Kevin Jones
3 min readJul 2, 2021


Inaugural Blactiquing Exhibit Comes to Saginaw, MI

What started as a hobby soon became a passion when Blactiquing founder, Kevin Jones, instinctively heard the voices of the ancestors as he held the artifacts in his hands. Each doll, each salt and pepper shaker, each piece of Black memorabilia that he found in his grandmother’s collection as a kid and in antique stores, later as an adult, told one of the countless stories of those that came before him. According to Kevin, “these items and their stories become all the more precious to a people denied their history, their customs, their culture, their language, and their very names.”

Blactiquing seeks to find and share stories of Black experiences in the US and beyond by collecting, preserving, and exhibiting artifacts and engaging communities in meaningful conversations about how they were used and what they represent.

The value and power of these artifacts is readily apparent as it’s becoming more and more difficult to find them, despite their wide use and circulation historically in the US. Dealers, sellers, and collectors—many who are white—have described being harassed, ridiculed, and called “racist” for having them in their retail shops and collections. Others have shared stories of buyers who acquire items and intentionally destroy or use them to recall and celebrate racist narratives and worldviews. Collecting and preserving these precious pieces of history has now become a race against time. Their absence could alter how these histories are told and mis-represent how Black people may have experienced them.

Blactiquing was established with the understanding of all of the above. Kevin believes that Blactiques are beautiful and emotionally charged, given their references to Black people and how the US and other societies have celebrated and detested Blackness. For these reasons, it’s necessary and critical to collect these items and pass their stories and significance to future generations.

Kevin treats each piece as a found treasure and handles them with greater care and dignity than their owners, especially those who were Black, were likely ever afforded. Using traditional cleansing methods to lovingly rid these precious items of excessive dirt and unwelcome energies, is his way of recognizing those who used these items originally. Lovers of Black histories, Black people, and Black experiences can appreciate this nuanced and complicated history.

Blactiquing does not aim to “resale” items from its collection. Instead, Blactiquing uses an intentional process to transfer ownership to the right person or suitable collectors who also commit to preserving and using it as an opportunity to educate others. Fees associated with transferring ownership allow for the acquisition of additional Black artifacts, preserving them, and storing or placing them in a growing network of collectors who are intentional about their Blactiquing work.

Representing primarily the pre-Emancipation, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and Civil Rights Movement eras, the archive houses mostly Black memorabilia: Black dolls, salt and pepper shakers, race-themed advertisements, wood carved pieces, newspaper clippings, Black religious artifacts, postcards, photographs and original art, works of musicians and other performers, sports trading cards, vintage toys and board games, as well as quilts and other textiles.

Currently, traveling pop-up exhibits and an online presence (mostly on Facebook and Instagram) helps educate the masses about Blactiquing and encourages others to engage in their own Blactiquing journey. Kevin dreams of a Black-themed, boutique-style museum and antique shop to facilitate additional learning opportunities and showcase the collection. He also envisions a Blactiquing-style "Antique Roadshow" on a streaming network that follows these efforts and the varied stories he’s uncovering while searching for and finding Blactiques.

The Blactiquing Space
409 Adams Street, Suite 105
Saginaw, MI 48602
Saturdays and Sundays, 11am - 5pm or by appointment (from July 17 to September 5, 2021)
Free entry, donations appreciated



Kevin Jones

I play the role of historian on the side. Check out @blactiquing on Instagram.