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Jennifer Mack-Watkins: Children of the Sun

On the 100th anniversary of The Brownies’ Book: A Monthly Magazine for the Children of the Sun—a first-of-its-kind periodical for Black children that ran from 1920 to 1921—artist Jennifer Mack-Watkins celebrates the beauty, importance, and complexity of positive representation of African American children in her debut museum solo exhibition at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.

Mack-Watkins’ works on paper draw from the illustrative imagery found in The Brownies’ Book, using the medium of printmaking to mirror the genre-bending literary approach taken by the magazine’s editors. Mack-Watkins weaves imagery and narratives from disparate sources: accounts from Vermont storyteller, poet, and activist Daisy Turner of her childhood stand against racism; research findings inspired by the book Daisy’s Turner’s Kin: An African American Family Saga by Jane C. Beck, and the political, empowering, and mystical sensibility (both visual and literary) of The Brownies’ Book.

Jennifer Mack-Watkins’ delicate yet expressive work examines ideas of oral history, memory, literature, and resilience, negotiating how these elements influence both an internal and external vision of and for ourselves.
Relevant research areas: Contemporary

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