Black Lives Matter

The police slaying of George Floyd adds another appalling chapter to the chronicle of law enforcement killings of black people presented in the JSMA’s recent show by artist Carrie Mae Weems. Art is a powerful tool for social justice and we encourage you to watch People of a Darker Hue, the 15-minute video created by Weems. At the JSMA we believe museums have a responsibility to educate and teach from an anti-racist and equity lens through our exhibitions and education programs and not remain neutral in the fight to eliminate racism. When words are not enough, art can move people to change.

In this moment of crisis, what must be emphatically acknowledged is the continuing racist history of white supremacy in the United States and the incalculable pain, oppression, inequality, exhaustion, and untimely death sentences it exacts on black Americans in particular. Our anger at this history and our outrage that it continues should only be exceeded by our commitment to actions that will change it.

Please take a moment to read the powerful statement from our campus colleagues in the Black Strategies Group, the Black Cultural Center, and the Black Academic Excellence Team. We also want to recognize the University of Oregon leadership for speaking out and encourage you to read the statement from UO President Michael Schill, Provost and Senior Vice-President Patrick Phillips, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion Yvette Alex-Assensoh, and Kevin Marbury, Vice President for Student Life. We particularly agree that “we fully recognize we have much, much more to do here.” 

As the JSMA plans how we will open our doors again later this year, we are already gearing up to work harder than ever to support racial justice. Black Lives Matter. 


Teaching Resource Guide Carrie Mae Weems: The Usual Suspects
Video: People of a Darker Hue in the exhibition Carrie Mae Weems: The Usual Suspects.
Video: Carrie Mae Weems; The Usual Suspects DIgital Exhibition
Video: Carrie Mae Weems; The Usual Suspects A Minute Exhibit
Video: Why Aren't There More Black People in Oregon. A Hidden History with Walidah Imarisha
Video: Reflections on the Origins and Meanings of Question Bridge: Black Males with Chris Johnson