Mattie Amaker discusses the importance of genealogy, citing the African proverb, “You can't know where you're going unless you know where you've been.” Photo by Heidi Randhava

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Recognizing the variety of the Black experience in Evanston and in this country, The Center for Church and the Black Experience at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, in collaboration with local churches and other organizations created “Out of the African Diaspora to Evanston.”

Art, history, photography, artifacts, teaching and preaching are parts of this mosaic of local and national history, from pre-colonial Africa to the present.

The project used a “Stations of the Cross” model, with 10 exhibits or events taking place between Feb. 9 and March 19. Half of these have already taken place: “For God, Crown, and First Federal”; “The Whipping Man” (a staged reading); “The Beginnings: Africa’s Histories and Peoples”; “The Civil War”; and “The First Reconstruction.” Remaining sessions cover the Great Migration, the Depression and World War II, the modern freedom movement, the Second Reconstruction, and the 2000s and Women’s Leadership in the present. Dates and times are available at