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2024 Webster Library Exhibitions

Flame Keeping!: Unearthing, Preserving, and Ensuring the Legacy of Montreal's Black Women's Groups

February 7 – May 1, 2024

Webster Library, vitrines and display cases on LB-2

After an initial exhibition featuring documents from the Leon Llewellyn fonds (F032) located in Special Collections, documents from Concordia's Records and Managements Archives and the archives of Dr. Esmeralda Thornhill, Harambec continues its mandate of flame keeping with a second commemorative exhibit to honor the legacy of Black Feminist organizing here in Montreal.

Displayed at Concordia's Webster Library from February 7, 2024, to May 1, 2024, the exhibition highlights the various efforts of Montreal Black Women's organizing, from the second half of the 20th century until today. The exhibition features archived material from women active in these groups, as well as from other community groups, which highlight and underline various intersections of Black women's struggles. Black women in Montreal, both French- and English-speaking, have been at the frontline of multiple solidarity movements and initiatives from internationalism in denouncing the apartheid in South Africa to decrying police killings and medical racism and demanding recognition of Black lesbian scholarship and culture.

This exhibition also features various commemorative objects, coming directly from the personal collections of women active in community organizing across decades and sectors. Through a dialogue between archives representing some of these mobilizations, as well as the initiatives put forward by Black feminist and women's groups today, including Harambec, this second exhibition demonstrates that the Black Feminist flame has been passed, and is still burning.

This public education initiative responds to multiple recommendations included in the President's Task Force on Anti-Black Racism Final Report and aligns with the University's desire to repair and build relationships with Black communities. It is a direct response to the institutional erasure of Black Women's contributions (in and outside the University) and marks the continuity of Black Feminist organizing and Harambec's commitment to the path our elders so courageously paved.

This exhibition is curated by Samia Dumais, archivist at Harambec, and Marlihan Lopez, cofounder of Harambec, with the special collaboration of Maguy Metellus, Black feminist organizer.

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