Engaging children with artists who look like them, have similar experiences, and come from similar backgrounds is a great source of inspiration and empowerment. By reflecting their own identities, experiences and motivations (mirrors) and also providing insight into the identities, experiences and motivations of others (windows) can move students toward more nuanced perceptions of the world around them (sliding glass doors).* Discover new BIPOC artists to add to your curriculum.
*Source: By Rudine Sims Bishop, The Ohio State University. "Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors"
Artists have many layered identities and art educators need to present them as such.
Representing diverse artists in your curriculum is only part of an Anti-Bias, Anti-Racist curriculum. It needs to be more than a symbolic effort and art educators need to take into account intersectionality when introducing these artists to students. How do aspects of an artists’ social and political identities (ex. gender, sex, race, class, sexuality, religion, ability, physical appearance, etc.) intersect within their work?
In addition, we recognize that race is socially constructed and it is impossible to put humans in clearly defined categories by race. Racial identity is deeply personal, and artists within any given subgroup define themselves differently. Race, ethnicity, and nationality are all factors artist's individually consider as their personal identity. However, as mentioned previously that is not all that there is to their identity. We know that artists have many layered identities and art educators need to do the research to present them as such. These groupings are not perfect, as humans are not meant to be divided into boxes. We hope this resource can help art educators identify who is missing from their curriculum in order to create a curriculum more representative of the incredible diversity among students and artists today.
Africa: the continent that is to the south of the Mediterranean Sea, to the east of the Atlantic Ocean, and to the west of the Indian Ocean. There are 54 countries in Africa today, according to the United Nations. These include: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Camoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
African: relating to Africa or people of African descent.
African-American: an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa. Used to describe ethnicity while Black often describes race. (For example, Black people who live in America but are from other parts of the world other than Africa may not identify as African-American. However, those factions of people may still consider ‘Black’ to be their identity.)
Black: of or relating to any of various population groups having dark pigmentation of the skin or ancestry originating in Africa.
Ethnicity: a group of people who identify with one another with similarities such as history, culture, language, ancestry, etc.
Race: a group of people who share cultural elements such as language, history, etc.