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Reckoning: Racism & Resistance in Glendale

A Multi-Dimensional & Multi-Faceted Virtual Exhibition in Collaboration with ReflectSpace Gallery at Glendale Central Library

It's About Time postcard

In 2020, the City of Glendale took a historic step of reckoning, becoming the first city in California and the third in the nation to pass a sundown town resolution. Sundown towns kept African Americans and other people of color from living in certain communities through formal and informal methods in a purposeful effort to maintain a white population. The resolution acknowledges and apologizes for Glendale’s racist past and pledges to work towards an anti-racist future.

Brand Library & Art Center and ReflectSpace Gallery present “Reckoning: Racism and Resistance in Glendale,” a multi-dimensional and multi-faceted virtual exhibition, public art installation, and community engagement project that examines and responds to the city’s racist history of anti-Blackness, the resistance to that racism, and our current moment of reckoning.

“Reckoning” unfolds in multiple layers throughout February and March:

  • First, the virtual exhibition explores Glendale’s racist history of anti-Blackness through archived materials from the Glendale Central Library Archives and interviews with scholars, activists, and community members. The exhibition will unfold over six weeks in which weekly “episodes” will address the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party’s local history, redlining and sundown town practices, modern-day white supremacy, and the current moment of reckoning and fight against racism.

  • Next, a city-wide public art installation created by local artist and educator April Bey will bring the issues of racism to a larger audience. Bey’s interdisciplinary artwork is an introspective and social critique of American and Bahamian culture, contemporary pop culture, feminism, generational theory, social media, AfroFuturism, AfroSurrealism, post-colonialism, and constructs of race within supremacist systems.

  • Lastly, a collaboration with Glendale Unified School District will engage high school students in the exhibition as viewers and contributors.

“Reckoning” is a part of Glendale Library, Arts & Culture’s Be The Change series, focused on inclusion, diversity, equity, and anti-racism. The exhibit is presented by ReflectSpace Gallery, which explores and reflects on genocides, human and civil rights violations. “Reckoning” is curated by Shannon Currie-Holmes, Ara Oshagan and Anahid Oshagan, and is supported by Glendale Arts & Culture Commission, the Glendale Library Trust, and the Brand Associates.


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