Let us use history to inspire us to push a country forward, to help us believe that all things are possible and to demand a country lives up to its stated ideals.
-Lonnie G. Bunch III, 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian
Black Resistance and Persistence is a collection of stories about anti-Black racism in America and the lasting legacy of the transatlantic slave trade. Slavery legally “ended” in 1865, but Black people still experience violence, systematic disenfranchisement, and exclusion from health care, education, and economic and political life. At its core, this exhibition is about the fight for justice, equity, and inclusion.
Black resistance and persistence against white supremacy and violence in America ties together the five sections of this exhibition. The traumatic weight of those dispossessed by the transatlantic slave trade is represented by twelve million grains of rice, one grain for each Black life. Being “American” questions what it means for stolen people on stolen land to be patriotic. Decentering Whiteness takes as its focus the need to structurally shift power from whiteness to dismantle racial oppression and violence. Crossroads makes clear the connections between places, memorials, and activism as a way to uncover untold and silenced stories. Dispossession is a narrative vision punctuated by works of art created for the exhibition.
Black Resistance and Persistence is the manifestation of a new exhibition paradigm for the Logan Museum of Anthropology. The exhibition was co-created and co-curated by 15 Beloit College faculty, students, staff members, and members of the Beloit community. As a result, the exhibition is inherently multi-vocal and intentionally takes on issues of equity and inclusion in support of Beloit College’s aspiration to be actively anti-racist. This work is process-oriented and requires an understanding of our past to find hope and inspiration for our future.
Black Resistance and Persistence was curated by:
Amiee Leavy (Beloit Community Member)
Amelia W. Nuzzo'20
Wanda Sloan (Community Activist)
Students in 1619: Legacies of Slavery, spring 2020