Opening: Friday, March 24 from 6:30pm to 10pm
In 2014, as an expansion of his commemorative exhibition presented at the National Education Association RA, Brent “Munch” Joseph initiated an exhibition proposal centered on the 1954 Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education. Five separate cases representing five jurisdictions across our nation were consolidated under one, each calling for gross societal inequities to be resolved. Of the five cases brought before the court, Bolling v. Sharpe was initiated in the District’s own Anacostia neighborhood, where parents wanted equal opportunity to enroll their students in the newly built John Phillip Sousa Junior High School. This case questioned the doctrine of separate but equal grounded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. Under this clause, segregation was permissible, provided that individuals are treated in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances. But even in the instance of objective equivalence, there lay intangible disparities built into separateness. Thus, it was argued that separation was/is “inherently unequal.”
As we look back at the historic threshold marked by the Brown v. Board of Education decision, how confident are we that the practice of exclusion been eradicated? How has the reversal of segregation laws led to ebbs and flows of migrations across urban and suburban boundaries, in essence re-creating highly segregated population distributions? How do the politics of access and strategies for inclusion affect the multifaceted lives we lead today? And what are the implications of this decision on the infinitely diverse race, class, and gender classifications of citizens protected under the 14th Amendment? Contemporary artists selected by Joseph will address these and other questions related to this topic. Visual art, public programming, thematic live performances and a series of lectures and demonstrations to be led by leading multidisciplinary artists and thinkers, will also engage a public audience on the ways in which education and the arts can be keys towards achieving equality.
- Brent “Munch” Joseph
- Nabeeh Bilal (CreativeJunkFood), Billy Colbert, Jay Coleman, Dana Ellyn, Shaunté Gates, Brandon Hill (No Kings Collective), David Ibata, Charles Jean-Pierre, Ajamu Kojo, Malkia K. Lydia, Maggie Michael, Stan Squirewell, Cory Stower, Candice Taylor (CreativeJunkFood), Buck, Munch and Jada Batts. With contributions from Project Create, Sitar Center, THEARC.
- The CrossRhodes [Raheem Devaughn + Wes Felton]
The exhibition will be on display in the gallery at 200 I (Eye) Street SE. For more information and to RSVP for the opening reception, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/is-separate-ever-equal-exhibit-opening-tickets-32862108451.