MATC’S downtown campus Black History Month display, “Time, Presence, Civilization in Black – The Rescue and Restoration of Masterful African World Creation, Invention and Accomplishment on the Global State of Time and Achievement” has been scheduled for an extended viewing through March 7, 2014.
Located at 700 West State Street on the second floor south corridor of the “M” building, the installation content, according to its designer Taki S. Raton, was greatly inspired by the films “Hidden Colors” 1 and 2 and has been warmly received by campus faculty, staff and students. As a part of Black History Month activities, lectures on the project were presented at MATC on Wednesday, February 19 and again on Thursday, February 27.
“We are greatly appreciative of the rich investment of the time, attention, and scholarship as presented by Global African Images, Inc. (AGI), in the exhibit, ‘Time, Presence, Civilization in Black,’’ says Walter J. Lanier, Chair of MATC’s President Diversity Council. He adds that, “Sometimes, Black History Month is presented as if our history began in the early 17th century which is somewhat understandable however historically incomplete. ‘
Time, Presence, Civilization in Black’ incorporates Black History Month within the proper context of global world history. We have enjoyed and are deeply inspired by this presentation.” The MATC President Diversity Council is the campus sponsorship of “Time, Presence, Civilization in Black.” This is the second year for an AGI invitational at MATC. The 86 item installation during last year’s 2013 Black History Month was entitled “Exemplar Invention & Master of the African World – Presence, Accomplishment, Contribution.”
The purpose of this year’s 97 item display is to elevate, enhance and advance African American historiography to the next level of world status, research, scholarship and instructional methodology. To achieve this goal says Raton, the African American experience over the now 395 years from 1619 to the present has to be interpreted thought its reconnection to the African global presence of prideful genius and accomplishment on the world stage of time and achievement. An objective of this effort quotes Raton “is to visually demonstrate that African World people, no matter where we have been on the planet throughout time since the beginning of mankind and no matter the prevailing circumstance, we have always been at the foundation of and contributed to the advancement of world civilizing activity.”
He adds that even under African enslavement on North American shores, during Reconstruction and through the era of Jim Crow as evidenced in the exhibit, “Black people remained resilient, masterfully adaptive, masterfully creative, masterfully skilled and masterfully equalizing.” The multiple case viewing is divided into nine sections – Humankind Innovations, Classical African Kemetic Civilization, Great African Kingdoms, The Golden Age of the Moors, The Era of Enslavement, The Era of Reconstruction, The Era of Jim Crow, Present Day Higher Order Exemplar Achievers and “Young, Gifted & Black.”
This final ninth case, “Young, Gifted & Black,” mirrors the promise of excellence, achievement and mastery in the coming generations as shared in select introductory profiles of national and international youth and teens featured in this Milwaukee Courier Newspaper’s bi-monthly series. Viewers are cautioned that from an African global image perspective, and within an African World historiographical context, the installation is not suggesting that Black achievers are by no mean “imitating,” being at “par” with others, or asking to be recognized because of any noted accomplishments.
Says Raton: Given our unique and unusual experiences in North America, our ‘First’ on these shores is above, apart, beyond and surpasses the feats of all other people. In this context, our proficiency, talents, skills and performance is viewed as a continuation of and connected to a legacy of masterful adaptation and accomplishment that has its origins in our own humankind beginnings and is further reflective of a formerly “hidden” but now clearly emerging pattern that wherever is the African presence on this planet, civilization and accomplished mastery follows even under the most horrific, oppressed, brutal, and subjugated circumstances.” He further positions that, “connecting our experiences to the African world historical corridor is the next level of African American History and this is how this discipline should now be taught.
‘Time, Presence, Civilization – In Black’ both demonstrate and is dedicated to this vision. And we are additionally inspired and encouraged with this continuation of our African World legacy of excellence, accomplishment, and mastery in the last Case 8 bearing witness to the genius of our children. An African World History Case Search is available to educators and parents wishing for students and children the opportunity to more intimately engage this colorful and informative installation experience. Entitled “Reclaiming Mastery,” the case search is a packet of questions which acts as both a guide and a reference designed for young and adult viewers.
Please contact Marvette Cox in MATC’S Department of Counseling and Advising, (414) 297-8027, for any additional questions on the display. For Power Point presentation arrangements on “Time, Presence, Civilization in Black” after February or for information on the exhibit at other locations, please contact Raton at: [email protected].