Sister, Remember Me

Lost Portraits of African American Women


James Baldwin ... in "Notes of a Native Son," says, in recording his father's life and his own relationship to his father, "All of my father's Biblical texts and songs, which I had decided were meaningless, were ranged before me at his death like empty bottles, waiting to hold the meaning which life would give them for me." And then his text fills those bottles. Like Simone de Beauvoir, he moves from the event to the image that it left. My route is the reverse: The image comes first and tells me what the "memory" is about.

--Toni Morrison, "The Site of Memory"

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The circumstances that led to the disproportionate number of U.S. Black photos and photo albums that find their way into antique shops, estate sales, and online auctions have their roots in the trauma of colonialism and enslavement.

Sister, Remember Me is an act of repatriation. It is an attempt to return at least some of the artifacts of our Black women ancestors' lives to the community of Black women and girls who are their descendants.