Sisters Bailey and Melette


Clarissa Sligh (American, born 1939)


ca. 1998


Gelatin silver print


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Gift of The National Millennium Survey organized by The College of Santa Fe and the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego

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A photographer, bookmaker, and installation artist, Clarissa Sligh considers herself first and foremost a storyteller. After earning her bachelor’s in mathematics at Virginia’s Hampton Institute, she pursued a degree in art at Howard University, followed by an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Before devoting herself full time to art, she worked on NASA’s manned space flight program. This photograph shows two members of a Black church in Richmond, Virginia, that had been set on fire in 1996 in an act of racial terror. Although devastated, the congregants felt it was more important than ever to rebuild the church, both physically and spiritually.

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