To the Editor:
I am a student at the University of Miami and I have read some of the recent columns by Antonia Williams-Gary and want to leave my thoughts with you.
Her column on Art Basel was very well written and relatable. I also went to Art Basel and asked myself the same question: “Where are all the Black artists?”
I felt like she was conversing with me, the reader, and not simply giving me information. I liked how she drew me into her experience at Art Basel. Intertwining her experience at Basel with information on Black artists kept me engaged. It also gave me a point of reference for next year.
Anyone reading this piece with an interest in African-American art or African-American history would find it very intriguing and useful. Williams-Gary broadened the essence of Art Basel, that it is not simply an event for Caucasians. She let me know that black artists also have something to say at Basel.
I also found her column on Oprah Winfrey’s coming retirement most engaging and interesting. Oprah: The country’s mammy!
Wow! I have done some reading on the history of the “mummification” of African-American women. I am not sure that I agree that Oprah being a mammy is a good thing or even that she made it safer for black people. Williams-Gary definitely got the wheels in my head spinning.
I liked how she gave a brief historical background of the mammy. The intertwining of personal opinion and historical fact seems to work for her writing. She boldly gave a different perspective on Oprah’s role in African-American history.
Her writing seems to have evolved from her first column. She writes clearly and boldly and her pieces were engaging and relevant.
I think she has some years of success as a columnist ahead of her and has found her niche weaving history with her personal opinion and life experiences. I will be looking out for more of her columns.
University of Miami