Columbus Museum of Art

Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson: Ongoing Catalogue of Art and Exhibitions

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Curator’s comments

A Street Called Home, Written and Illustrated by Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Harcourt Brace & Company San Diego, 1997

Artist’s comments

At the turn of the century, African Americas came up from the south looking for a better life, and some of them settled in a shantytown called the Blackberry Patch in Columbus, Ohio. My grandmother and grandfather came, and their sisters and brothers; they were all part of the northward migration.

The day came when the shacks in the Blackberry Patch were torn down to set up Poindexter Village, the Third Metropolitan Housing Authority Development in the United States. It was named for the Reverent James Preston Poindexter (1819-1907)/ The first families moved into Poindexter Village in the Spring of 1940, and many of the mothers and fathers of those families had grown up in the Blackberry Patch. Now they'd come to raise their families in Poindexter Village.

My parents were among those first families, and they walked with everybody else up and down Mount Vernon Avenue. That was a self-sufficient street; it knew how to survive. People wove in and out with their horses and carts and trucks; you could hear the street cries; people bartered and bought and sold'; people played and danced. Everything you could need you could find on Mt. Vernon Avenue.

The rooftops of Poindexter Village are as crowded with pigeons as the street is with people. The people are the traffic. It's hard to see everything going on at the same time. There's the drugstores, the shoe shops, the beauty parlors, the schools, the churches, the theaters and hotels, the open-air markets, the night clubs and musicians, the newspapers and restaurants--they're all part of the street called home.

(Aminah Robinson, A Street Called Home, Harcourt Brace and Company: San Diego, 1997.)

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