How a Black Art Library Quickly Gained Momentum

Black Art Library Pop Up at the 48HR Complex in Highland Park Michigan.

Image courtesy of Asmaa Walton.

In this interview for Hyperallergic, Mia Imani Harrison speaks with Detroit native Asmaa Walton on the importance of art education and practices of decolonial archiving. Walton is the creator of the Black Art Library, which began as a Black History Month experiment where Walton would post the covers of anthologies, art books, exhibition catalogues, and monographs from Black visual culture on Instagram. The Black Art Library has since grown from a purely digital space into the physical world. Walton shares her inspiration for beginning this project and her dissatisfaction with formal art educational space, thus igniting her interest in doing more community based work with Black people.

“There are new hybrid places that aren’t centered around the colonial aspect of education and academia. It’s exciting to see all of these new Instagram pages that are of different archival projects. There’s so much history that we just don’t really know about and we don’t really know how to find information for it. I want to see more of these kinds of archives, the kind of libraries that are really utilized by the communities that they’re represented.” - Asmaa Walton