WE HAVE OUR SEAT, NOW WHAT?
KCAI BSU: Black History Month Exhibition
February 7 - March 28, 2020
Izsys Archer | Nehemiah Cisneros | Kevin Hopkins | Charles Jones
Isaac Lee | Bella Martinez | Abigail Oyesam | Mirose Song | Jada Patterson
Jinblossom Plati | Aleah Washington | London Williams
In his 1963 speech,” A Talk to Teachers,”, James Baldwin explains, “the paradox of education is precisely this - that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.” In the talk, Baldwin brings attention to the paradoxical nature of American education and its damaging effects on African Americans. He argues that American education is designed "to perpetuate the aims of the society,” but that “the obligation of anyone who thinks of himself as responsible is to examine society and try to change it and to fight it - at no matter what risk.”
The theme of the show, “We Have our Seat, Now What?” is deeply informed by Baldwin’s speech and seeks to further the conversation on the paradox of American education, its oppressive roots, and racist past. As we take up space in institutions initially not made for people of color and become conscious of our positions, we ask, “We have our seat, now what?” This theme is a way for us to consider how to step into our power, and determine how our future will look, on our terms. This exhibition explores the aims of society and the ways in which Black and Brown students continue to navigate both educational and societal institutions today.