Black Lunch Table: The People’s History
From Meredith Hale
This keynote lecture for the ARLIS/NA Midstates Ohio Valley Joint Chapter Virtual Conference took place on November 13, 2020 and was given by Jina Valentine, co-founder of Black Lunch Table (BLT), and Kevin Whiteneir, project manager at BLT. BLT's primary aim is the production of discursive sites, wherein artists and local community members engage in dialogue on a variety of critical issues. BLT mobilizes a democratic rewriting of contemporary cultural history by animating discourse around and among the people living it. First staged in 2005 at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture artist residency, the project has grown by way of contributions from and collaborations with artists, digital humanities researchers, and Wikipedians. BLT currently includes two roundtable series, an online oral history archive, and a Wikipedia initiative. Much like its creation of physical spaces that foster community and generate critical dialogue, BLT creates a digital space for art, Black studies, and social justice issues.