In the world of black creatives, a group of 80 photographers have formed a collective in response to the current climate to raise funds and support causes aligning with their vision of black prosperity. See in Black is a way that creatives are doing their part to dismantle white supremacy and systematic oppression. Their sale of highly-curated original images from black photographers are being sold for $100 each with 100 percent of the proceeds going to non-profit organizations supporting the improvement of black lives.
“See In Black is a collective of Black photographers who uplift and invest in Black visibility. Through the sale of highly-curated prints from Black photographers, we raise funds that support five key pillars of Black advancement: civil rights, education/arts, intersectionality, community building, and criminal justice reform.” – See In Black Mission Statement.
See in Black shines light on black art that may otherwise be overshadowed and exploited by the public. And even as they intended to create a platform for them, a museum still found a way to take advantage of this. The Whitney Museum of American Art purchased work from See in Black, far below the market value in an attempt to add them to an upcoming exhibit. This was without first obtaining permission from the artists themselves. People were outraged which thankfully resulted in the exhibit cancellation.
The museum saw this as an opportunity to come up on a good deal of black art in an attempt to make themselves look good rather than truly supporting the black artists behind the work. A performative action that came back to bite them and show their true colors. Not paying the artists for their work let alone asking for their permission is a slap in the face to black creatives. See in Black put out a statement condemning the unauthorized use of the works and reminded everyone about the purpose of their initiative.
Just as black people always do, See in Black stood tall and didn’t let potential exploitation discredit their mission. They are carrying on with their intent to not only show their solidary but create a space to share black art and the importance of investing in black imagery. What started as a concept grew into an amazing movement to uplift and invest in Black visibility.