African Mud Cloth
Aminah uses a number of different African cloths in her work. One of these is Bogolanfini ("Bo-ho-lahn-FEE-nee"), which translates as "mud cloth." This site provides background information on the origins of mud cloth and the techniques involved in making it. In the "Create" section of this Web site, you can include mud cloth in your own design.
Much of Aminah's work has been inspired by the stories she carefully listened to and recorded from her elders. This is a wonderful source for questions and techniques students can use in interviewing their elders.
James Earl Jones reading To Be a Drum
This site explores the background of kente cloth, which Aminah often uses in her work. Kente cloth, a fabric made in African regions, especially in the country of Ghana, is woven in strips of brightly patterned bands interspersed with bands of black In the "Create" section of this Web site, you can include kente cloth in your own design.
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Aminah's monumental RagGonNons are displayed in the multi-story lobby of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.
Sapelo Island, Georgia
Overview of the history and culture of the island which is the focus of Aminah's Sapelo Series.
Slavery is a topic that Aminah depicts in work such as her Pages in History series, Dad's Journey, and the Sapelo Series. The following sites provide excellent materials related to this subject.
Africans in America, the PBS history of slavery in America, is presented with historical narrative, images, documents, stories, and biographies and with a Teacher's Guide for using the material.
Scholars and historians contribute their original essays on the latest scholarship regarding the history of slavery in America. Teachers contribute their best lessons on the subject.
This Library of Congress site, Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938, contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 photographs of former slaves.
Aminah read these narratives while she was working at the Columbus Metropolitan Library in the 1970s and used them to inspire paintings and drawings from her Pages in History series such as Life and Times of Jack Island, Ex-Slave from an Arkansas Plantation.
Sweet Chariot: The Story of the Spirituals is the University of Denver's well-documented Web site that includes an historical overview of spirituals like those referred to in Aminah's work, their evolving contexts, and examples of spirituals being performed.
These sites examine the Underground Railroad and provide an historical overview for Aminah's work that documents and celebrates the important role that Ohioans played in helping freed and escaped slaves on their journeys to freedom.
Virtual tour of Goree Island