The Anacostia Community Museum will be closed from January 8, 2024-March 22, 2024. We will reopen on Saturday, March 23, 2024 with our next exhibition, A Bold and Beautiful Vision: A Century of Black Arts Education in Washington, DC,1900-2000. We hope you will join us! 

Singing in a Cornfield

Object Details

Roderick Turner
c. 1987
graphite on paper
13 9/16 × 17 1/16 in. (34.5 × 43.3 cm)
Two African American figures sing while harvesting corn, as a third figure hunches over a basket in the background. The central figure’s head is thrown back in song as they hold an ear of corn high in the air with one hand and cradle a basket of corn in the other. Though the figure to the right is more subdued, she too is singing. Washington, DC artist Roderick Turner was commissioned to draw this image for the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum’s 1987– 1988 exhibition on Black churches titled “Climbing Jacob’s Ladder.” This image aims to illustrate how religious songs and gospel music met spiritual needs and helped African Americans endure hard labor during slavery and the years that followed, and how religion and music promoted self-preservation and survival.
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