Ancestors Know Who We Are



Ancestors Know Who We Are is the museum’s first exhibition to feature Black-Indigenous women artists. The experiences of these six artists, explored through painting, photography, basketry, and digital art, speak to issues of race, gender, multiracial identity, and intergenerational knowledge. The exhibition’s artworks, artist interviews, and supplemental essays by leading scholars in the field ignite a conversation that moves beyond the idea of the “Native experience” or the “Black experience” to highlight how mixed-race identity and gender inform the art and contemporary lived experiences of Black-Indigenous women.

Featuring artists:
Rodslen Brown (Black/Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma)
Joelle Joyner (African American and Kauwets’a:ka [Meherrin] descent)
Moira Pernambuco (African and Amerindian [Wapishana])
Paige Pettibon (Black, Salish, and white descent)
Monica Rickert-Bolter (Prairie Band Potawatomi, Black, and German)
Storme Webber (Alaskan Sugpiaq [Alutiiq] and Black descent)

This project received support from the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative.