Welcome back to BlackLight, where for the last three years, we’ve spent Black History Month reflecting on a variety of aspects of the Black Experience in America. We’ve told stories of suffering, courage, ingenuity, and strength of Black Folk throughout history and across society. We’ve remembered and illuminated truths of ongoing violence and oppression in America; written about the ferocity and creativity of emerging changemakers, artists, scientists, and activists; analyzed mechanisms and strategies in activism and electoral politics; and discussed the powers and responsibilities that come with racial and gender privilege in our society.
We designed the themes and posts each year to reduce barriers for those who are not Black to learn about Black Experiences and dynamics of privilege, power, and liberation in America. We’ve developed a collection of information, resources, and narrative that we hope has enabled self-guided education.
This year, BlackLight is dedicated to converting reflections to ambition, education to action, hope to sweat. We’re going to collate and update our writings from the last few years into zines that are centered around particular themes and then set up questions to focus discussion for small groups. We hope these conversations will serve as starting points for directing individual action, building solidarity, and connecting networks of activism.
King, in his letter from a Birmingham jail, spoke of the ‘fierce urgency of Now’. When freedom is imperiled anywhere, it is time to act everywhere. We mark these words and let them guide us.
Our sense of urgency now, in this moment, can spark agency, can help light the path that we choose. A sense of urgency in nearly every moment is critical for long-term progress. When we grind, we can change the direction of the machine, and maybe reshape it.
— Hłozek, Nord, Walkowicz: co-curators, BlackLight 2020