Using Tricia Hersey’s liberatory framework of “rest is resistance” as inspiration, The Center for Black Visual Culture (CBVC) at the Institute of African American Affairs commits to making Black rest visible. The Black Rest Project (BRP) seeks reparative justice and healing through the exploration of rest as a revolutionary act. Black people’s collective exhaustion is not an acceptable byproduct of Black life or struggle but rather a crisis of depletion that threatens every aspect of our goals and well-being including social justice. The BRP aims to push past the walls of academia and support healing in diverse spaces and forums.

Through strategic partnerships with visionary scholars, cultural workers, artists, and community organizations, the BRP will excavate, curate, and amplify both visual narratives of Black Rest and leisure to create meaningful discourse. We ask: What does Black rest look like? What are the necessary disruptions and interventions in our institutions, artistic and scholarly praxis that must happen in order to make Black rest possible? How do we eradicate the lingering feelings of guilt, projected laziness, shame, and worthlessness that often impede Black rest? As America undergoes “The Great Resignation” and re-evaluates its relationship to work, we subject this moment to a deliberately diasporic Black, brown, queer and immigrant lens

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