Art Journal/AJO Editorial Board Celebrates Art Journal’s First Issue Dedicated to the Experience of Blackness in the United States, and Affirms Our Responsibility to Oppose Anti-Black Violence in All Its Forms

December 20, 2020

Art Journal Winter 2020 marks the first time in the journal’s eighty-year history that an issue has been dedicated to the experience of Blackness in the United States. It responds to the historical moment, including the heightened racial politics of white supremacy; the disproportionate toll of COVID-19 on Black and Brown communities; and the hypervisibility of anti-Black violence and Black death. The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have sparked both outrage and solidarity, reenergizing mass-scale civil rights movements. While this volume focuses on the experience of Blackness in the United States, protests worldwide have demonstrated that the struggle is shared.

Art Journal is committed to furthering the work exemplified in this issue, which reorders the tools of art and art history to theorize new ways of seeing in the context of anti-Blackness and white supremacy. Art history itself is complicit in the reproduction of racial hierarchies.

This issue reaffirms Art Journal’s commitment to examining our responsibilities as art historians and practitioners and those of the institutions on which we depend. The Art Journal/AJO Editorial Board reasserts the journal’s mission to promote scholarship and artistic practice that work for a more just and ethical world.

In 2022 we look forward to publishing an issue on whiteness; see the complete call for papers for this and future issues here.

Art Journal/AJO Editorial Board