featuring Huey Copeland, Thelma Golden, Kellie Jones, Bennett Simpson, and Hamza Walker

Sunday, December 8, 2pm
1020 E 58th St - Kent Hall, Room 107 at the University of Chicago 

On the occasion of publishing the Black Is, Black Ain’t exhibition catalog, the Renaissance Society has organized a symposium revisiting issues raised in the exhibition of the same name, curated by Hamza Walker and shown at the Society in 2008. Given the extent to which race is bound to visual representation, exhibitions have played no small role in instigating discussion. They are where identity has been asserted, critiqued, and dismantled, all in a healthy circular fashion.

This symposium’s cast of curators, critics, and scholars will reflect on a series of seminal exhibitions from Black Male (1994) through Blues for Smoke (2012) and the context in which they were mounted, from the riots ensuing in the wake of the Rodney King beating to Obama’s presidential election. 

Panelists include:
Huey Copeland, moderator, Associate Professor of Art History at Northwestern University 

Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem 

Kellie Jones, Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University 

Bennett Simpson, Curator at Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles 

Hamza Walker, Associate Curator and Director of Education at the Renaissance Society

FREE and open to the public.
For more information, visit

Generous support provided by The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation; the University of Chicago Arts and Public Life Initiative; and The Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago.