LeRhonda Manigault-Bryant

2023 Crossroads Arts Fellow


Dr. Manigault-Bryant serves as the Director of the Sonja Haynes Stone Director for Black Culture and History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A proud native of Moncks Corner, South Carolina, she wholly and critically grapples with the profound questions that inform our understandings of gender, race, culture, and religious expression. She navigates the academy as a scholar-artist, and actively merges her life as an intellectual, musician and filmmaker, including especially her work as founder of ConjureGirlBlue Productions, a small media company specializing in nonfiction storytelling. Her books include Talking to the Dead: Religion, Music, and Lived Memory among Gullah/Geechee Women (Duke, 2014).


Crossroads Arts Fellows Project

Sacred AXA


As one of the northernmost Caribbean Islands of the Lesser Antilles, Anguilla (airport code AXA) is a British territory best known for its tourist economy, and where in a thirty-five square mile space, one can find pristine white sand beaches rated among the best in the world. What is lesser know about Anguilla, however, is that on an island that is 16 miles long and 3.5 miles wide and inhabited by just over 15,000 people (85% of whom are Black), nearly fifty churches, cemeteries, and locally identified consecrated areas host the sacred attentions of the island’s residents.

As part of a larger project (“Black Crossroads: Mourning Rituals and Geographies of Sacred Space”) SACRED AXA visually documents several locations (churches, cemeteries, and crossroads, among others) to understand the varied meanings of sacred space, to tend to the multiple meanings these spaces hold, and to make the knowledge of these spaces more readily available to a larger public. SACRED AXA will curate a digital archive that documents the existence of Black religious and folk experiences through the visual lens of the sacred spaces they inhabit in Anguilla.