Maurice Evans is a painter and photographer; Grace Kisa is a Kenyan-born sculptor and painter. The pair is collaborating on a one-of-a-kind artistic experience that explores womanhood in the Black diaspora. We spoke with them about their first virtual visual experience, Nu Africans, which opens Friday, May 15, 2020, at the Hammonds House Museum.
Tell us about your latest project and what inspired it?
Maurice Evans: The Nu Africans is inspired by conversations between Grace and I going way back to, man, right in 1990 or so. It was a discussion because I am African American born in America and Grace is African, born in Kenya. Because of my background, I was always curious about Africa, what the people were like, the traditions. In our conversations, I mentioned that “We’re all Black,” and she’s like “No, I’m not Black.” So I was like, “What do you mean you’re not Black?” She said, “I’m African.” So we would go back and forth about that and then finally, I came to the conclusion that she was right. Technically, the Black people that were taken from the west coast of Africa and brought to the Americas as slaves we changed through the generations because of the mixing with other people, and even mixing of all the different Africans together. We’re not all from the same tribe and we all don’t speak the same language. So all these people came together and became this other thing. When you look at us, it’s clear that we are of African descent.
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