WE ARE THE FUTURE: Re-Imagining Black Girlhood
A Long Walk Home sees Black girls as leaders in the movement for racial and gender justice and supports that vision through the Girl/Friends Leadership Institute. After 5 weeks of art and resistance education and empowerment, the program culminates with an exhibition and performance at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. We Are the Future, the 10th anniversary exhibition, tells the many stories of Black girlhood through the visual images, performances, and creative expressions made by them and for each other. 2019's theme centered Afro-futurism in imagining a future where Black femmes are liberated and living wholly.
Engaging Chicago artists like Shani Crowe, Eve Ewing, Vershawn Sanders-Ward and Jamila Woods to work closely with the girls, the program has helped these young women connect to a lineage of women artists whose work has challenged stereotypes and conjured new Black futures. Other inspirations include LaToya Ruby Frazier, Ntozake Shange, Aishah Shahidah Simmons and Carrie Mae Weems, whose work has helped these Black femmes intergenerationally and across diaspora access lineages.
Brand New Ebonies is a collection of collages that embody Black femme’s collective future. Using Ebony magazines from the 80’s and 90’s the artists dedicate their works to the magic and breadth of Black femmehood. This collection continues in the traditions of other Black femme collage artists like Lorna Simpson, Krista Franklin and Kara Walker who champion and interrogate Black femininity through archival materials to reimagine Blackness through non linear hxstories.
Asha Andrews- Hutchinson
During the summer, Girl/Friends leaders took a self-portraits in the Girl/Me and Girl/Culture workshops led by artist and co-founder Scheherazade Tillet. For Girl/Me, self-portraits give the artists an opportunity to hone their fine art techniques as well as tell their stories on their own terms and process their own sites of trauma. For Girl/Culture, these images reflect how the artists see their outer worlds, pay homage to each other and other femmes, as well as respond to how broader social issues like sexual assault and harassment, racial profiling, and police violence impact them and their larger communities.
About the Program
A Long Walk Home sees Black girls as leaders in the movement for racial and gender justice and supports that vision through the Girl/Friends Leadership Institute.
Over its 10 years, the Girl/Friends Leadership Institute has trained over 600 girls to use art to end gender and racial violence, find their voices, and become creative visionaries for justice. The program disrupts cycles of institutionalized trauma and invisibility by exploring the breadth and beauty of Black girls and young women in their communities, Chicago, and our country-at-large.