All posts by: Shani Jamila

Shani is proud to be an advisor for the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap, a thoroughly researched and thoughtfully curated set of nine CDs, eleven scholarly essays and a 300-page coffee table book that acts as an extension of the museum’s permanent collections. The project was produced over seven years from launch to completion, with the care and intention befitting the weight and scope of hip-hop’s story.  Its August 2021 launch comes as the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) prepares to celebrate its five-year anniversary, and highlights its ongoing mission to tell the stories of American history through the African American lens. It follows other defining collections from Smithsonian Folkways, the Anthology of American Folk Music and Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology.


Many thanks to the Brooklyn Arts Council, who awarded Shani a 2021 grant for her Lineage Podcast + Portrait project. BAC grants support artists whose work enhances the cultural climate of the borough, city, state, and nation. This program is supported by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) and New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).

Shani has been cast in a performance of the seminal Ntozake Shange choreopoem For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ When The Rainbow Is Enuf. This production is directed by Gina Belafonte. Special guests will include Alfre Woodard, Vanessa Williams, CCH Pounder and original Broadway director Oz Scott. Join us! Premiering live on Clubhouse on Saturday, 3.20, at 6pm EST/ 3pm PST. It will reprise in the UN75 Club on 4.17 at 6pm EST.

Launching February 18, 2021— in honor of the birthdays of literary giants Toni Morrison and Audre Lorde– We Hold These Truths is a new meditative film created and curated by conceptual artist Shani Jamila and produced in collaboration with Park Avenue Armory. The film introduces the artists featured in Season Two of Jamila’s Lineage Podcast + Portrait Project, which features intimate, in-depth interviews with contemporary socially engaged Black artists. We Hold These Truths includes inspiring reflections by artists across multiple disciplines, on some of the truths learned from their elders that have rooted them in these challenging times.  Watch now for a first glimpse at the new season of Lineage, and stay tuned for bi-weekly audio interviews with each of the featured artists, beginning on Tuesday March 2nd. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify to receive new episodes every other Tuesday.

Announcing the new season of the Lineage Podcast + Portrait Project! Lineage features intimate, in-depth interviews with contemporary socially engaged Black artists. Season Two will include conversations with renowned creatives and thought leaders Firelei Báez, R. Dwayne Betts, Camille A. Brown, Aimee Meredith Cox, Kamilah Forbes, Shani Jamila, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Kiese Laymon, Fabiola Jean Louis, Haki Madhubuti, Alicia Hall Moran, Jason Moran, Lynn Nottage, Mary Lovelace O’Neal, Wendi Moore-O’Neal, Fahamu Pecou, Sonia Sanchez and Carrie Mae Weems. Stay tuned for bi-weekly audio interviews with each of the featured guests, beginning on Tuesday March 2nd. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify to receive new episodes every other Tuesday.

Announcing the Taneya Gethers Muhammad Memorial Scholarship! Taneya was a writer, educator, librarian, community builder and a proud graduate of Spelman College. She rigorously studied the history of radicalism at Spelman, wrote about the importance of renewing our commitment to cultural activism, and created library programs to educate the community about our undertold stories.

Shani is honored to have partnered with the college and Dr. Ruha Benjamin to develop this fund in Taneya’s name, supporting young scholar activists. In providing funding for Spelman students who share her commitment to making a radical impact on campus and in the community, they will continue her fierce devotion to her family, both blood and spirit. 

Click here to learn more and to donate to the scholarship fund. 

Shani is proud to be the voice of this campaign, produced by TIME’S UP Now. “The women running for office this cycle needed a squad of impassioned, dedicated activists to speak up and speak out. And you showed up — every single day. Thank you for your relentless fight — but we can’t let up now. #WeHaveHerBack is for more than the leaders of today—it’s for those still to come. Stay involved by texting HER BACK to 306-44 and continue to call out sexist and racist political attacks and news coverage when you see it. Because when it comes to women leaders — today, tomorrow, and always: We. Have. Her. Back.”

On Saturday, July 11th, Shani will be talking about her practice as an abstract painter with Aimee M. Everett, Adrienne Gaither and Niama Safia Sandy. If you’d like to join in, click here to register. 

July 2021: ADAMA presents Midnight Oil, a curated experience featuring artists and the music that inspires them. Artists from around the world have been invited to create and share music playlists that provide the soundtrack to their creative process. In addition to a link to the playlist, the museum features a brief interview with each artist about their selections and samples of their work.

This week we catch up with Shani Jamila: artist, scholar and host of the acclaimed podcast series “Lineage.” Shani’s work is deeply engaged in genealogy and memory using her own family’s detailed records as a source. Her podcast series Lineage features intimate interviews with acclaimed artists at the intersection of art and social activism. Check out Shani’s playlist and learn more about what moves her.

Join Shani Jamila for an artist talk sponsored by the African Diasporic Art Museum of Atlanta on Sunday May 10th. She will be in conversation with artists Shanequa Gay, Andrea Chung, and Ebony G. Patterson. The panel will be moderated by the Curator of Education at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Makeba Dixon Hill. The ADAMA Arts Salon series features conversations with contemporary artists, curators, scholars and more from across the African Diaspora.

On Thursday February 27th, Shani will deliver an artist talk at Rutgers University. This event is free and open to the public, join us!

Shani’s collage work is featured in the latest issue of The Iowa Review, Winter 2019/20. The “Americana Fantastica” portfolio is devoted to contemporary expressions of the surreal and the fantastical; it takes some of its inspiration from a 1943 issue of the avant-garde magazine View.

Shani has been appointed a 2020-21 Artist Fellow in fine arts/ painting at The National Arts Club, a private club in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park. The National Arts Club was founded in 1898 by author and poet Charles De Kay, the literary and art critic for The New York Times, to stimulate, foster, and promote public interest in the arts and to educate the American people in the fine arts. 

The NAC Artist Fellowship program continues the Club’s 121-year history of supporting the arts and artists by recognizing and supporting a select number of leading artists from a range of disciplines, with the goal of furthering their careers.