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February 23, 2009

CCNY BLACK HISTORY MONTH EXHIBIT TRACES ANCIENT CONNECTIONS BETWEEN AFRICA AND INDIA

NEW YORK, February 23, 2009 -- “The Colors of Monsoon Season,” a photographic exhibit highlighting the historical connections between Africa and India, is on display at The City College of New York’s (CCNY) Cohen Library Archives Gallery through March 6, 2009. It opened on February 6 as part of CCNY’s Black History Month celebration.

The exhibit was conceptualized by City College alumnus Gilbert King Elisa. It chronicles his travels through India in fall 2008 with his partner Natasza Fontaine on behalf of their organization, MindprintsArts. Founded in 2006, MindprintsArts is dedicated to bridging gaps between the peoples of the world through photography and journalism, in particular working to bring cultural diversity to U.S. school systems.

Mr. Elisa’s readings led him to discover that the African presence on the Indian sub-continent dates to the 13th century.  While the East African slave trade brought many Habshis or Siddis, as people of African descent are called in India, many others migrated as military men, merchants and sailors.

Mr. Elisa, who is of Cuban and Jamaican ancestry, said he felt it is important to offer the exhibit during Black History Month to draw attention to the historical connections between Africa and other  countries, such as India.

“Natasza and I hope that our mission of discovery in India and this exhibit inspires others to travel the world and bring more people together,” said the Manhattan resident.

For more information about “The Colors of Monsoon Season” exhibit, please call the Cohen Library at (212) 650-7271. City College is located at 138th Street and Convent Avenue in Manhattan.  

About The City College of New York

Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. The College motto "Access Excellence" can be seen with over 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; The School of Architecture, UrbanDesign and Landscape Architecture (SAUDLA); The School of Education; The Grove School of Engineering,and The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.
For additional information, visit www.ccny.cuny.edu.

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