Category: Reviews & Recaps

BGMB Highlights of 2016

Happy New Year! Somehow we all managed to survive 2016 — although it certainly wasn’t easy. It was a year that just would not give up, but thankfully neither did we, and BGMB had some great achievements last year that we feel very proud of. We couldn’t have done it without the support of many people both within the museum field and outside of it, including everyone who has been following us here at the blog. Whether you found us in the beginning of our journey or are just now coming to this space, your interest in what we have to say has been amazing. Thank you!

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Last Words in Old Conversations: Redefining DC Art

As 2016 comes to a close, we inevitably find ourselves in a state of reflection––on the course of the year, the recent election, and looking toward the future. We were honored to be invited to join a conversation hosted by ArtTable DC, State of Art 3, that would allow us to do this contemplation around […]

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Radical Acts of Self-Preservation

When I was invited to speak at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) for their Digital Dialogue series, I had previously been thinking more on the use of social and digital media platforms as sites of radical archiving, as alternatives pushing the bounds on traditional notions of archives. Here are some brief highlights from my talk: […]

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Understanding Otherness in Museums: Partnering with the Fralin Museum of Art

A few weeks ago, Ravon and I were able to challenge ourselves in a new way. After building this blog around digital spaces for people of color in museums, we were able to take our mission offline and right into museum spaces itself to lead tours and hold workshops in person about the things we care so much about. In partnership with the Fralin Museum of Art during the NEH HumanTies event, we led almost 40 participants on a unique Brown Girls Museum Blog tour of the museum. Take a look below the cut to find out more about what we did with an audience of museum goers interested in diverse perspectives.

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Museum Hack (Review)

Museum Hack (Review)

With hands in the middle, “down on ‘mu,’ up on ‘seum,’ instructs our tour guide Hannah. “MusEUM!” Gathered in the National Gallery of Art on the National Mall, a small group of us––a few couples, a brother-sister duo, and myself––huddle around to begin our venture to discover the hidden gems and secrets of the museum. Museum Hack‘s claim […]

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Black in Blue: Wearing the Badge

Black in Blue: Wearing the Badge

During the earlier days of the internets, I searched for “careers in Anthropology.” I was sailing on unchartered waters with my newly declared major going into college. I knew I loved studying cultures and the people that enriched them. I don’t remember much about what my search turned up other than a video of a group of […]

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Intersectionality as Context at #CrossLines (Review)

It is easy to mistake the spectacle of diversity for actual impact on the systems of institutional racism. The sight of a few brown faces, visible “others,” in a room full of whiteness can seem like an accomplishment for organizations that struggle to find and retain people of color. Museums, the art world, academia, and many other fields are all susceptible to this image of inclusion.

For those lucky, or unlucky, enough to wear their otherness on the inside, this obsession with the appearance of diversity overlooks their necessary inclusion. For the visibly diverse, it is only a short walk from inclusion to token status: as Eric Jolly put it at a recent AAM panel, tokenism is “input without impact.” For the people who are noticeably different but don’t fit cleanly into a census checkbox or other category, for those who claim a hybrid identity, for those who exist at a particularly trafficked intersection of disadvantages (to invoke Kimberle Crenshaw), the fetishization of visible inclusion can only reduce them to a single characteristic, a single role, flattening their experiences like a multifaceted peg into an institutionally-determined round hole.

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#CrossLines: Creating a Culture of Inclusion (Review)

The annual American Alliance of Museums (AAM) conference (an experience to be shared in a future post) hosted in DC this year, was accompanied by a number of happenings during the Memorial Day weekend; and the timing is not without significance. CrossLines: A Culture Lab on Intersectionality was of one of those occurrences in the Smithsonian Arts and […]

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The Language of Diversity and Inclusion (Part 2)

The Language of Diversity and Inclusion (Part 2)

Words have always been important to me — there was no question that language was going to be central to the message Ravon and I wanted to communicate during our chance to speak at AAMD. While Ravon’s talk focused on putting an end to tired vocabulary like “diversity” and “inclusion,” I spoke about possible alternative language that could get at intersectionality without sacrificing specificity. To keep that sense of community present, I turned to the realm of geography.

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The Language of Diversity and Inclusion (Part 1)

Amanda and I were fortunate to have the opportunity to speak at the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) conference in Cleveland this month. We were invited as part of a young thought leaders session on diversity and inclusion. Our presentations were a moment to think through the language of diversity, and how we foresee […]

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