written by Carole Miller Genshaft
illustrated by Aminah Robinson
book mark this page!
How can you remember, document, and
honor the past through art? How can you honor your community through art?
Meet Artist: Aminah Robinson
We think it's important to talk with children about the illustrations in a picture book as well as the illustrator's process! Aminah Robinson coined the term RagGonNon - a piece of art that goes on and on. RagGonNon is made with many different materials (buttons, scraps of fabric, neckties, metal trinkets, keys) and has various layers of meaning. She believed that a RagGonNon is never truly finished, because each person who views the work has something special to add to it.
Take time to explore Ms. Robinson's artwork and ask children about her process:
How would you describe her style of artwork?
At the core of Aminah's art is her belief in the African concept of Sankofa, which means "learning from the past in order to move forward." What do you think this means? How is this idea reflected in her artwork?
Ms. Robinson often did some research before creating her art. She went to the library, used maps and city directories, and listened to stories from her elders. Then she'd create"Memory Maps" of her neighborhood. How do you think this research impacted her and her art?
Aminah loved to use found objects (bits and baubles) in her art. What types of ordinary objects did Aminah use in her work? Where do you think these objects came from?
How does her art make you feel? Does it remind you of anything in your own life?
Ms. Robinson worked with many different mediums including sculpture, rag paintings, collage, needlework, and drawing. Which of her work do you like the most? Which medium most appeals to you as an artist?
Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson
Guinea Village in Belmont County
21"x 55.5" mixed media on paper
Try this Process Art Experience
: a technique for expressing
ideas in which several
media are employed
The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary,
Set up the Creative Space
Aminah's World by Carole Miller Genshaft
Paper scraps (tissue paper, napkins, newspaper)
Yarn, embroidery thread, ribbo
Buttons and other found objects like metal trinkets, beads, stamps, old keys and bottle caps