(Black) History (Month) Year
(BLACK) HISTORY this (MONTH) YEAR
Every year, throughout the month of February, the art world and other industries at large re-angle the spotlight to focus on the accomplishments of Black Voices on both historical and contemporary stages. A larger discussion can be had as to why Black History continues to be acknowledged separate from the larger historical sphere. And for only one month a year. The shortest month of the year.
A simple search engine inquiry into, “Why Black History Month is held in the month of February?” yields the following explanation, first:
This week was chosen because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and of Frederick Douglass on February 20, both of which dates black communities had celebrated together since the late 19th century.
This sentence is in itself allegorical of how Black History continues to be told. That is to say, the Black Experience is too often painted secondary to the experience of others, those who have categorically worked to shift the narrative for their own advantage, and in fact, have repeatedly silenced Black Voices.
We are not here to shift the narrative in our direction. We celebrate that Black Agency outshines and overpowers the confines created by societal structures, those which sadly continue to allow white supremacy to go unpunished. While storytelling factors into much of what we as print publishers do everyday through the creation of fine art prints and through participation in regular art discourse, it cannot be disputed that a game of telephone never yields one authentic truth. We are hanging up the phone.
Black History is Human History. Black Artists and Black Thinkers are the backbone of an art world that would otherwise be rendered an indiscernible, posturing pile of flesh. We applaud, in earnest, every single point of view that is generously shared for the benefit of our own knowledge seeking and enjoyment. Listen, learn and never take those points of view for granted; they are a privilege to know. By clicking the images below, we encourage you to begin scratching the surface of the meaningful contributions made in art by Black Voices throughout the last year, from their original story makers.
- Suzy Sabla
AEL is committed to highlighting contributions made to contemporary art by BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ voices. If you would like to nominate someone that inspires you to be featured, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org