Tukufu Zuberi Curates Two Exhibitions in Philadelphia Museums

Tukufu Zuberi, Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations in the department of Sociology, is curating two major exhibitions in Philadelphia this year. On May 4th, “Tides of Freedom: African Presence on the Delaware River” opened at the Independence Seaport Museum in Penn’s Landing. The exhibition covers 300 years of African-American history along the Delaware River, and encourages visitors to examine the concept of freedom by looking at four watershed moments in Philadelphia’s history: the Middle Passage and enslavement, emancipation, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights era. The artifacts on display include shackles and leg irons, a ledger with slave sales from 1763, and a protection certificate from an African-American sailor—all recently uncovered in the Museum’s collections. The interactive exhibition makes use of video, social media, and sound, and will run through 2015.

Zuberi’s second exhibition, “Black Bodies in Propaganda: The Art of the War Poster,” will debut at the Penn Museum on Sunday, June 2. It presents 33 posters, most targeting Africans and African-American civilians, that were used to mobilize citizens in times of war, even as they faced oppression and injustice at home. At the opening, Zuberi will discuss the propaganda posters he has amassed—46 total—since 2005. At 3 p.m., Eugene Richardson, a former member of the Tuskegee Airmen, will speak about his experiences as one of the first African American pilots to fight in World War II.

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