Dorsey, Najee, (William 'Slim' Tucker)
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"When William 'Slim' Tucker Discovered the Crossroads" by Najee Dorsey
36 x 60" mixed media, framed
William Tucker, the first Black child born (recorded) in the American colonies, was baptized on January 3, 1624, in Jamestown, Virginia. Two of the first Africans to be brought to North America in 1619 were simply called Anthony and Isabella they were married and in 1624 gave birth to the first Black child born in English America naming him William Tucker in honor of a Virginia Planter.
After 1619, all Africans brought into the colonies were sold as slaves. Today, the black population Is over 35-million, or nearly 13-percent of the U.S. total. The largest numbers of African Americans live in New York State (more than 3-million). Other states with African American populations of more than 2-million include California, Florida, Georgia and Texas.
“In the work I do, I present an American experience through the lens of my African-American perspective,” says Najee Dorsey. In the exhibition Leaving Mississippi – Reflections on Heroes and Folklore, Dorsey’s Mississippi Delta roots emerge as he pays homage to a cast of colorful characters, historic events, and conditions of Southern life while creating commentary about current economic and social conditions in America. The mixed-media works in the exhibition showcase a number of the heroes of the civil rights movements, participants of civil disobedience in the early 20th century, and folklore legends including Dangerfield Newby, Bass Reeves, and Robert Charles. The work combines themes that have interested Dorsey for the past few years: journeys that people embark upon as they search for a better life, and the resistance of those who stay where they are to fight the powers that be. The artist uses a variety of materials, including photographic imagery, ripped paper, paint and found objects. Each composition blends multiple textures, colors, and layers to make the stories tangible for viewers.
Born and raised in the Delta and now a resident of the Columbus area, Dorsey has shown his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions. He has been the recipient of awards that include a 2006 Patrons Purchase Award from the Polk Museum of Art. His work can be found in the collections of Charles H. Wright Museum; Syracuse University; the African American Museum in Dallas, TX; the Marietta Museum of Art, FL; and Liberty Bank and Trust Company in New Orleans, LA. In 2010, Dorsey created the website Black Art in America (BAIA), the leading global social network and resource for African-American visual artists, collectors, industry leaders, and arts enthusiasts.
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