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.
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 .
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 center 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.”