NEW AFRICA HOUSE | UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST
Augusta Savage Gallery, located in New Africa House at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is a multicultural and multi-arts facility. Named in honor of renowned sculptor Augusta Savage, the Gallery was founded in 1970 by the Afro-American Studies Department. Its mission is to promote artistic works from a broad spectrum of cultures. Exhibits are selected for their aesthetic integrity and their ability to enlighten the viewer on such issues as race, ethnicity, class, and cultural identity.
The formation of the New Africa House was a result of racial reckoning on UMASS's campus, following a series of beatings, racial slurs, and a lack of response from the university. This led to 120 Black students organizing a sit-in, with a list of demands for better living and learning standards that included a barbershop, day care services, an AFAM/Black studies department and more.
Invited by the Augusta Savage Gallery and the UMASS Public Art Committee, I was commissioned to create two flags and write an essay reflecting on the history of the New Africa House.