Day: October 2, 2019

The Nigerian-American Siblings Using Traditional Family Portraiture to Celebrate Their Heritage

Tolu Oye as told to Claudia Owusu and Kanyinsola Oye

Photographs have always been a way for my family to hold on to our past—no matter how far we moved, or how complicated the idea of “home” became for us. Growing up in Columbus, Ohio, I keenly remember my mother dragging me and my siblings every year to the JCPenney Portraits studio for our family picture.

What made the ritual so uncomfortable was that we were not dressed like other Midwestern families at the mall. My mother had us all in matching golden-brown-and-beige traditional ankara, an African wax-print fabric with vibrant patterns.

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