McKissick Museum is proud to collect, research, and exhibit pottery produced by Dave
(later recorded as David Drake, ca. 1800-1870), an enslaved African American potter
and poet who lived and worked in Old Edgefield District, South Carolina. Today, David Drake’s ceramic vessels are found in the most renowned museums across
the United States. Often incised with original poetry and signed “Dave,” his pots
are counted among the largest and most accomplished to be made in the nineteenth century.
In 2021, one sold for $1.5 million. Yet, this artist spent almost his entire life
enslaved in South Carolina; his friends and family members could be sold off as easily
as the wares he was known for even then. In addition to being famous for his pots,
Drake is perhaps the only Black writer, free or enslaved, to create surviving literature
that never appeared in print. His page was clay.
We invite members of the USC community and the general public to join us on Thursday,
February 23 for a conversation with Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Dr. P Gabrielle
Foreman and poet Glenis Redmond about their book, Praise Songs for Dave the Potter: Art and Poetry for David Drake. USC Art History and African American Studies Assistant Professor Abbe Schriber will moderate a conversation between the author and poet. A book signing will follow
the talk and copies will be for sale by the local bookstore All Good Books.
Thursday, February 23, 2023, 4:30 - 6:00 pm
Close-Hipp Building's Lumpkin Auditorium (Room 830)
This talk introduces audiences to David Drake’s pottery and poetry and shares how
he has inspired a generation of visual artists and poets who came after him. Registration
is not required to attend, but it is encouraged. Register via Eventbrite or by calling 803-777-2876.
This event is co-sponsored by McKissick Museum, the Phi Beta Kappa Chapter at USC, a USC Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Excellence Grant, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of African American Studies, and the School of Visual Art and Design.
About the Presenters
Dr. P. Gabrielle Foreman
Dr. Foreman holds the Paterno Chair of Liberal Arts and is Professor of English, African
American Studies, and History at Penn State University. Professor Foreman is a poet's
daughter and interdisciplinary scholar raised between the South Side of Chicago and
Venice Beach, California. She is the founding faculty director of the award-winning
Colored Conventions Project which is housed in Penn State's Center for Digital Black
Research/#DigBlk, which she launched and co-directs with Shirley Moody-Turner. #DigBlk
is made up of undergraduate researchers, graduate student leaders, librarians, satellite
faculty, and arts and community partners who bring the buried history of early Black
organizing to digital life. Dr. Foreman was recently announced as a 2022 MacArthur
Redmond is grounded in many worlds as a Poet, Teaching Artist, and Imagination Activist.
As a Poet, her feet are firmly planted on both the page and the stage. As a Teaching
Artist, her educational reach extends into the classroom, where she teaches both students
and teachers to open to their own poetry within. As an Imagination Activist, she uses
the bright bloom of her heart and soul to unlock the doors of creativity in others
in the community-at-large. Redmond is the recipient of South Carolina’s highest award
in the arts, The Governor’s Award. She is a Kennedy Center teaching artist and Cave
Canem poet. She is widely published and also a dynamic performer and has presented
all around the country and the world for both students and audiences of all ages.