Learning list: Anti-Black racism and graphic design
Embedded in the Western graphic design industry is anti-Black racism and Eurocentrism.
This Black History Month, we've compiled a by no means exhaustive list of graphic design-related resources and articles that explore the experiences of Black designers and the effects of white supremacy in the industry.
Seminal works to read/view
- Cheryl D. Miller's 1987 piece in PRINT Magazine, “Black Designers: Missing in Action” (Cheryl reflected on the piece and her design journey in this recent Fast Company article)
- Maurice Cherry's presentation, “Where Are the Black Designers?”, originally presented in 2015 at SXSW Interactive
Articles & books
- The Black Experience in Graphic Design: 1968 and 2020 (DesignThinkers presentations by contributors Forest Young and Eddie Opara are available this February if you're interested in learning more from them)
- Nontsikelelo Mutiti on Interrogating the Euro-centric Design Canon
- Racism for Designers: Dismantling the Design System of White Supremacy
- Racism and inequity are products of design. They can be redesigned.
- George Sully On Making an Index of Black Designers in Canada
- Celebrating the African-American Practitioners Absent From Way Too Many Classroom Lectures
- Case Study: When Your Brand is Racist
- How Do You Fix A Brand With A Racist Stereotype?
- Understanding Jim Crow: Using Racist Memorabilia to Teach Tolerance and Promote Social Justice by David Pilgrim
- Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble
- The entire Where Are the Black Designers? Conference is available for free viewing on YouTube
- Emory Douglas: The Art of the Black Panthers
- Designing for Stigma—A Framework (available for viewing in RGD Members Video Archive)
- Confronting anti-Black racism through printmaking
- I Never Knew Black People Could Design (available for viewing in RGD Members Video Archive but free for all for the month of February)
Instagram accounts to follow
- Black Designers of Canada, “Canada’s first comprehensive index of Canadian Black designers.”
- Design Justice Network, “an international community of people and organizations who are committed to rethinking design processes so that they centre people who are too often marginalized by design.”
- Where Are the Black Designers, “an initiative and platform for Black designers. By connecting designers, educators, and creative leaders, [they] host a dialogue about change, both in and out of the design industry.”
- AFROTECTOPIA, “a social institution fostering interdisciplinary innovation at the intersections of art, design, technology, Black culture, and activism.”
- For educators: Racism Untaught, “design educators who facilitate workshops for academics and industry to identify forms of Racialized Design – design that perpetuates elements of racism.”
Many of these articles and resources are American. If you're aware of anti-Black racism and graphic design-related pieces written from a Canadian perspective that should be added to this list, please email Rebecca at email@example.com.