Kimberly Drew and various people in the arts in Vanity Fair:
Black life—our joys and our oppression—has been embedded into American history since the first ship of enslaved Africans arrived in 1619. Now we’re seeing a seismic shift in how individuals, corporations, and institutions are reckoning with our nation’s racism.
On social media, companies use marketing dollars to value signal their “wokeness”; a trend that has made its way into the cultural sphere, with museums sharing the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag alongside works by African American artists. In an ideal world, this show of solidarity would be powerful. But, as a former employee of Creative Time, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I, like many art workers and visitors, have been underwhelmed. Watching museums like the British Museum and the Met—institutions with historic ties to colonialism—use a slogan rather than admit to their own roles in the “race problem” ignites a desire for a more holistic investigation of museums not only as homes for art and culture, but as entities with both the buying power and the political ties to make a lasting impact on life beyond this uprising.