Magic, Mirth, and Mortality: Musings On Black Motherhood

Virtual Exhibition

Joy. Fear. Guilt. Generational connection. Grief. Deep love. These are only a few of the complex emotions experienced by all mothers. “Magic, Mirth, and Mortality: Musings on Black Motherhood” is an exhibition inspired by the lived experiences of writer, curator, community builder, wife, and mother Shawana Brooks. Centered in the exhibition are her motherhood musings written and shared during her pregnancy, the premature birth of her son Roosevelt, and his extended stay in the neonatal intensive care unit. The vulnerability, honesty, and courage expressed in this collection of writings allowed hundreds, if not thousands, of people to witness the experiences of Shawana, her husband Roosevelt Watson III, and their son in real time.

Brooks’ words are shown alongside visual art by Tatiana Kitchen, Marsha Hatcher, and Cheryl McCain. Their paintings, drawings, and prints express the courage, delight, vulnerability, and fierce determination that mark their experiences as mothers and views of the universality of this role.

We are unapologetically lifting up the experiences of Black women. We do so not to exclude others but because this is where we are compelled to shine the brightest light. Yet, there are universal truths offered up at every turn. Whether you are a mother yourself or someone who knows about mothering, a grandparent, a father, or a caregiver, the words and images presented here will likely resonate.  And we are all someone’s child … a child who entered this world carrying a unique history and set of realities.

Visit for the multimedia experience.

Author: Arbus

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