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"The Awakening"
Tyneisha Quarterman
Poetry & mixed media on canvas

Tyneisha Quarterman is a senior and a Sociology major at Huston-Tillotson University. When she first applied to the "Library of Congress Meets Huston-Tillotson University" program, she knew she wanted to write poetry, and to explore the many different aspects which the Harlem Renaissance revealed to the world. But the trip to Washington, D.C., seeing the Library of Congress and being able to experience the moments of the Harlem Renaissance through the library's materials, inspired her to make the Harlem Renaissance influences on her writing more real and tangible.

While Tyneisha originally thought of the Harlem Renaissance as a historical event, her perspective shifted during this project to thinking of it as an a time period much like the present, which reshaped the world of the past towards the world of today. Huston-Tillotson, just as much as the Harlem Renaissance, exhibits the diversity of Black excellence, contributed to a community that doesn't want to acknowledge that excellence.

"As Black people in America," says Tyneisha, "the essence of our excellence is ushering ourselves and creating space for that to show up in the world."


Encouraged by librarian David Sylvia to expand her project, despite having to balance the creative process  with the responsibilities of a busy student, Tyneisha's poetry made the leap to physical canvases and accompanying paintings. The many different influences and art forms of the Harlem Renaissance are represented by the final artwork being not a single canvas, but several stitched together.

Through creating this artwork and exploring the Harlem Renaissance, Tyneisha found new ways to see her own value and how she can show that value to the world.

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