Rutgers-Newark exhibit focuses on the experiences of Black girls in America

News 12's Brian Donohue visits "Picturing Black Girlhood" at Express Newark at Rutgers-Newark.

News 12 Staff

Apr 29, 2022, 10:59 PM

Updated 813 days ago


Elizabeth Moore Wheeler, 94, gazes up at a larger-than-life photo of herself wearing the dress she made in home economics class for her eighth grade graduation from Newark's Morton Street school in 1942. Behind her is the dress itself on display. And next to that, a video made by her daughter, artist Adrienne Wheeler, showing the wind blowing through the dress like time itself.
"I came here, and I looked up, and I can almost envision myself in that sewing class,'' Moore Wheeler said.
It's just one story in a sprawling exhibit called "Picturing Black Girlhood" at Express Newark - a 50,000-square-foot gallery space in the Hahne & Co. building that is part of Rutgers-Newark.
It's the largest exhibit ever focusing on the experiences of Black girls coming of age in America. Works by young artists showing their photos for the first time hang besides that of renowned photographers who have focused on the lives of Black girls for decades.
On today's Positively New Jersey, I meet Moore Wheeler, the oldest artist in the show and Seneca Steplight-Tillet, who at age 9, is the show's youngest, for a look at how the show is sparking conversations over the experiences of Black girls' experiences in America over the decades.
For more information on the exhibit visit

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