Umi's Archive is a multimedia research project digs deep into the life of one woman, Amina Amatul Haqq (1950-2017), neé Audrey Weeks, to explore the meanings of being Black in the world.
Amina was my umi – my mother. My mother was an everyday person. She was a public school teacher, community activist and single parent who lived a remarkable life. Likewise her personal collection and family archive, which includes over thousands of items dated from the late-1920s and spanning multiple continents, is full of the extraordinary and the everyday. Her papers and belongings speak to the stories of her life, but also the stories of many others, especially of the African diaspora. Accordingly, Umi's Archive explores themes that include: diaspora and migration, racism “up north,” religion and spirituality, the intimacies of Black womanhood, the Black middle class and the Black Radical Tradition.
Umi was an educator dedicated to setting the world aright and Umi's Archive is motivated by the power of memory because which stories we remember and pass on profoundly impacts what we believe about our place in time and our ability to make a better world. I am making her archive available so we all can learn from her and by learning from her, learn about ourselves.
Umi was a creative and loving person and Umi's Archive is also a dreamspace and a labor of love - love for Umi, of course, and love for what she loved: her peoples, knowledge, justice and liberation. I offer Umi's Archive as a space where we can imagine those things are possible.
As you enter this site, I invite you to learn from my mother, an everyday Black woman who knows things that we need to know. She is someone that you might relate to, or who might remind you know and learn from. And hopefully you'll be inspired by her story to tell your own.
Su'ad Abdul Khabeer