High School Graduation

Umi's Archive is a multipart, multimedia research project that 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. Umi’s Archive launched as a “(re)claimed space where we remember and dream” in 2021 with a six-part online exhibition series curated by scholar-artist-activist, Su'ad Abdul Khabeer. Umi means mother in Arabic, and the exhibitions explored many themes, from anti-Black racism and Black girlhood to Blacks in the military and religion and spirituality, through the lens of Su'ad's mother’s life. The project draws on a family archive that includes over a thousand items dating from the late 1920s and spans multiple continents. Beginning with the questions – Whose account of the past counts? Whose lives should be remembered? – the series, which ran from April to October, was an invitation to think about power in archives and the significance of Black women’s stories.
A relaunch of the exhibition series is in the works. Click subscribe below to stay in tune for what’s next!

High School Graduation

Umi's Archive is a multipart, multimedia research project that 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. Umi’s Archive launched as a “(re)claimed space where we remember and dream” in 2021 with a six-part online exhibition series curated by scholar-artist-activist, Su'ad Abdul Khabeer. Umi means mother in Arabic, and the exhibitions explored many themes, from anti-Black racism and Black girlhood to Blacks in the military and religion and spirituality, through the lens of Suad’s mother’s life. The project draws on a family archive that includes over a thousand items dating from the late 1920s and spans multiple continents. Beginning with the questions – Whose account of the past counts? Whose lives should be remembered? – the series, which ran from April to October, was an invitation to think about power in archives and the significance of Black women’s stories.
A relaunch of the exhibition series is in the works. Click subscribe below to stay in tune for what’s next!

Exhibitions

Why Umi's Archive?

Why Umi's Archive?

Items in this exhibition invite us to think about power in archives and in our stories: whose account of the past "counts?" whose lives should be remembered?

see snapshot of the exhibition

Amatullah: On the Spiritual Lives of Black Muslim Women

Amatullah: On the Spiritual Lives of Black Muslim Women

Items in this exhibition are primarily from the mid to late 1970s when Umi was a new Muslim on a mission to build a new social reality.

see snapshot of the exhibition

Al-Mujadilah: Black Women in Love, in Heartbreak and in Sisterhood

Al-Mujadilah: Black Women in Love, in Heartbreak and in Sisterhood

Items in this exhibition tell stories of al-Mujadilah – a woman who advocates for her heart; the love she gives, the heartbreak she receives and the sistren that hold her down.

see snapshot of the exhibition

Weusi! Tutashinda bila shaka: On Black consciousness, Black dance and Black identity

Weusi! Tutashinda bila shaka: On Black consciousness, Black dance and Black identity

The items in this exhibition mark the shifts in Black social worlds from the 1950s through the 1970s, through Umi’s move from bobby socks to Black Power.

see snapshot of the exhibition

Black Power and Its Legacies

Black Power and Its Legacies: On Political Education, Organizing and the Prison Industrial Complex of Black Muslim Women

The items in this exhibition explore Black Power and its legacies by taking a journey through Umi’s participation in the Black Power movement of the late 1960s and 1970s and its impact on her life as an activist.

see snapshot of the exhibition

Distant Relatives?: On Diaspora, Black Identity and Black Freedom

Distant Relatives?: On Diaspora, Black Identity and Black Freedom

The items in this exhibition look at Umi’s family history to explore this give and take within the African Diaspora and its profound consequences for Black identity and Black freedom.

see snapshot of the exhibition

Timeline

Media & Community Engagement

Black News Tonight:
Umi's Archive on Black News Tonight with Marc Lamont Hill.
Airdate: August 5, 2021

newblackmaninexile.net

New Black Man:
Umi's Archive curator reflects on "One Life, Many Stories".
April 2021

Sapelo Square

Sapelo Square:
Umi's Archive gets On The Square.
June 2021

Listening While Muslim

Listening While Muslim:
A Culmination of Love
October 7, 2021

Audio | Video

Middle East Eye

Middle East Eye:
From Harlem to Brixton: Umi's Archive featured in Middle East Eye.
August 26, 2021

Instagram Live

Instagram Live:
Umi's Archive curator and guests dig into the archive to talk about today's hot topics.

Thank You

All Praise is due to Allah
Prayers of Peace on Muhammad (s) and his family.

And I am immensely grateful for:

Umi and the Ancestors

Tahir Abdullah, Sharifa Avery, Salim Kanhai
Violet Avery, Kareemah Abdul-Kareem, Ben Abney
Melinda Weekes-Laidlaw, Delia Lawrence-Cornish, Laurie Riley-Suitt
Jamillah Malik, Majida Abdul-Karim, Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur, Adele Saleem

Kareem Lawrence, Belinda Bolivar, Maysan Haydar, Shireen Alihaji, Belquis Elhadi, Carl Hewitt, Erika Salter, Zainab Baloch, Selma Abdulhai, Fatima Hedadji, Khalud Adam, Joshua Guild, Jihad Abdulmumit, Jasmine Johnson, Angelica Lindsey-Ali, Aisha Al-Adawiya, Leslie Hewitt, Maria Cotera, Avery Williamson, Hazel Gómez, Green Mile to Silk Road, Bs & Bs, Zareena Grewal, Arshad Ali, Penny Godboldo, Tannaz Haddadi, Adnan Zulfiqar, Omid Safi, Elham Mireshghi, Hisham Aidi, Cristal Truscott, Anika Sabree, Sylvia Chan-Malik, Khalid Griggs, Halima Toure, Zaheer Ali, Jacinda Bullie, Nathaniel Matthews, Aria Halliday, Rasul Miller, Abdus-Salaam Musa, Khayriyyah Ali, Lerone Martin, Keisha-Khan Perry, Adisa Banjoko, Margari Hill (Muslim ARC), Bilal Hassan (HBCU MSA Coalition), Camika Royal, Aisha Mohammed (National Jericho Movement), Kairi Al-Amin (What Happened 2 Rap), Janvieve Williams Comrie (AfroResistance), Khalid Sabree

Anne Cong-Huyen and Digital Scholarship staff at University of Michigan Library, Sally Bjork Visual Resources Collection - University of Michigan History of Art, Judith Gray and the Department of American Culture - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Joe Bauer and the Research Computing staff - University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, Studio Production Staff in the Department of Film, Television, and Media - University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, Samantha Hill, Steven Panton, Pat Elfritz and Questions of Online Curation Workshop participants, Balbina Snerling and Global Deaf Muslims, Listening While Muslim

And thankful for the support of:
Open Society Foundations, Center on African-American Religion Sexual Politics and Social Justice, Arab and Muslim American Studies at the University of Michigan.

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