Finding the I in Diaspora

Located on the first floor, this exhibition seeks to commemorate our past while celebrating our future. This exhibition presents an opportunity to take a closer look at the ways in which the diaspora connects us all. As we re-open our doors after a renovation, we thought this would be a perfect time to re-visit the Face of the African Diaspora, the stairway photomosaic, made up of over 2000 images and spanning three floors of the Museum.

Movement: Photos from the African Diaspora

The African Diaspora affected hundreds of thousands of people who migrated away from their homes and built new lives in other places around the globe.

To represent these migrations, MoAD commissioned a photomosaic based on an original photograph taken by Chester Higgins, Jr. The photomosaic was created by Robert Silvers and Runaway Technology.

The images, more than 2000 individual photographs submitted to MoAD from people all over the world, reveal fascinating moments in time. Each photograph allows you to appreciate the human experience in a new ways.




Music of the Diaspora: The staircase at MoAD

The staircase at the heart of MoAD is alive with music. As visitors travel the stairs, they pass through four different zones of music.

This original composition is a suite in four movements that correspond to the four themes of MoAD: Origins, Movement, Adaptation, and Transformation. It takes listeners on a musical journey through time, demonstrating the ways music has evolved as it has traveled across the diaspora.

It features music of many styles, genres, and time periods, starting with indigenous African drumming and chants, evolving into Spirituals, Gospel, Blues, and Jazz, Afro-Caribbean music, all the way to hip-hop and experimental electronica.




The staircase at MoAD


Learn more about the composers

Composer Babuntunde Lea, together with producers Greg Landau and John Greenham, developed the music of the MoAD Suite. The four-part piece chronicles the travels of the African people throughout the globe, marking each part of the journey. In this video, the three discuss their process for creating the MoAD suite and their vision for how the pieces came together.


“In music we find the threads of our soul, interwoven and intersecting with those of our universal family.”