Rocky Mount, NC Race Relations: Women Of A New Tribe

Rocky Mount Race Relations: Women Of A New Tribe

Women of a New Tribe

This season the Maria V. Howard Arts Center welcomed a traveling exhibition celebrating the spiritual and physical beauty of Black Women: Women of a New Tribe. The 12 local women portrayed by famed photographer, Jerry Taliaferro, represent the Black American Woman in many of her social and physical manifestations. Each woman photographed has made a significant impact on the great city of Rocky Mount, NC.

The Charlotte-based photographer says: “Building photographs is how I like to describe my process of taking pictures. I believe that you can make a lot of exposures and hope that you get something great or you can take a little time to conceptualize, plan and use your understanding of the photographic process to build a great image. Taking time to figure out the purpose of an image is an important part of the process.”

In this video recap of the project, Alicyn Wiedrich, museum curator, says, “I wanted to emphasize the Black community which has been underrepresented in the arts center.” We get to meet the women in the photographs and hear a small piece of each of their stories.

From all walks and stages of life in Rocky Mount

There’s Josie Davis, a self-titled two-generation native of Rocky Mount. She grew up in the city and then returned after earning her degree. She is a career educator.

You’ll meet Jacquelyn DeLoach, Community Engagement Leader and Helen Gay, Former Council Member for the City of Rocky Mount.

And also included in this gorgeous exhibit is NC State Senator, Angela Bryant, who was born and raised in Rocky Mount.

“There is power at the cultural level at simply seeing the images of African American women as important and beautiful,” says Senator Bryant. “They communicate a certain spirit and depth. There is a power in that image. I feel empowered, admired and supported.”

Taliaferro describes this exhibit’s style by saying: “Through the use of black and white photography done in a style reminiscent of the high glamour photography of 1930's and 40's Hollywood, the beauty of the black women is dramatically laid bare.”

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