Going Live in New Haven

During the fall and winter we acquired various works of art for our collection. Now that we have catalogued most of our new holdings and have made even more contacts with New Haven teachers and librarians we’re ready to share the pop-up in New Haven. We’re starting out in high schools. To see what we’re spotlighting, check out The Art of Black Dissent checklist.



Art in this shot: Criminal Justice Reform Now by Chip Thomas @jetsonorama; Spectres of Liberty by Dara Greenwald, Olivia Robinson, and Josh MacPhee @jmacphee; A Man Was Lynched Yesterday; and Silent Protest Parade on Fifth Avenue, New York City


Public Love

People are hurting. We acknowledge the pain, fear, frustration, and uncertainty that many people are experiencing.
In light of the moment, we’re sharing one of our holdings that calls for empathetic responses. In the silkscreen print  Radical Black Love, Lisa Thalhammer highlights some of the cities in the U.S. that have experienced racialized police violence. Thalhammer is a DC artist committed to social justice work.



When the News is Good


Reprint of Emory Douglas’ contemporary “remix”or reworking of his earlier art of 1969

The Connecticut Office of the Arts in partnership with the Arts Council of Greater New Haven awarded a $1,000 Regional Initiative Grant to The Art of Black Dissent. We are thrilled to receive this support as it helps us to bring the program to New Haven public schools and libraries.

We’ve entered high gear mode now. In addition to acquiring a few more artworks, we are photographing, cataloguing, and researching each object and preparing dialogue questions. Additionally, we are consulting with local teachers and librarians about upcoming pop-up sessions.

Stay tuned for more good news!

The Work Continues

We’re excited to design the next wave of the Art of Black Dissent. As we prepare to take our pop-up exhibition/dialogue program to New Haven public schools and libraries, we are developing our personal collections of vernacular materials centered on the black liberation struggle.

Last night we reviewed our latest acquisitions which include posters, graphic novels, comic books, photography, magazines, newspapers, children’s books, and more. Several of our objects pertain to the 1960s era. Of course, that’s great. But we want to engage our current moment as well. So we are now concentrating on acquiring more visual culture of the Black Lives Matter movement.
More to come!

Black Protest on the Streets & on the Web



Yale University, November 5, 2015

Visual culture remains a chief means for communicating calls for racial justice and building solidarity. Through graffiti, murals, digital art, photography, posters, zines, and other creative forms, activists reach others.

Sometimes museums display these works. But often this political art remains outside of mainstream institutions. Instead, it circulates through our streets, mass media, blogs, and various social networking platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

To spotlight this range of dynamic practices we have produced a PowerPoint presentation that is part of our pop-up exhibition and program. This sampling, which is arranged both chronologically and thematically, focuses on the contemporary visual culture of the African- American liberation struggle since 2010.

PowerPoint presentation: ArtOfBlackDissent-ContemporaryStruggles



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Chris Boyette, “How He Became “The Eyes of Baltimore“, CNN.com, January 19, 2016

Pete Brook, “Barrett Emke’s Portraits of Ferguson Residents,” Prison Photography, September 14, 2011

Jelani Cobb, “The Matter of Black Lives,” New Yorker, March 14, 2016

Martin Luther King, Jr. “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” 1963

Mary Carole McCauley and Wesley Case, “Baltimoreans Use Photos, Music, Other Outlets to Make Sense of Freddie Gray’s Death, Ensuing Unrest,” Baltimore Sun, April 15, 2016

Collier Meyerson, “Read the Short, Devastating Speech Sandra Bland’s Mother Just Made to Congressional Leaders,” Fusion, April 28, 2016

Katie Nodjimbadem, “How the African American History Museum is Curating “Black Lives Matter,” Smithsonian, December 14, 2015

Robert Raben, “Don’t Take Yes for an Answer: How to Get Real Change at Your University,” Medium, December 2015

Whitney Richardson, “Devin Allen’s Inside Story in Baltimore,” New York Times, June 24, 2015

Paul Schmelzer, “The Art of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis,” Hyperallergic, December 23, 2015

Will Walker, “Public History and the Campus Anti-Racism Protests,” National Council on Public History, December 8, 2015

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Bob Adelman and Charles Johnson, Mine Eyes Have Seen: Bearing Witness to the Struggles for Civil Rights, New York: Time, 2007

Courtney R. Baker, Humane Insight: Looking at Images of African-American Suffering and Death, Urbana, IL: University of Illinois, 2015

Maurice Berger, For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights, New Haven, CT: Yale University, 2010

Susan E. Cahan, Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in The Age of Black Power, Durham, NC: Duke University, 2016

Teresa A. Carbone and Kellie Jones, Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties, New York: Brooklyn Museum, 2014

Henry “Sam” Chauncey, John T. Hill, Thomas Strong, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., May Day at Yale, 1970: Recollections: The Trial of Bobby Seale and the Black Panthers, Westport, CA: Prospecta, 2015

Bridget R. Cooks, Exhibiting Blackness: African Americans and the American Art Museum, Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts, 2011

Julian Cox, Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement 1956-1968, Atlanta: High Museum, 2008

Emory Douglas, Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas, New York: Rizzoli, 2007

Michael S. Durham, Powerful Days: The Civil Rights Photography of Charles Moore, New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1991

Leslie G. Kelen, ed., This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement, Jackson, MS: University of Mississippi, 2011

Amy Helene Kirschke, Art in Crisis: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Struggle for African American Identity and Memory, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University, 2007

Gordon Parks, A Choice of Weapons, St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society, 2010, 1966, 1965

Leigh Raiford, Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare: Photography and the African American Freedom Struggle, Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina, 2011

Stephen Shames, The Black Panthers, New York: Aperture Foundation, 2006

Deborah Willis, Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers 1840 to the Present, New York: Norton Club 2011

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Making a Dialogue-Centered Program


Instead of holding a lecture with a Q & A session, we have designed a dialogue-centered program for our pop-up exhibition on the visual culture of the African-American liberation struggle. We value visitors as active participants. A dialogue format encourages each person to make personal associations to black protest art and the underlying structural issues that the works address.


To achieve our objective we implemented the Sites of Conscience dialogue-based facilitation model. The Sites of Conscience, a global organization of over 200 museums and historic sites highlights memory and human rights issues. In addition to advocating dialogue-based programming to engage participants in making connections with history, the organization offers training sessions for cultural workers.
After attending one of these sessions at the National Council on Public History in March, we realized that the Sites of Conscience Arc of Dialogue paradigm would help us create the environment of deep reflecting and sharing of experiences about both the formal and social content of the artworks and the pressing social and political issues of today .
The free online guide Front Page Dialogues: Race and Policing was instrumental to us as we developed our questions and organized the flow of our program. The process of building questions according to the 4 phases of the Sites of Conscience model was rigorous. The format helped us see the artworks and museum visitors as social changemakers.

Additionally, Discussion as a Way of Teaching: Tools and Techniques for Democratic Classrooms, by Stephen D. Brookfield and Stephen Preskill and Essential Questions: Opening Doors to Student Understanding by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins provided important insights for generating questions grounded in higher order thinking.

Our engagement with these inquiry-based pedagogies has been enriching. It has strengthened our belief in the social and political role of art and museums. We are pleased to find that program has sparked thoughtful, moving responses from participants. Hopefully this energy will provoke ongoing critical analysis of structural racism and the central role of visual culture in articulating, challenging, and dismantling racial bias.


Image (top) March of Resilience, Yale University, November 9, 2015
Photo by La Tanya S. Autry