As African Americans began relocating north in the 1940s during the Great Migration, New York City grew to have the largest urban Black population in the world. While the US remains deeply segregated to this day, New York-based activists like Bayard Rustin, Lee Lorch, and Dorothy Height secured pivotal civil rights victories for African Americans, advocating to dismantle discrimination and increase representation in areas from housing to education. Still, history lessons sometimes minimize the northern city’s role in the American movement.
Thanks to recent legislation, New York City could build its very own institution to acknowledge, celebrate, and preserve this influence. Last Thursday, February 27, New York City Council passed Intro 1451-A, a local law that will assign an 11-member task force to “evaluate the feasibility of creating a museum about New York City’s African-American civil rights history.”
The task force, which will complete and submit its recommendations by March 2021, will consist of commissioners or representatives from the city’s departments of immigrant affairs, cultural affairs, human rights, records, and parks and recreation selected within 60 days of the law’s effective date. The chancellor of the Department of Education and five borough-level appointments by Speaker Corey Johnson and Mayor Bill de Blasio will also be on the unit.
“There’s an untold civil rights movement story that needs to be told here, not just for us, but for our children, grandchildren and all generations to come, regardless of nationality,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera, who sponsored the bill, in a press release.
“The risks and personal sacrifices made by African-American New Yorkers are a guidepost and inspiration for standing up for justice.”
The legislation is now awaiting the mayor’s signature.
In an exhibition that consists of mostly small-scale black and white works on paper, viewer engagement almost magically awakens the sleepy room.
Maria Maea’s All in Time continues an intergenerational conversation and exemplifies the artist’s process, not simply the finished pieces.
The program, along with recently announced visiting critics, will provide long term funding, promote access, and safeguard experimentation for future students of color.
Koestler Arts works with incarcerated people and patients in secure mental health units, aiming to improve their lives through creativity.
Local artists and culture workers are wondering how the arena will impact the arts landscape, including museums and alternative spaces.
Huaca Pintada comprises a rare mixture of elements of two northern Peruvian civilizations.
Lensa AI’s digital avatars have captivated users, but some say the app is stealing from artists and reflects racial stereotypes.
Contemporary art, original sketches, and more explore how the Japanese character sprung from the pages of a manga and became a global cultural sensation.
New research contests the myth that it was Christianity’s opposition to public nudity that led to the decline in large-scale bathing in the late Roman Empire.
An exhibition at San Francisco’s Letterform Archive highlights typography’s role in iconic social movements from the 1800s through the present.
Eleven Contemporary Artists Explore the Meaning of Shelter at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art
Artists collaborate with nonprofit institutions and field experts to examine historical and contemporary determinants of housing and the feelings of safety and connection integral to places of living.
Rocks, ducks, and a self-organized survey of Gingham are some of the things to see right now in four Chicago art galleries.
Three weeks into their strike, part-time professors are escalating their protests, backed by public figures and disgruntled parents.