.

Kadir Nelson, Leonardo David

Kadir Nelson is an American painter and author known for cover art for publications and figurative oil paintings of Black historic scenes and Black life. He says, “I feel that art’s highest function is that of a mirror... I choose subject matter that has emotional and spiritual resonance and focuses on the journey of the hero as it relates to the personal and collective stories of people.”

Lorna Simpson , Most Relevant

Lorna Simpson’s   first solo exhibition in Greater China,  Special Characters , has opened at Hauser & Wirth in Hong Kong. The exhibition features new works, recent paintings and photographic collages. Click  here  to learn more.

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s  work featured social commentary as he explored his experience as a Black man in New York City. Check out this  virtual exhibit   hosted by The Brant Foundation to see his iconic work!

McArthur Binion  is a “Rural Modernist” who has created abstract art for over forty years. His autobiographical work uses personal documents and photographs to explore his past and create meaning. View some of his  work  on view at the Lehmann Maupin Gallery.

Lorraine O’Grady is a conceptual and performance artist and art critic. Her show Art Is… is a fun performance from Harlem’s 1983 African American Day Parade. This work came in response to a comment about avant-garde art not being for Black people. Her work rebuts the comment with style. Take a look !

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power , curated by  Zoe Whitley  and  Mark Godfrey  is in its final venue at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The exhibition features work by more than 60 Black artists created over two revolutionary decades in American history. Click  here for more about the exhibition, which is on view through August 30, 2020.


The Institution of Contemporary Art Miami is hosting podcasts featuring lectures from its Art and Research Center.  Tune in  to hear UM Professor Erica Moiah James discuss the role of Blackness in works of Cuban artists Belkis Ayón and Tomás Gutierrez Alea. Dr. James was the founding director for the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, a post she held for eight years. Her research centers on modern and contemporary art of the Africa, its Diasporas, including specifically the Caribbean.

Join Sugarcane Magazine Art and Drinks on Instagram for a chat with Sir Idris X ! They will be live on Saturday, July 25 at 5PM Eastern Time | 4PM Central Time | 10PM Central European Time, Lagos & London | 9PM China.

Mary Ann Carroll (The Highwaymen), Untitled

When did Miami Beach repeal its Ordinance 457, enacted in 1936, which required more than 5,000 mostly black seasonal workers at hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs, as well as domestic servants, to register with police and to be photographed and fingerprinted?

A. 1968 B . 1973 C . 1989 D . Not Yet

Find the answer on Miami MoCAAD Facebook and Instagram!


Wadsworth A. Jarrell , Revolutionary (Angela Davis)

Join YWCA South Florida’s 21-Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge  and dive into intriguing content around criminal justice reform, with topics ranging from the damaging — and often fatal — effects of racial bias and over-policing on Black and Brown communities, to how life after prison for former convicts can often be just as difficult as time spent behind bars.

Sign up for the challenge today  here or contact Angelica Ramcharran at  aramcharran@ywca-miami.org

Protests are still happening all around the country. The fight for racial equity is ongoing. If you know anyone who has been arrested in your city, here’s a list of lawyers working pro bono to assist protesters.

BMe Community is an award-winning network of innovators, leaders, and champions who invest in aspiring communities and train leading organizations in matters of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Check out Bme's L.O.V.E. campaign by which leaders are using their power to influence narratives, opinions, and practices that stand against L.O.V.E.

Social media has been instrumental in sharing information during these times. “Names You Don’t Know” is an Instagram page started in June to raise awareness about victims of police brutality in South Florida. It is important to say everyone’s name to support justice for all victims. See the names here .

Check out HOT 105 radio veteran Jill Tracey with Starex Smith —also known as The Hungry Black Man — for a live daily morning show.   The program includes their heated debates about Black news with insights on local and national hot topics, culture and hilarious jokes and jabs. You may connect with   Jill Tracey   and   Starex Smith   on their social media pages. You can catch their show YouTube  here  or on Facebook  here !


Heavyn Lee , a 2020 Miami Beach Senior High graduate, earned a full ride to Harvard and the prestigious Gates Scholarship!   Miami MoCAAD congratulates Ms. Lee for her hard work and inspiring accomplishments.  Ms. Lee credits her success to her participation in  Breakthrough Miami , and her mother’s insistence on the importance of education! Read her story  here !

