Artist Projects

It Is Written: Notes on Literacy, Liberation and Belief

Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts

It Is Written: Notes on Literacy, Belief and Liberation will explore African-American literacy under slavery and freedom as haunted by opposing strains of revolt and domination. The pursuit of literacy is often told as a triumphant story, defying laws which criminalized the education of enslaved Africans. Less explored is how literacy was coercive, taught to ease conversion to Christianity and control slaves. Using real and forged archives, Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts will combine images with short texts, recreating the shock of reading as a tool for transformation.