Flying Towards Freedom Migration Stories of Maryland Families.jpg

Flying towards Freedom: Migration Stories of Maryland Families


The late Toni Morrison’s 1977 book Song of Solomon was a fictional tale about Macon “Milkman” Dead, an African American young man living a life of fruitless meandering until he begins the search to learn more about his family’s history. In the book, Morrison’s characters discuss political ideology reminiscent of the views of prominent Black leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. She also uses the metaphor of flying when describing the act of trying to and finally finding oneself through one’s own family history. Inspired by this award-winning novel and the legacy of Toni Morrison who recently passed away in August 2019, curator Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman develops an exhibit that uses Morrison’s flying metaphor to present select migration stories of five Maryland families.

The exhibit Flying towards Freedom: Migration Stories of Maryland Families focuses on the migration stories of five families who have moved from one part of the country to Prince George’s County, MD as their final destination or a milestone moment within their family’s migration history. From the uncovering of African American heritage by a white-identifying long-time county resident to the collage of memories chronicling a Prince George’s county resident’s family roots from the Gullah Islands to Temple Hills, Md, this exhibit presents scrapbook-styled imagery of a people’s history told from their own perspective.


About the curator:

Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman is a storyteller—a producing playwright, performance artist and homeschooling parent. She teaches Communication Studies and Intro to Fine and Performing Arts at the Community College of Baltimore County and is founding director of Liberated Muse Arts Group. A 2015 recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award, she is a 2019 Theater Alliance Quadrant Playwright. Khadijah is a long-time resident of Prince George’s County and a doctoral candidate within the Advanced Leadership and Policy Studies department at Morgan State University. She holds an MA in Mass Communication from Towson University and BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (African-American Studies and Mass Media) from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.