The Art of Blackness and the Blackness of Art
a seminar with Jessica B. Davenport and Biko Mandela Gray
Author and literary critic Toni Morrison has said that black people “chose creation” as a way of living and thriving in a world marked and marred by white supremacy. In this workshop we will consider how black art, historically and contemporaneously, names a form of resistance to white supremacy while also offering a space of infinite creativity that is irreducible to racial and racist concerns.
Looking through the lenses of womanist and black theologies, we’ll explore black creativity in music, dance, visual arts, and literature. We will engage with the centrality of visual images in the perpetuation of racism and explore how black artists have created counter-archives of art and representation that resist this history and white normativity. Together we will create a generative experience for discussion and creative inquiry at the intersection between art, race, and faith. In so doing, we hope to see, hear, and feel the depths of what Morrison called black creation.