Black Digital-Cultural Imaginations: Black Visuality and Aesthetic Refuge in the M4BL ClassroomShow full item record
|Title||Black Digital-Cultural Imaginations: Black Visuality and Aesthetic Refuge in the M4BL Classroom|
|Abstract||Inspired by the aesthetic philosophies of Black youth, my purpose in this essay is to explore Black visuality as a central component of Black Digital rhetoric, Black aesthetic culture (on and offline), and Black feminist pedagogies in classrooms, especially in the context of Black national protest and political eruptions. I inform my thinking most critically with the work of Black scholars who examine photography, paintings, and sculpture—scholars like Richard Powell, Kellie Jones, Deborah Willis, Brian Wallis, Charmaine Nelson, Nicole Fleetwood, Krista Thompson, and Tina Campt— to push past the alphabetic/verbal obsessions of even digital rhetoric that can often disembody the raced visuality of digital messaging. I see these scholars’ thinking on Black visuality far beyond the confines of art history or art criticism. These fields examining Black art-historical and visual culture are not limited to Blackness as exhibited and sanctioned by white-controlled art institutions. Without such theorists, we run the risk of framing visual rhetoric/digital rhetoric in hopelessly whitened ways when the visual cultures in which we live have always been deeply racialized and decidedly anti-Black (Wallace). I intend instead to see radical Blackness as an active, everyday/all-day visuality that informs classrooms and digital pedagogies in the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) in ways that explode what we imagine as digital rhetoric in the academy and out. I am particularly using the umbrella terms M4BL in the way that Barbara Ransby does, a historian of Black women’s activism and an activist herself in Chicago, in encompassing Black Lives Matter in its original political impulse based on the vision of its founders, Opal Tometti, Alicia Garza, and Patrisse Cullors Khan and organizations like the BYP100 and the Dream Defenders. Understanding the M4BL this way and centering this particular arc of activists means seeing this moment as one which has been fundamentally shaped by Black feminists/ Black queer feminists/ Black gender-nonconforming folk/ Black trans folk who have been more deliberately intersectional than in any Black social movement we have seen (Cohen and Jackson).|
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