The Black Studies Collaboratory aims to bring together artists, activists, locals, and scholars to amplify the interdisciplinary, political, and world-building work of Black Studies. Black Studies broadly, and the African American intellectual tradition specifically, have always been grounded in community and geared toward improving the conditions of black life under structures of injustice. This principle was central to the establishment of archives like the Schomburg Collection, SNCC’s Freedom Schools that taught direct democracy alongside theater, music and photography; and the Combahee River Collective and other black feminist groups who organized consciousness-raising sessions. These examples also remind us that knowledge is produced, circulated, and put into use in a range of locations, from the kitchen table to the seminar room, from the street corner to the concert stage, from the prison cell to the lecture podium. Artists, scholars and activists have dreamt up and thought critically about what the future might look like if the affirmation of black lives were the foundation of U.S. society.
Diagram of How She Hold it All Together
53” x 52”
Paper construction of woodblock prints
and graphite on archival
Japanese rice paper
Courtesy of Yashua Klos