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Time(is): An Exploration of Black Art in Madison

Time (IS): An Exploration of Black Art in Madison highlights the works of four Black Madison-based artists who explore creating portraits through visual, performance, and conceptual art practices. These works capture moments in time as well as the passing of time and it’s intangibility.

Guest curator Sophia Abrams brings her expertise in local history archiving into the curation of this show by exploring the unique lens of these four artists along with their individual curated book lists that anchor their own narratives and creative practices. As these works exist boldly in this space the hope is to inspire conversation, celebration, and care in this time we share. ​

Time(is): An Exploration of Black Art in Madison is on display at the Diane Endres Ballweg Gallery on the 3rd floor of Central Library from 4/1/22 - 7/1/22.

Book lists curated by:

Curator: Sophia Abrams

Artists: Teena Wilder | Alice Traore | Sharon Bjyrd | Simone Lawrence

Curator: Sophia Abrams

Cover of On Beauty

Set on both sides of the Atlantic, Zadie Smith's third novel is a brilliant analysis of family life, the institution of marriage, intersections of the personal and political, and an honest look at people's deceptions.

Cover of Black, White, & Jewish

The story of a child's unique struggle for identity and home when nothing in her world showed her who she was. Poetic reflections on memory, time, and identity punctuate this gritty exploration of race and sexuality.

Cover of Bad Feminist

This collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of our most interesting and important cultural critics is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.

Cover of The Idiot

A portrait of the artist as a young woman. A novel about not just discovering but inventing oneself. With superlative emotional and intellectual sensitivity, mordant wit, and pitch-perfect style, Batuman dramatizes the uncertainty of life on the cusp of adulthood.

Cover of Hunger Makes Me A Modern G

From the guitarist of the pioneering band Sleater-Kinney, candid, funny, and deeply personal look at making a life--and finding yourself--in music.

Artist: Teena Wilder

Cover of Homegoing

This unforgettable novel begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indelibly drawn, as the legacy of slavery is fully revealed in light of the present day.

Cover of The Vanishing Half

A provocative, compassionate and wise novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.


Cover of All About Love: New Vision

A bestseller and enduring classic, All About Love is the acclaimed first volume in feminist icon bell hooks' "Love Song to the Nation" trilogy, and is a visionary and accessible blueprint for finding myriad types of love, which hold the redemptive power to change our minds and lives.

Cover of Afro-Fabulations: The Quee

Cultural critic and historian Tavia Nyong'o argues for a conception of black cultural life that exceeds post-blackness and conditions of loss.


Black Dada Reader is a collection of texts and documents that elucidates "Black Dada," a term that acclaimed New York-based artist Adam Pendleton (born 1984) uses to define his artistic output"--Amazon.

Cover of Grapefruit

Back in print for the first time in nearly thirty years, here is Yoko Ono's whimsical, delightful, subversive, startling book of instructions for art and for life.

Artist: Alice Traore

Cover of The Deep

The water-breathing descendants of African slave women tossed overboard have built their own underwater society--and must reclaim the memories of their past to shape their future in this brilliantly imaginative novella inspired by the Hugo Award-nominated song "The Deep" from Daveed Diggs's rap group clipping.

Cover of The Bluest Eye

In Morrison's acclaimed first novel, Pecola Breedlove--an 11-year-old Black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others--prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment.

Cover of Beloved

 An unflinchingly look into the abyss of slavery, from the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.

Cover of Brutal Imagination

Nominated for the 2001 National Book Award for Poetry, Brutal Imagination is the work of a poet at the peak of his considerable powers. Its two central sections--which could be called song cycles--confront the same subject: the black man in America.

Cover of Holding Change: The Way of
adrienne maree

Facilitation and mediation are important skills in our highly organised world. Holding Change is a guide for attending to both in ways that align with nature, with pleasure, with our best imaginings of our future. It provides lessons for generating the ease necessary to move through life's inevitable struggles and for practicing the art of holding others without losing ourselves. Black feminists have evolved this wisdom, but it can serve anyone working to create change, individually, interpersonally, and within our organisations. The majority of the book is sourced from brown's twenty-plus years of facilitation and mediation work, with additional wisdom from a selection of living Black feminist facilitators and mediators.

