The Atlantic looks back at 1968

The Atlantic‘s In Focus offers 50 images from 50 years ago.

Policemen Choking African American Rioter

Original caption: Miami policemen, one holding the man’s arm and the other with an arm lock on his neck, drag away a Negro youth during a clash between police and rioters in that city’s predominantly Negro Liberty City district on August 8, 1968. Bettmann / Getty

The Liberator, a role to play

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Jefferson L. Edmonds‘s newspaper had the byline, “A weekly newspaper devoted to the cause of good government and the advancement of the Negro.”

Toussaint L’Ouverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines come to mind.

The claims for greater freedom are never enough. The role of operators acting on the machineries that produce civics, culture and liberties, Liberator, if you will, is pivotal and always needed.

W H Johnson
William H. Johnson, Toussaint l’Ouverture, Haiti, ca. 1945, oil on paperboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Harmon Foundation, 1967.59.1154

Jean-Jacques Dessalines and the Haitian Revolution– William and Mary Quarterly, July 2012.

We are not surprised.

We are not surprised.

We are artists, arts administrators, assistants, curators, directors, editors, educators, gallerists, interns, scholars, students, writers, and more—workers of the art world—and we have been groped, undermined, harassed, infantilized, scorned, threatened, and intimidated by those in positions of power who control access to resources and opportunities. We have held our tongues, threatened by power wielded over us and promises of institutional access and career advancement.

We are not surprised when curators offer exhibitions or support in exchange for sexual favors. We are not surprised when gallerists romanticize, minimize, and hide sexually abusive behavior by artists they represent. We are not surprised when a meeting with a collector or a potential patron becomes a sexual proposition. We are not surprised when we are retaliated against for not complying. We are not surprised when Knight Landesman gropes us in the art fair booth while promising he’ll help us with our career. Abuse of power comes as no surprise.

This open letter stems from a group discussion about sexual harassment within our field,


© Jenny Holzer, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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Towards an age of maturity

The School of Life on some pivotal moments in the development of Romanticism, adjusted the way we feel and look at the world – influencing thoughts on love, nature, industry and children.

Related : A longer piece on the shortcomings of Romanticism.

Haitian Heritage

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A speech act – Declare that you’re free and independent then you are free and independent, with caveats. In Miami, heritage is marked by, at least, a monument and a holiday.