Hammonds House Museum’s First Virtual Exhibit ‘Nu Africans’ Focuses On Powerful Black Women

The “Nu Africans” opening party will be May 15 with the Hammonds House Museum. “Defender of the Galaxy” – styling by Grace Kisa – is shown.

photo by Maurice Evans / From Nu Africans exhibit

After shutting its doors for nearly two months, The Hammonds House Museum has opened a new exhibit — virtually.

Nu Africans” is a collaboration between artists Maurice Evans and Grace Kisa.

“City Lights” host Lois Reitzes spoke via Zoom with the artists and Hammonds’ executive director Leatrice Ellzy about the virtual exhibit.

Interview Highlights

About the title of the exhibit:

“The title is a new name for a group of people whose ancestors come from the west coast of Africa who were brought into the Americas for slavery. Because of those circumstances, those people have had to create a new culture for themselves in trying to stay connected to a place they don’t really know about anymore. It’s forced them to create their own traditions, own ideologies, own religions, and so I decided to name that group of people the ‘Nu Africans,’” Evans said.

About the focus on female warriors and queens in the exhibit:

“A lot of times, we have been kept out of history or in the retelling of history, so I’ve been unearthing female warriors across [Africa], the Atlantic, North and South America and Central America that have participated in the freedom for their people,” Kisa said.

Kisa was born in Nairobi, Kenya, and grew up in various countries from Ethiopia, to Botswana and Canada, later settling in Atlanta. She says her upbringing has informed much of her work.

“When me and my sisters traveled from place to place, we always took something from the place we came from and tried to find what was familiar in the new place. And where we found commonalities was from other people who also felt ‘othered’ from the places that they were born and having the same experiences as we were. People who are immigrants, military kids, people who worked in the foreign service, people who were stationed in other countries and grew up all over the place, we found home among each other.”

Upcoming Digital Events at Hammonds House Museum:

  • An Evening with Jessica Care Moore. Poet, performer, publisher, activist and critic Jessica Care Moore will read poetry from her new book “We Want Our Body Back” on May 29 at 7 p.m.
  • Black Classical Muse: Exploring African American Composers. Eight classically trained vocalists sing the music of unsung black composers of the 19th and 20th century on June 7 at 4 p.m.
  • Poetry Kitchen. Quarterly Poetry Kitchens present a diverse group of poets who deliver original work based in the tradition of great African American poets, writers and wordsmiths on June 12 at 7 p.m.