This page will be regularly updated throughout the run of the exhibition with virtual content, research, and anecdotes from black artists and and the culture.

There Are Black People in the Future, Alisha Wormsley


There are Black People in the Future is inspired by afro-futurist artists and writers who highlight the need for Black people to claim their place. Through the inscription and utterance of the words, ‘There are Black People in the Future,’ the project addresses systemic oppression of black communities through space and time by reassuring the presence of Black bodies. In 2017, Wormsley placed these words on a billboard in East Liberty, a neighborhood in Pittsburgh’s east end that has suffered gentrification. When the billboard was removed by the city, community members protested, in response to this community support, Wormsley has raised grant money to artists, activists, and community workers in Pittsburgh and Houston around their interpretation of the phrase “There Are Black People in the Future”. Since then, the billboard has been replicated in Detroit, Charlotte, New York City, , Kansas City and Houston, and London. The text, which Wormsley encourages others to use freely, has since been used in protest, critical art theory, essays, song, testimony and collective dreaming.

Still Ticking, Betye Saar

Mixed Media Assemblage

Jazz Band, Norman Lewis



Black to the Future, Jay Katelansky

"Here’s the story behind the print and why I love it so much. The summer of 2013 I had just started my graduate program at the University of Wisconsin Madison. I didn’t know anyone really but being Black at a PWI, Black folks find you. I had quickly met some Black Ph.D. students and one of them, after finding out I was an Art major, extended an invite to go with them to the Milwaukee Art Museum to see the current exhibition 30 Americans. 30 Americans is a dynamic exploration of contemporary American art. Paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, video, and more made by African American artists since 1970.

On our way home back to Madison I was falling in and out of sleep but a sign had caught my eye that said “Black to the Future”. I honestly didn’t know if I dreamed it or if it actually existed but I thought about that sign for almost two whole years and I talked about it a lot. I didn’t drive so I didn’t even think of trying to find it.

​My friend @last_april , another Black Graduate student, one day took me on a trip where we drove the direction towards Milwaukee in hopes we would catch the sign. And there it was, A changing LED sign for a pavement company that had a handful of slogans. We waited for 20 minutes to catch the specific phrase “Black to the Future” and the moment it flashed on the screen I yelled joyfully and snapped this photo."

Montara, Bobby Hutcherson

Image: Riis Beach, Summer 2021.
Ladan Badan


"Yes, I receive your warmth. Remember the days I thought the sun had turned to me? I was overheating as you watched my hands, neck, mouth. I have regrets, I have skeletons you said, and offered me three honeys. I wanted dreams, and meat, shared sandwiches and secret gardens. When I was young, I thought you were the sun. I hurried into beams. I galed lyric at cloud cover. Can black girls bask (in love)? You don’t need any more sun, people said as we squinted at the star that melded us. I realized too late you’re a well lined with mirrors. Yes, I was swimming in my own light."

The Freedman's Savings and Trust Company and African American Genealogical Research


Among the most underused bodies of federal records useful for African American genealogical research are the records of the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company. Chartered by Congress in early 1865 for the benefit of ex-slaves, the surviving records relating to the bank and its collapse are a rich source of documentation about the African American family. In an effort to protect the interests of depositors and their heirs in the event of a depositor's death, the branches of what is generally referred to as the Freedman's Bank collected a substantial amount of detailed information about each depositor and his or her family. The data found in the files provide researchers with a rare opportunity to document the black family for the period immediately following the Civil War.

Learn more

Air Jordan
Designer : Peter Moore
Released : 1985

Original Price : $65

The NBA banned the original Air Jordan for not meeting the league's stringent policy on uniforms and colors. Jordan wore them anyway and faced a $5,000-per-game fine as a result. Recognizing a unique marketing opportunity when it presented itself, Nike happily paid the fine. And MJ rocked them all the way to his Rookie of the Year honor.

Footlocker: History of the Air Jordan

Burlap, ink, metal on board

14 x 22"


Short Documentary from Bascule

Haneef is a short documentary about jazz musician Ron Bridgewater, and how he honors family and legacy through music. The film is a snapshot of his robust career—where he’s played with the likes of Lena Horne, McCoy Tyner, Max Roach, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis and several other innovators of what we understand as “Jazz Music.”


Work by Jameel Bridgewater, founder of Bascule