This Week on American Black Journal:

Tiff Massey’s ‘7 Mile + Livernois’ exhibit celebrates Black Detroiters’ style and culture

A new exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts pays homage to Black Detroiter’s style and culture. The exhibit, “7 Mile + Livernois,” was created by Detroit artist Tiff Massey, the youngest artist to exhibit at the museum. Massey, a metalsmith and sculptor, shares the memories of her upbringing near Detroit’s 7 Mile and Livernois “Avenue of Fashion” corridor in her exhibit, the largest by a Detroit artist to appear at the DIA. She specializes in creating jewelry, installations, public art, and wearable sculptures. 

At the heart of “7 Mile + Livernois” is an exploration of identity, community, and heritage. Massey’s sculptures draw inspiration from the history of West African and Black American culture and style, reflecting also on the evolution of Detroit’s neighborhoods. Through her art, she invites viewers to engage with the art in public spaces. 

Massey’s exhibit has also sparked new collaborations with the DIA, which has led to the creation of new sculptures within the museum’s vast collection. Her artistic vision extends beyond the museum too, with plans for a new art and community space in the neighborhood that inspired her work.

Host Stephen Henderson talks with Massey about why she named the exhibit after the Detroit neighborhood where she grew up. They also discuss the meaning behind the large-scale sculptures she created to celebrate Detroiters, the Avenue of Fashion, and how Black people adorn themselves.

Detroit Association of Black Organizations launches free Community Empowerment Speaker Series

The Detroit Association of Black Organizations (DABO) has launched a Community Empowerment Speaker Series with the aim to enlighten and energize Detroit residents through insightful lectures and conversations. The free series, led by DABO, features a lineup of well-known entertainers, activists, academics and journalists speaking on some of the critical issues impacting the Black community.  

Among the notable speakers who have already participated are CBS National News Correspondent Jerika Duncan, renowned obesity physician Fatima Cody Stanford, and attorney Corey Minor Smith. Additional upcoming speakers include Radio DJ and TV Personality Donnie Simpson, Law Professor Stacy Hawkins, GRAMMY-nominated artist Mumu Fresh, Project Restart Founder Tiffany Kirk, Professor of Global Black Studies Dr. James Peterson, and Journalist Roland Martin.  

The guest speakers will discuss their views on empowerment and community progress. DABO CEO Rev. Horace Sheffield III says the speaker series will also emphasize the importance of civic engagement, particularly encouraging voter turnout in the upcoming November elections. 

Host Stephen Henderson talks with Sheffield about the series and some of the notable speakers involved, as well as the importance of getting out the vote during the 2024 presidential election.

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Watch American Black Journal on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.