A few weeks ago, the Arts Editors reaffirmed our stance to publish pre-planned articles that were pitched, written, and edited before the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests occurred within the United States. We continue to abide by that stance. We also continue to honor the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Oluwatoyin Salau, and the many others who suffered unjust deaths in the hands of the police force and the nation’s institutionalized racism.
Internalized racism plagues the world of art and aesthetics. Black musicians face discrimination within certain music genres, like country. Black content creators appear less frequently on TikTok as compared to other internet personalities. The beauty industry often ignores the presence of Black and Brown people, from skin lightening creams to lack of concealer shades. We arts journalists realize it is our responsibility to condemn the racist prejudices that, in an unjust attempt to silence their existence, have labeled Black people as the unwanted enemy. And we recognize the power of art in times of polarized politics, a power that strives to empower rather than deny the marginalized. We fight for the Black community, whose contributions to our musical, aesthetic, linguistic, literary, and fashion culture are invaluable and incalculable, and, above all, whose lives matter. To us, art can become the voice of the voiceless.
This week, we want to be clearer than ever that everyone can fight against racial violence, and everyone can show their condemnation of police brutality and white supremacy, both of which have brought horrifying and unjust silencing and deaths within the Black community.
As such, we have compiled a list of ways in which artists and art lovers alike can show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement, the George Floyd protests, and Black artists in our UChicago community. These range from donations to contact information of student artists who offer commissions in support of BLM to simply watching YouTube ads between Black musical performance videos. We realize that this is not an exhaustive list but hope that it is a first step in our mission to dismantle systemic racism.
We hope to keep updates as we all strive for a nation that eliminates racialized injustices and acknowledges the privileges of others and invite our readers to contribute to our list. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wahid Al Mamun, Veronica Chang, and Alina Kim
Head Arts Editors