New art exhibit highlights untold stories of prominent Black Philadelphians

A new exhibit unveiled at Philadelphia City Hall for Black History Month highlights some of the untold stories of  Black Philadelphians through art.

""Philadelphia Black History: The Peoples Stories", features the work of 44 local artists who have created a visual and written tribute to a Black Philadelphian who has passed away" said Kelly Lee, Chief Cultural Officer for the City of Philadelphia.

The exhibition of painted vinyl square tiles are "respectfully arranged"  on the 2nd, 4th and 5th floors in the Northeast corner of City Hall. Each tile tells a story of a family member or prominent Philadelphia figure who has had an impact on the city.

"To prevent further Black histories being lost to time it is important we honor and reflect on contemporary Black stories not only during Black History Month but all year long" said Jazelle Jones, City Representative.

They include stories told by artists like Asake Denise Foye-Jones. Her painting commemorates her mother, Dorothy Foye, the first and youngest Black woman to open a clothing business in her West Philadelphia neighborhood.

And the story of James G. Spady.  A piece by artist Preston White Junior honoring the writer, activist and African American scholar. 


City officials say it’s these kinds of stories that cannot be forgotten and should be celebrated.

"It ultimately comes down to quality of life. We know the arts play a very important role in enhancing the quality of life in every community and every neighborhood across our city" said Adam Thiel, Managing Director for the City of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Black History The People’s Stories was inspired by the 5,000 African Americans buried and re-discovered at the Bethel Burying ground in Queen Village.  

The exhibit runs through April 20th.