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New Exhibit Looks to Art as a Tool of Resistance to Anti-Black Violence

A new exhibit at Northwestern University is exploring America’s race relations dating back to the early 1800s. 

“A Site of Struggle: American Art against Anti-Black Violence” spotlights the country’s racism in a visual history lesson, showcasing the intersection of violence and art, while also encouraging reflection.

With more than 60 works across various mediums, the exhibit takes visitors through American history starting in the 1890s and ending in 2013 with the start of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

“Black art has always been a part of how history has been communicated,” said Leslie Harris, a history professor at Northwestern University.

For instance, Harris says art was always critical to the anti-slavery movement. 

“From a very early time, artists were engaged in the politics of making it known there was an injustice happening,” Harris said. “That was at a time when you had lower literacy rates. So people had to rely on visuals to reach larger audiences, because not everyone was reading the paper or picking up books.”

Janet Dees, curator of the exhibition, said it seeks to show the various strategies artists have used to engage with the topic.

Read entire article at WTTW