Roots Begin with Goree Island, 1980
Pen and ink and colored pencils with thread and beads on homemade paper
10 1⁄2 in x 55 1⁄4 in
Aminah participated in a six-week study trip to Africa in 1979. The trip inspired a body of work consisting of hundreds of pieces that she called Afrikan Pilgrimage: The Extended Family.
This is the history of the Africans sold into slavery and taken to America during the Middle Passage. On Goree Island is the "door of no return." Once someone went through that door, there was no return. The slaves were kept in these little houses. It was very heart-wrenching to feel and to hear and to see. Once you have experienced it, you'll never forget it. It's always there. I heard my ancestors; I could feel them,;I could smell them; and I wanted to bring that to this piece.