James H. White Library to house Faces of Africa Exhibit

September 29, 2017

The Faces of Africa exhibit is making a historical debut on the Mississippi Valley State University campus this fall. The Faces of Africa exhibit is an intimate view of the heritages famously known throughout the continent of Africa.

The highly praised collection reflects 3,500 years of African art and cultural traditions rendered by critically acclaimed artist Richard W. Jones (1934-2008). The collection features: ancient Nok head busts, Yoruba statues, Benin bronzes, as well as the spectacular masks of Dogon dancers and contemporary South African murals. This remarkable exhibit will also showcase a Diaspora collection that includes: Caribbean and African America expressions.

The exhibit will be on display from October 9, 2017-March 30, 2018, in the James H. White Library on the MVSU campus. The Opening Reception is scheduled for October 12, 2017, in the James H. White Library on the MVSU campus.

“Indeed, the Faces of Africa exhibit will enhance the public awareness of the African origins of mankind, as well as the significance of Africa’s numerous historical contributions,” said Richard J. Mushi, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the department of social sciences. 

“Africa is world history. I celebrate and embrace this important offering to our MVSU community,” Mushi added.

This phenomenal six-month presentation of traditional African images allows students, faculty, and all the folks in our region to learn more about Africa’s 54 sovereign countries, 9 territories, and 2 de facto independent states.

The Faces of Africa curator Albert Acosta owner of the International Museum Institute in New York is working closely with co-curator Dr. C. Sade Turnipseed, assistant professor of history, to bring a slate of amazing museum exhibits from Africa that not only depict the great empires of Africa, but to also demonstrate Africa’s position in history as the place of origin for all humankind.

“Many Americans think Africa is one-big-singular country, with only one cultural identity. Nothing is further from the truth,” said Turnipseed. When considering the fact that the continent can house nearly three USA’s in its landmass; and doubles, with excess, the populace of North America. It is incumbent upon me as a public historian to showcase material culture in exhibits of this magnitude as often as possible for the benefit of our students and Mississippi Delta residents,” she added.

Mantra Henderson, director of library services, expressed her excitement to house this caliber of artistic collection.

“This exhibit marks the beginning of the kind of major displays we are very interested in presenting on-going in the James H. White Library,” said Henderson.  

“The library named in honor of MVSU’s founding father and first president is designed to enhance access, collect, organize and maintain collections that support the university’s mission of research, teaching and learning, and its effective delivery of services,” Henderson added.  

For more information and instructions on how you may arrange a guided lecture/tour for your family; and field trips for your students, please contact Dr. C. Sade Turnipseed @ 662.254.3025; 347.8198 or cassie.turnipseed@mvsu.edu.