"Black Girl Magic," a textile abecedarium exhibit celebrating contemporary Black women, will display at the North Branch, 2026 Central Street, from December 20 to January 15.
Artist Dr. Melissa Blount will also lead a presentation on the exhibit on Saturday, January 11 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Black Girl Magic features 26 textile pieces, one for each letter of the alphabet, celebrating contemporary Black women. The piece is an exploration of the relegation of many Black women to domestic servitude.
After slave shackles were dropped in 1865, Black girls became millionaires, started churches, birthed movements, and ran for President of these United States.
Black girls were not meant to survive after the centuries old practice of brutal enslavement, but they did. Black Girl Magic is here to stay and will not be left out of historical or contemporary conversations.
This traveling exhibit was previously installed at the Chicago Ave./Main Street branch of EPL and after the North Branch exhibit it will be shown at Columbia College Chicago and then at the Chicago Cultural Center.
Melissa Blount is a licensed clinical psychologist, writer, and artist who creates quilts that explore the notions of trauma and white supremacy. Through community sewing circles, she cultivates unique opportunities for people to bear witness to the unjust and violent loss of life in communities of color.
Historic and contemporary influences include: Ida B. Wells-Barnett; Frances E. Willard; Mary Ann Pettway; Chyna Pettway; the Gee's Bend Quilters Collective; Amos Kennedy; Ben Blount; Gwendolyn Brooks; Krista Franklin; Bryan Stevenson; Isabel Wilkerson; and Claudia Rankine.
You can read a Dear Evanston interview with Melissa here.