Docent Materials for Pan-African Pulp: A Commission by Moleko Mokgosi

August 26, 2019-Fall 2021

In Pan-African Pulp, Botswana-born artist Meleko Mokgosi explores the history of Pan-Africanism, the global movement to unite ethnic groups of sub-Saharan African descent. His Vertical Gallery installation, which inaugurates a new biennial commission program at UMMA, features large-scale panels inspired by African photo novels of the 1960s and ’70s, a mural examining the complexity of blackness, posters from Pan-African movements from around the world, including those founded in Detroit and Africa in the 1960s, and stories from Setswana literature. Pan-African Pulp vividly connects to Detroit’s deep history of activism, where organizations such as Black Nation of Islam, The Republic of New Afrika, Shrine of the Black Madonna (Black Christian Nationalism), Pan-African Congress, and United Negro Improvement Association were founded. The renewed urgency for diversity and civil rights in Detroit, and the country as a whole, heightens the relevance of Mokgosi’s project and reveals the deep connections between these historical movements and those developing today.

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September 1, 2019 11:32 p.m.

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