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Black Collectors and Keepers of Tradition:

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Abstract:

Nestled away in the northeast quadrant of the nation’s capital at the Howard University School of Divinity lies an important, yet scarcely known, collection of sacred sources that come from the heart of Ethiopia – The André Reynolds Tweed Collection of Ethiopian Artifacts and Manuscripts. Dr. Tweed (1914-1993), a graduate of Howard’s Medical School and the first board-certified psychiatrist in the state of California, amassed one of the largest private collections of Ethiopian art in North America. Shortly before his death in December 1993, he donated this collection to Howard’s Divinity School. More than a decade later, media attention was drawn to Dr. Mayme Agnew Clayton (1923-2006), a university librarian, collector, and historian, whose collection of African American literature, manuscripts, and film was initially housed in what became a leaky garage behind her home. After much fundraising, organizing and planning, her collection is now settled in the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum in Culver City, CA. Dr. Tweed and Dr. Clayton are both examples of black “bibliophiles and collectors” whose rich collections of African and African American artifacts, manuscripts, literature, photographs, and film offer valuable source material for biblical interpretation, especially as it relates to understanding the origins of Christianity in northeast Africa. Using ethical insights from womanist ways of reading and interpreting sacred texts, I will discuss the contents of the Tweed Collection and its value for biblical scholarship, summarize an unprecedented pilgrimage to Ethiopia to return a rare manuscript from the Collection, and highlight how collections of Africana artifacts and sources overcome “structured academic amnesia” and facilitate accessible public history.
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Association:
Name: 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History
URL:
http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1285407_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Byron, Gay. "Black Collectors and Keepers of Tradition:" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati, OH, <Not Available>. 2018-06-18 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1285407_index.html>

APA Citation:

Byron, G. L. "Black Collectors and Keepers of Tradition:" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati, OH <Not Available>. 2018-06-18 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1285407_index.html

Publication Type: Abstract
Abstract: Nestled away in the northeast quadrant of the nation’s capital at the Howard University School of Divinity lies an important, yet scarcely known, collection of sacred sources that come from the heart of Ethiopia – The André Reynolds Tweed Collection of Ethiopian Artifacts and Manuscripts. Dr. Tweed (1914-1993), a graduate of Howard’s Medical School and the first board-certified psychiatrist in the state of California, amassed one of the largest private collections of Ethiopian art in North America. Shortly before his death in December 1993, he donated this collection to Howard’s Divinity School. More than a decade later, media attention was drawn to Dr. Mayme Agnew Clayton (1923-2006), a university librarian, collector, and historian, whose collection of African American literature, manuscripts, and film was initially housed in what became a leaky garage behind her home. After much fundraising, organizing and planning, her collection is now settled in the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum in Culver City, CA. Dr. Tweed and Dr. Clayton are both examples of black “bibliophiles and collectors” whose rich collections of African and African American artifacts, manuscripts, literature, photographs, and film offer valuable source material for biblical interpretation, especially as it relates to understanding the origins of Christianity in northeast Africa. Using ethical insights from womanist ways of reading and interpreting sacred texts, I will discuss the contents of the Tweed Collection and its value for biblical scholarship, summarize an unprecedented pilgrimage to Ethiopia to return a rare manuscript from the Collection, and highlight how collections of Africana artifacts and sources overcome “structured academic amnesia” and facilitate accessible public history.


 
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