Celebrating Black History Month 2022


“At the entrance of a 2018 portraiture exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with photographs of African Americans in the 1940s and 1950s, I was stunned by a note to visitors: If you recognize a subject, will you identify him, and inform the museum of his fate? Why had the museum exhibited photos of anonymous subjects rather than ask African Americans to provide photos of their loved ones that would have come with the names and stories of the people photographed. Sociologist Andrew Billingsley explained the tragedy of this kind of exhibit decades before its curation: . . . to deny the history of a people is to deny their humanity.

—Professor Cheryl Wade