Visitors reflected on American history and the way the exhibition resonated with past events and the present moment.
This exhibit, although difficult, is obviously necessary. We need to accept history, acknowledge pain and suffering, and attempt to understand the emotions associated with every aspect of our past, present, and future. The complexity of the emotions felt are a bit overwhelming, but I feel if you didn’t feel that way, I’d ask “where is your place in America.”
Heartbreaking to know that the prejudice and horrific treatment continues today. Since George Floyd was murdered I’ve had my eyes opened to how police treat people with dark skin. I will continue to vote and protest against this, but it feels like such an uphill battle – and I don’t really know or understand half of it.
Thank you for providing a moving exhibit at an important time when it feels like we are falling away from what so many saw as hopeful under the Obama administration. How does one avoid feeling exhausted when hate and ugliness are so tenacious?
I am Sad; that belief systems create a sense of superiority and otherness, often considering others subhuman. Sad; that there was no accountability for truly evil acts. Sad; how much racism is still around and becoming more openly displayed by those who perpetrate it.
Uncomfortable. Sadness. How can people do this? Have we learned anything? Do these things/thoughts keep repeating thru history?
There is a tendency to think of works of art as history. The dialogue in this exhibit is as contemporary as today’s front page news. As individuals, we try to grow but as we become used to challenging history we become comfortable in thinking that history is in the past. Exhibits like this illustrate how concepts and perceptions are perpetual. An uncomfortable truth.
I’m finding myself thinking about how the sentiments and rage behind these violent acts depicted in the art here are still SO present today.
It is horrifying and unsettling to look at this body of work, but so important to remind ourselves (especially white people) of what has happened (and in some cases is STILL happening). These acts of violence did NOT happen that long ago. We MUST continue to educate ourselves and advocate for the END of anti-Black violence.
Powerful, tragic, painful, and also beautiful and so creative – This is an amazing exhibit that expresses so much and hits you in your heart and soul. Thank you for gathering this together to share with us.
The exhibit gives a brief glimpse into history that is ever unknown. It is not taught or it is dismissed completely. A great way to springboard people to do more research and learn about other parts of history in its totality.
Powerful – through depictions of the Black body – or its notable absence – the visitor steps into “the site of struggle” where one has to account for what we have done and not done and the parallels with today’s white and black violence where the rope noose has been replaced by the police officer’s gun.
Very moving. I believe everyone should see and learn more from this American history.
Very powerful and prescient. The first photo on violence by police could be an image that is seen today. There are never enough words to express violence, but this “show” tries to create a language. Language is power.
As a person from Birmingham who enjoys learning more about the Black freedom struggle and the history of race in America, this exhibit does an amazing job of highlighting how art fosters necessary controversy and conversation when depicting difficult topics.
This is a space for Black people. This is a space for me. With institutions/museums I always have the question of who is this for regardless of who “they” say it is. A Site of Struggle presents the historical modern art of anti-Blackness in a way that could only be done by Black voices. A Site of Struggle is a part of revolutionary history—not yet fully written but there.
Allowed me to reflect and question how we share crucial but violent stories of lynching and Black pain. What do the current methods of sharing violence against Black people do? Who does it benefit? The exhibit really drew out these questions and reflections.
I know that this is American.
It is part of the history that is
untold, invisible, and shocking to realize.
America must evolve.
America must never forget this part of itself and must always reflect. I must never forget this part, I must always reflect.
And pay attention.
As a white person my gaze is turned back on me and I wonder if I should look, how I should look, how long – the cost of looking, the cost of not looking. I am carrying away the idea of lynching as white socialization – from childhood, the lessons learned. That the spectators wore their Sunday best and furs – an event, a spectacle. What is passed down? All that I have inherited.
Thank you for a thoughtful exhibition. This topic is exceptionally challenging especially as Black people continue to be subject to anti-Black violence in the U.S. and beyond. A Site of Struggle feels respectful; it avoids the sensationalism that permeates social media networks. This exhibition feels mediative. Thank you.