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A Long Walk Home

Sayif M. Sanyika arrived at the museum October 22nd  as he concluded his walk for Heal Self: Heal America, a project of reconciliation, forgiveness and faith. A native of Roxbury, Sayif walked to Boston from Charlotte, North Carolina. He especially wanted to stop first at the museum because of the critical influence of National Center founder Elma Lewis in his life. While an inmate in Norfolk Correctional Institution at the turn of the 1970s, Sayif was a creative writing student in a program offered by the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts.  He was one of the writers from that program featured in Who Took the Weight, a book of poets and essays published by Little Brown Publishers and the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts in 1971.

Photo :  Sayif with Edmund Barry Gaither, Museum Director.

I think it is very like an ear.

Pre-school visitors to the museum play a game inspired by John Godfrey Saxe’s (1816-1887) poem The Blind Men and the Elephant, in which they closed their eyes and felt along Eternal Presence naming its parts. Gail Bos—seen to the left—organized and served their visit. Saxe’s poem is based on an East Indian tale. Eternal Presence, 1987, was commissioned by the National Center of Afro-American Artists for its grounds, and sculpted by Roxbury-born John Wilson (l922-present).

Stone on stone. . .

The ancient puddingstone wall surrounding the Abbotsford Mansion that houses the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists suffered two ugly breaches that are now getting repaired. On the Crawford Street side, a car smashed into the wall but still managed to drive away.  On the Walnut Avenue side seen above, a hundred year-old Oak tree blew down destroying a major portion of the wall. Through the Partners with Non-Profits Program of the City of Boston, a grant was secured to make the necessary repairs. Work began in May and is expected to be completed my mid-summer