Derrick Adams, Floater 12 (Shark)

Save-the-date to gather the kids and join Gullah Geechee storyteller Anita Singleton-Prather for storytime on Saturday, August 1, 2020 from 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM EDT. The program will stream live here .

Miami-Dade Parks is partnering with the Miami Heat to offer a free, virtual basketball camp. It’s important to get out and get moving, which will keep those pointers sharp! Check out their site to follow along.

Miami-Dade Public Library System is hosting its annual Summer Reading Challenge online. Parents and children will be able to participate in the challenges from home and even enter to win prizes! Read here to learn how to get started! It will run through August 8.

Tiffany Alfonseca, Jane Aiello

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture offers remote learning resources for kids and teens. The Library boasts numerous digital resources which are available around the clock—from  e-books and audiobooks  to its comprehensive  Digital Collections  to fun and engaging  tools and learning resources  for kids of all ages.

Khan Academy is a free educational database providing video tutorials and interactive exercises for students of all ages! From elementary sciences to college calculus, they've got it all, including LSAT prep and Life Skills such as Personal Finance. Click here to start learning today.

The Education Fund  promotes quality public education for every child in Miami-Dade County Public Schools by providing teachers and students with the resources to be successful. The Fund’s  Ocean Bank Center for Education Materials   collects surplus inventory and supplies from the business community and makes them available for free to public school teachers. Click  here  to learn how you can donate to support a local public school.

Purvis Young, Goodbread Alley (Souls Grown Deep Foundation)

Dr. Marvin Dunn, author of Black Miami In the Twentieth Century , wrote the first book devoted to the history of African Americans in South Florida and their pivotal role in the growth and development of the first 100 years of Miami. Personal accounts and over 130 photographs, many of them never published before, bring to life the proud heritage of Miami's black community.

Click  here   to for an excerpt.

Dr. Marvin Dawkins explores intersections between race and economics in in his essay on Boycott Miami. Comparing the 1990s tourism boycott in Miami, the Magic City, to the Montgomery boycott in the 1950s, Dr. Dawkins builds upon the significance of economic pressure to bring social change in ways unique to these distinct cities. Click here for the essay.

The Civil Rights Movement is often thought of as events that took place in Washington D.C. or Birmingham, Alabama. Many cities have their own civil rights history, including Miami. The University of Miami has digitized and compiled documents and photographs of Miami's civil rights leaders and movement. Click their collections for a deeper appreciation for Miami's struggle.

Dr. John O. and Marie Faulkner Brown Papers,University of Miami Special Collections
Mark Bradford, How Much Do Your Stones Weigh

Curtis Mayfield is center stage in a live program entitled People Get Ready: Honoring the Musical Legacy of Curtis Mayfield . In 2017, the National Museum of African American History and Culture paid tribute to Mr. Mayfield. See the program here .

Leon Foster Thomas  will be performing a  virtual concert  on Thursday 23 at 7 PM. Thomas is an international jazz musician and steel pan virtuoso who blends Caribbean music with the improvisational nature of jazz to create a unique sound. It will be hosted by South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center.

Just One Of Those Things at O-Cinema. In a documentary tracing the story of Ella Fitzgerald , this film uses never-before-seen images and unheard interviews to bring Ella Fitzgerald to life and to tell the story of her music. To learn how you can view the film click here .


"The Children" is a short film to "honor the beauty, pain, and power of Black life". Creatives Adrian Octavious Walker and Matthew R. Manning , collaborated with 35 fellow artists to curate this "declaration of self-love, despite all odds..."⁣. See the 8-minute film here .

The Miami 4 Social Change Youth Film Festival  is taking place on July 25th at 11am. The festival elevates young voices between the ages of 14-21 who use digital arts to advocate for social change. Check out the lineup  here !

12 Movies to Watch to Educate Yourself About Racism and Protest History. While there are many worthwhile books about race and anti-racism, there are also great films that teach viewers about this history. Check out these 12  movies  to learn about protest history and racism in the United States, United Kingdom and Algeria. ( Time Magazine )

Applications have opened for the first annual Jorge and Darlene Pérez Prize in Public Art & Civic Design . An award of $30,000 to be applied towards your craft is among the many perks available to the grant’s lucky recipient. Make sure to apply here by the Friday, August 14th deadline.



The Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora, Miami MoCAAD, will discover, commission, collect and preserve the work of the most advanced contemporary artists of the Global African Diaspora and exhibit this art at the highest level at home and abroad.


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