May 29, 2020

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Dear Friends,

As we move forward in hope, Miami MoCAAD aspires to be on the front lines of crafting our new future. In this moment of international loss and strife, may our love of art of the African diaspora be a unifying force and reminder of the beauty that can persist despite the struggles of the human experience.

In continuation of our celebration of May as National Photography Month, we salute photographers who use color and light to convey emotion, elegance and power. We also continue our celebration of Haitian Heritage Month with an array of highlights in children’s literature. In other fun and educational “Moments”, we explore our Miami MoCAAD quiz, an art talk and exhibition at the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art, and a virtual commencement celebration with Michelle Obama and Beyoncé.

Remember that by being safe and smart, we protect ourselves and each other.


The Miami MoCAAD Team

In celebration of May as National Photography Month, we showcase works of photographers who provide a global platform to local issues through the camera’s lens. Miami MoCAAD salutes Prince Gyasi, Duwane Coates, Ekua King, and Girma Berta.

Prince Gyasi, Bondage

Prince Gyasi , at the young age of 23, emerged on the photography scene with colorful and emotional photographs depicting life in Accra, Ghana—all taken with his iPhone. His choice of bold, bright backgrounds highlights the beauty of Black skin. “…[C]olor can serve as a therapy,” he explains, “it can treat depression and transform emotions.”


Duwane Coates is a film and video artist, photographer, painter and conservator from Havana, Cuba who currently resides in Miami, FL. Coates’ work encompasses issues of migration, neo Black identity, racism, and Afro-Cuban culture. Coates was previously featured in Miami MoCAAD's Reconstructing Identity: An Exploration of Identity and Diaspora Through Artistic Practice .

Ekua King, Untitled

Ekua King is a Jamaican photographer based in London. King’s work blends portraiture and fashion, inspired by Jamaican culture. Frequently, her work emphasizes humanity and tenderness of Black men, showcasing a different side of Black masculinity.

Girma Berta, Moving Shadows II, VI

Girma Berta’s series Moving Shadows I+II depicts people from his hometown, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Berta combines photography and graphic design to force the viewer to engage with the subject. The finished image is of a person mid-journey on a colorful, yet muted background. Using only his iPhone, Berta strives to capture “the beautiful, the ugly and all that is in between.”

Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund provides micro-grants of to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists AND administrators (consultants, facilitators, box office staff, and seasonal/temporary employees financially impacted due to COVID-19. Click here for information.

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant Fund supports artists' living expenses and art supplies. All applications are considered immediately. For application information click here .

The Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation offers one-time emergency grant assistance to visual artists, printmaker, and sculptors. Read more here .

Foundation for Contemporary Arts offers a one-time grant assistance to artists who are at the receiving end of cancelled or postponed exhibitions or performances. To apply, click here .


Which photographer became the first African American to write and direct a major Hollywood studio feature film?

A) James Van Der Zee

B) Gordon Parks

C) Chester Higgins Jr.

D) Spike Lee

E) Melvin Van Peebles

Find the answer on our Facebook and Instagram!



Let us know the answer you selected. We'd love to hear from you. Contact Miami MoCAAD at



Deborah Willis at Cooper Gallery. Artist, curator and educator, Deborah Willis, gives a talk about African American photography in the midst of the exhibition  Carrie Mae Weems: I once knew a girl, at the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art, Cambridge, MA

For more click   here .

Zanele Muholi , a South African photographer is virtual at Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art ! This inaugural online exhibition, Somnyama Ngonyama: Hail the Dark Lioness, features 80 self-portraits that explore themes of identity and representation. Click here to visit Cooper Gallery virtually and see stunning work.

Rainbow Shoe Repair: An Unexpected Theater of Flyness presents photographs taken at the Rainbow Shoe Repair from the 1980s to the early 2000s, showcasing the life of working-class New Yorkers. Read about the exhibition here .


The Ralph Hogges and Benjamin Cowins Writers Group of South Florida shares liberating experiences by black authors. The act of reading and writing offers escape to many, especially during this time. The larger literary canon often overlooks black authorship. Attached is volume two of the online literary magazine. Click here .

Miami MoCAAD continues to celebrate Haitian Heritage Month ! Here are children's books featuring Haitian stories. Find the books here .


Growlight 2020 is a four-week camp for high school students that introduces design principles while cultivating public speaking and entrepreneurial skills. It offers an opportunity to become certified in 3D modeling and design software! Students will engage with leaders in public art and engineering. Full scholarships are available for students on free reduced lunch.

Click  here  to apply.


Join former First Lady Michelle Obama for a virtual commencement celebration bringing together global leaders, celebrities (like the magnificent Beyoncé!) and other voices to celebrate graduates, families and their communities. See YouTube’s Dear Class of 2020 on June 6, 2020, at 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT. Find out who’s going here . Watch the stream on YouTube here.


Aja Monet's poetry inspires. Click here to chill to two moving poems from Caribbean-American poet and educator, Aja Monet, who relocated from New York to Miami.

Jamar Roberts , a Miami native, dances with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He made his choreographic debut with Members Don’t Get Weary .  Check behind the scenes interviews and clips of performances from Members Don’t Get Weary . On June 11, join Alvin Ailey dancers for a Virtual Spirit Gala featuring live performances and DJ D-Nice. Go to their YouTube channel for even more! Click  here  for the schedule of virtual performances.

MIAMI MoCAAD Quarantine House Round 2!

Are you able to name each artist in the house?





Visit Miami MoCAAD on Instagram  to play the rest of the game!


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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