And as Unfinished Business suggests, school textbooks themselves, often written by white academics, can occasion these revelations. Not seeing oneself reflected in scholarship can have a negative effect on students of color. “What’s missing is critical inquiry,” said lenochan in a brief comment. “How do we create independent thinkers? This is our time to reshape, redefine, and redirect the history of psychological conditioning, which includes the pedagogical desegregation of curricula that instill colonial ideals.”
Accordingly, lenochan has curated a very specific selection of books to step over. Many of them address colonialism, slavery, or Nazism. But most of the visual arts books are hilarious subterfuge; a volume on
is simply titled White Art
“Still Separate – Still Unequal” asks a lot of viewers, and rightly so. The curators of this exhibition want to shine a light on resegregation, transmitting weighty statistics and histories through the more accessible conduit of art—and hopefully mobilizing viewers in the process.
If art reflects society, then the vicious cycles of resegregation and disenfranchisement we see in the education system also exist outside of it, including within the art world. That’s the underlying but unspoken message of “Still Separate – Still Unequal”— we can’t begin to preach about inequality before first addressing it within our own community.