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Drag this area to browse our archive of ancestors. Learn more about the significance of a suggested ancestral altar item by clicking on it. You can also rearrange the altar items by moving them around, or refresh the page for new suggestions.

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To 191 named ancestors, and to all of those ancestors whose names we do not know but whose blood courses through our veins.


About this Space
During the summer of 2019, the Black Girl Magik collective embarked on a tour across the United States (New York Washington, D.C. Atlanta New Orleans Los Angeles) to facilitate healing spaces rooted in communal care, ancestral practice, generational healing and critical consciousness. As part of the programming in each location, we built an ancestral altar where the community provided the names of their ancestors. We honored those who came before us during the tour and we continue to honor them in this space.

Call Them By Their Names is an ancestral archive and generative shrine toolkit for people from the African diaspora who seek to reconnect with their ancestors. Referencing found object assemblage as an anti-art practice for Black communities and paying homage to traditions of ancestral veneration across pan-African spiritualities, this community participatory space increases accessibility to ancestral knowledge by amplifying altar building as an emancipatory tool and figurative pathway for imagining alternate legacies and otherworldly possibilities for healing our collective consciousness.

Designed, Built and Creative Directed by
Zainab Aliyu
"Building an Ancestral Altar" Workshop by
Shydeia Caldwell
Community Participation from
Participants of the Black Girl Magik Homecoming Tour 2019 and larger community
Researched & Produced by
The Black Girl Magik Collective
(Brittany Spell, Zainab Aliyu, Shydeia Caldwell, Sierra King)


We honor those who came before us.

To [NAME]
... and all of those whose names I do not know but whose blood courses through my veins

Allahja Aliyu
Andrea Glivens
Annet Battle
Antonia Tiñeo
Arnetha Galloway
Asleah Rocqumore
Audre Lorde
Audrey Sims
Aunt Allene
Aunt Edwina
Aunt Kitty
Aunt Maggie Owens
Aunt Norma Sue Jones
Aunt Rose
Aunt Sally
Auntie Rosebud
Beatrice Scott
Benjamin
Bernetha Boyd (Aunt Bert)
Bernice Cullor
Big mama Glenda Ann Jones
Bortha
Brittany Shaw
Bryce Givens
Candice Tucker
Catherine Jackson
Cecelia D White
Charles
Charles Anthony F. Sr
Charles Prejean III
Chris High
Chriss Scott
Christine Cox
Christopher Oyenuga
Collins
Cynthia Harris
Daisy Knott
Danny Harush
Delman Jones
Desean
Diane Green
Dollie C. Griffin
Donald Robinson
Easter Rab
Ehulu Ndlora Ben
Ehulu Nyatgu Saloman
Elizabeth Brimage
Ella Bell Caldwell
Ella Roberts
Emmit Battle
Erenestina
Esther Maranda
Ethel Mason
Fernando
Frederick Bass
Gary B. King Sr.
Gleason Roy
Gloria
Gloria Hall
Grace Elaine Abduh
Granddad William
Grandma + Grandpa Gilchrist
Grandma Juanita Jones
Grandma Pearl Davis
Grandma Vonzant
Grandpa Nelson Williams
Great granddad Billy
Great Granddaddy Suggs
Great grandma Lillie Mae
Great Grandma Milli
Great Grandmother Fannie Mae
Great Grandmother Joe
Great great grandma
Great Uncle Carl
Hamid Abduh
Heather Barnabas
Helen J Sim
Herbert Brimage
Herman Caldwell
Howard Jhnson
Inez White
Isiah Goodwin
James Caldwell
James Degrafenread
James Hatchett
Jamillah
Jasper
John Joseph White
John Stambuli
John Taylor
Johnnie Mae
Joseph Wade
Joshua Reed
Julia “Mama” Alston
Kenneth Leon Jones
Kevin Nelson
Kindred Hall
King Phelps
Korbin King
Lacy Dillard
Laura Benefield
Leslie Gene Cobb I
Lock Bunn
Lothe Mae Houston
Loudelia Triggs
Lubertha Mae Johnson
Lucy Fields
Lula Jackson
Mable Bass
Mable Suggs
Malumes
Mama
Mama Dee
Mama Joefa
Mama Louise
Mama Pura
Mami
Mamie Harpe
Margaret Gallet
Margaret Viel
Maria Hippolito
Marjorie Dauphin
Mark Jones
Mary
Mary Brimage
Maxine Ingersoll
Mercedes Carrasquillo
Merlean Washington Holt
Michael Hart
Michelle Jones
Mildred Wormley
My nieces & nephews transitioned in the womb
My unborn children
Nanny
Nathaneil Scipio
Nina Simona
Nola
Nyangoma
Obalamolu Adeltelu
Ocala Hesbett
Octavia Butler
Ollie Leavel
Ora “Doll”
Ostin Salmeron Jr.
Ostin Salmeron Sr.
Otis
Oyatamana
Pam Faunteloroy
Papa Felipe
Papa Moreno
Papa Stewart
Paris Leeper
Paul Dans
Paulette
Raymond George
Richard Bass
Richard Knott Jr.
Richard Knott Sr.
Robert Johnson
Rodney Caldwell
Rosebud Leeper
Rosemary Grandad
Ruby Joe
Rubye Baxter
Ruth Rallino
Sago Nyathi
Samuel Jones
Shayla Jacobs
Shirley
Sofia Marin
Stanley Adams
Stanley Leeper
Tamara Callbero
Thelma Major
Thelma Sill
Theresa Carrasquillo
Thomas Harris
Tia Sanchez
Tina Stewart
Titi Dean Cleo
Transtio Ruiz
Tyese
Tyon Johnson
Unborn Brother
Uncle Boof
Uncle Steve Vann
Veronica Carrasquillo
Walter Leeper
William Dauphin
William Griffin
Winston Anderson – Shucky Ducky