Floyd image

Are We Yet Somehow Alive?


The act of remembrance is a powerful theme in my visual and musical works. The African American Spirituals and my historical projects on Frederick Douglass, Octavius Catto, William Edmondson, and Marian Anderson prepared the groundwork for me to reexamine the roots of the enslaved Africans' identity, language, oppression, survival, and liberation in America. Exploring the enslaved Africans' narratives sheds light on the layers and depths of humaneness and inhumanity in America.

I have always chosen the medium of black and white photography; it allows me to express the brightest white to the deepest black and the vivid gray shades that fall in between. However, I decided this body of images would be my first color exhibition. Although this decision brought me new artistic and technical challenges, I am grateful for the process of producing the color images. I captured the images by photographing through translucent and textured objects.  

My photographic images reflect the nuanced reality and spirit of endurance, strength, grief, rage, and defiant joy in the battle for dignity and freedom amid unrelenting dehumanization. Experiencing the enslaved Africans' narratives helps us examine our present times and reflect upon the crucial questions of what it means to be human in our society, country,
and world.    – Ruth Naomi Floyd

Presentation with Ruth Naomi Floyd and Rev. Dr. Lisa Weaver
Wednesday, April 24 from 7-9pm
Campus of University of Penn -Kislak Center
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library -6th Floor


Concert: Ruth Naomi Floyd – Are We Yet Somehow Alive?

Thursday, April 25 at 7:30pm - Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral

with Aaron Graves, piano and ensemble

Diane Monroe, violin, Cathedral Singers

Tickets: pennlivearts.org/event/ruthnaomifloyd


Original prints from this exhibition are available

at full size ($500-$550) and reduced size ($350-$475)

Inquire with tlloyd@philadelphiacathedral.org