Title: African American Marbleization: AfroPick: Bantu Knots and the Underground Railroad

Artist: Yvonne Shortt

Year: 2020

Materials: Marble dust, steel, wood

Size: 4’ x2’ x3’

African American Marbleization is a series of guerrilla outdoor sculpture art Ms. Shortt has been working on that honors people of color and the objects reflect their history. Funding for this installation and the freedom to work through the process came from an Afro Urban Society Fellowship Ms. Shortt has been attending since August, 2020.

 

The afro pick design draws from picks 5,500 years ago first carved in wood and stone in Africa, and added in teeth made from metal, a design patented in the U.S. in the late ’60s. The pick incorporates braiding as a way of survival and knowledge sharing. The piece in Elmhurst Sculpture Garden shows the route to freedom from the south to NY and up to Canada. The fragmented face of the sculpture symbolizes the collective trauma of African Americans.

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