Black Lives Matter. Black Art Matters. Black Museums Matter. Black Voices Matter.
As the leader of a Black museum I have been moved by the courage of protestors while sharing the pain that our Black community is feeling across the nation and around the globe. As a staff our team has cried together, marched in the streets, and held discussions on the ways we can show up for our community at this crucial time. Collectively and individually we condemn the police brutality and systemic racism that has plagued our society for too long, resulting in the violent ending of the lives of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and countless others over centuries.
On Wednesday of this week San Francisco witnessed one of the largest peaceful demonstrations we’ve ever seen as tens of thousands gathered in solidarity with the movement for Black lives. I have never been prouder of my city, and the protest was yet another reminder that the Museum of the African Diaspora is a crucial part of San Francisco and the Bay Area as a safe space to continue highlighting the brilliance of our people. Now more than ever, we affirm that Museums are Not Neutral. As humanitarian educators and forums for conversation, museums are a space to confront some of the most uncomfortable conversations in human history.
Of course, there is more work to do. As we look towards the actions we can take we have created a guide with resources to support Black lives, and as always, we will continue to fulfill our mission of celebrating Black cultures, igniting challenging conversations, and inspiring learning through the global lens of the African Diaspora. Continue to read our newsletters, follow us on social media, and check our website for updates on ways you can support the Black community and MoAD. We have begun dialogues for healing through our Community Resilience series; we have amplified Black voices through our bi-monthly Open Mic; and despite COVID, we continue to be a space for Black artists and voices through virtual tours, workshops, and engagement.
We know very well that this moment has been a long time coming, and we are in the fight for equity, justice, and Black lives forever.
MoAD proudly stands in solidarity and remains accountable to our mission. Black Lives Matter; Black Art Matters, Black Museums Matter; and now more than ever, Black Voices Matter. Register to vote, respond to the census, and join our conversations. Together we can build a more equitable future.
Monetta White, MoAD Executive Director