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Building Community, Creating History: A Reliquary of Blackness at Wistariahurst Museum

Erika Slocumb, Scholar, The Black Holyoke Project

Reliquary of Blackness Exhibit Title Panel
Reliquary of Blackness

This year has been filled with so much growth and abundance. In July, I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy, Khepri, and in August we opened the exhibit “Reliquary of Blackness.” The experience that I have had with the community has been amazing. I am blessed to have met so many beautiful connections with members of the Black community in Holyoke.

In August we held space for the community in the garden at Wistariahurst for our event “Black in the Gardens” and though everything did not go according to plan (rain dates and cancelled performances) the turnout of people was exciting to see.

Two gallery guests reviewing information in the Reliquary of Blackness Exhibit
Reliquary of Blackness Gallery Exhibit

When the exhibit opened there was an outpouring of love from all over the state that reaffirmed for me that we are doing the right thing. There were and still are so many stories that need to be told. There is so much from the history that is missing but as we embark on this journey, that has started so beautifully and bountifully, I go forward with a renewed sense of purpose and with the community’s best interest at heart.

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