Cover of My Grandmother’s Hands:

In this groundbreaking book, therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of trauma and body-centered psychology.

Artist: Sharon Bjyrd

Cover of Sacred Woman: A Guide to H
Queen Afua

Queen Afua, a nationally renowned herbalist, natural health expert, and dedicated healer of women's bodies and women's souls who practices a uniquely Afrocentric spirituality, guides women on a journey of spiritual, physical and ancestral healing and teaches them to honour the womb as the centre of their consciousness and creativity. Through womb wisdom, Queen Afua prepares women to enter the nine gateways of self-awareness and self-mastery which are rooted in the ancient African Legacy Traditions.

Cover of The Artist Way

Julia Cameron's revolutionary program for personal renewal has inspired millions of readers to embark on a creative journey and find a deeper connection to process and purpose.

Cover of The River Where Blood is B

This astonishing novel takes us on a journey along the river of one family's history, carving a course across two centuries and three continents, from ancient Africa into today's America.

Cover of I'll Never Write My Memoir

Legendary influential performer Grace Jones offers a revealing account of her spectacular career and turbulent life, charting the development of a persona that has made her one of the world's most recognizable artists.

Cover of Assata

This intensely personal and political autobiography belies the fearsome image of Black Panther Assata Shakur (aka JoAnne Chesimard) long projected by the media and the state. With wit and candor, Assata Shakur recounts the experiences that led her to a life of activism and portrays the strengths, weaknesses, and eventual demise of Black and White revolutionary groups at the hand of government officials.

Cover of Becoming

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America, she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private. A deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations.

Artist: Simone Lawrence

Cover of Black Panther: A Nation Un

A new era begins for the Black Panther! MacArthur Genius and National Book Award-winning writer T-Nehisi Coates takes the helm, confronting T'Challa with a dramatic upheaval in Wakanda that will make leading the African nation tougher than ever before. When a superhuman terrorist group that calls itself The People sparks a violent uprising, the land famed for its incredible technology and proud warrior traditions will be thrown into turmoil. If Wakanda is to survive, it must adapt--but can its monarch, one in a long line of Black Panthers, survive the necessary change? Heavy lies the head that wears the cowl!

Cover of From #Blacklivesmatter to

In this stirring and insightful analysis, activist and scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor surveys the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and persistence of structural inequality such as mass incarceration and Black unemployment. In this context, she argues that the new struggle against police violence holds the potential to reignite a broader push for Black liberation.

Cover of The Rose That Grew From Co

Tupac Shakur's most intimate and honest thoughts were uncovered only after his death with the instant classic The Rose That Grew from Concrete. This collection of deeply personal poetry is a mirror into the legendary artist's enigmatic world and its many contradictions. Written in his own hand from the time he was nineteen, these seventy-two poems embrace his spirit, his energy--and his ultimate message of hope.

Cover of Just Mercy: A Story of Jus

The founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama recounts his experiences as a lawyer working to assist those desperately in need, reflecting on his pursuit of the ideal of compassion in American justice. A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice.

Cover of The New Jim Crow: Mass Inc

Despite the triumphant dismantling of the Jim Crow Laws, the system that once forced African Americans into a segregated second-class citizenship still haunts America, the US criminal justice system still unfairly targets black men and an entire segment of the population is deprived of their basic rights. Outside of prisons, a web of laws and regulations discriminates against these wrongly convicted ex-offenders in voting, housing, employment and education. Alexander here offers an urgent call for justice.

Cover of The Autobiography of Malco
Malcolm X
and Alex Haley

In the searing pages of this classic autobiography, originally published in 1964, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement. His fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time.

Cover of Go Tell It on the Mountain

The renowned author’s classic first novel, a vivid and provocative portrait of the African-American experience, describes a day in the life of several members of a Harlem fundamentalist church. The saga of three generations of people is related through flashbacks.