Grace Kromah is a first generation U. S. citizen with a strong Liberian heritage.
Born in the United States some 20 years ago, Grace is the daughter of Mr. Abraham Dudu Kromah, younger brother of former Lands, Mines and Energy Minister, Dr. Foday Kromah, and Mrs. Mayatu Peabody, wife of the eminent Liberian dentist, Dr. Christian Peabody of Stevensville, Michigan.
Grace is a photographer who employs digital and film photography supplemented by darkroom alternative processes, screen printing and writing in her work.
In these outstanding photographs, Grace is trying to depict first, the hands of the woman, Ma Edna King, featured in the second photograph, who took care of Grace and her siblings as children. Ms. King first worked in Liberia as a maid for Mayatu’s mother, Ms. Gladys Lewis Smith, and her consort, Mayatu’s father, Mr. Ousman Bah.
In later years, 1987 to be exact, Mayatu brought Ma Edna King to the United States to help take care of Mayatu’s three children. Ma Edna remained in the USA for 30 years and returned to Liberia last December in retirement. Mayatu renovated her home in Barnesville, Monrovia, furnished it and made it comfortable for Ma Edna to spend the rest of her days.
Why the first photograph with Ma Edna’s hands covering her entire face? Photographer Grace Kromah says she wanted to show the loving hands that took care of her as a child.
Grace’s art practice explores themes such as family trauma, historical trauma, immigration, Liberian culture, the African Diaspora and gender equity in America. Her goal is to tell her story, narrate her life experiences and illustrate recurring memories through analog and self-portraits.
Grace is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she is anticipating graduation May 2020. This Institute is the second most prominent art institutes in America, the first being the one at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
These photographs were brought to Liberia and shared with the Daily Observer by Mr. George Gooding, a prominent Liberian businessman.
Mr. Gooding and Dr. Peabody, products of St. John’s Episcopal High School in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County (1966) and Cuttington College and Divinity School (now Cuttington University), 1969, have remained lifelong friends and brothers, spanning nearly 60 years and counting.