The 1619 Project at RIVAA, an ambitious effort to better reflect the African-American experience in American history, lands on Roosevelt Island. It’s the theme for this year’s Black History Month exhibit at Gallery RIVAA.
By David Stone
1619 Project RIVAA Black History Month Exhibit
Beginning last August, Lorraine Williams focused on the 1619 Project as a theme for Roosevelt Island’s 2020 Black History Month Exhibit. Williams curates the art, each year, but this was different.
Fixing history is the goal of the 1619 Project. For Africans kidnapped and brought to America as slaves, American history did not start in 1776. The nearly 250 year fight for freedom started when they landed on the other side of the Atlantic.
Williams set the story straight, taking her cue from a New York Times initiative launched in August, conceived by writer Nikole Hannah-Jones.
Adding to the visual arts, performers brought music, dance and poetry for the evening. Singer Beatrice Ajaero’s Black National Anthem hushed the gallery.
1619 Project Still Marginalized, a joint effort by RIOC and RIVAA runs until March 1st. The gallery at 527 Main Street, Roosevelt Island is fresh and alive with pictures that stay with you.