Collection 1970s–Present

Tourmaline. Salacia. 2019 290

Video (color, sound), 6 min. Acquired through the generosity of The Lumpkin-Boccuzzi Family Collection. © 2023 Tourmaline. Used by permission.

Tourmaline: Hi, my name is Tourmaline. I'm an artist, filmmaker, and writer based in New York. My work centers around revolutionary Black figures and the everyday people who helped pursue and dream for Black liberation.

My film Salacia looks at the life of Mary Jones, a Black trans sex worker who lived in New York in the 1800s, and imagines her in Seneca Village.

When Seneca Village was growing in the area that's now called Central Park, it was one of the only places in New York City where Black people owned land. This is a huge freedom dream. If you, as a Black person in the 1820s were going to own land when slavery was still legal and no one was going to sell you land, you had to deeply and fundamentally reshape your beliefs about what was possible in order to be the realizer of a dream that would seem otherwise impossible.

I invite you to join me for Pleasure Gardening, an audio tour exploring sites around New York City, where Black folks and trans people have imagined liberation. You'll hear from me and my friends, T. Lax, Mariame Kaba, Cynthia Copeland, and Robin D. G. Kelley.

For more information visit