Currently almost a million black people (adults and children) are locked up in prisons and jails across the U.S. Millions more are under some form of correctional supervision (probation, parole, etc…). How did we get here? Is it possible to reverse course?
Understanding the history of black criminalization and incarceration in the U.S. is critical to answering these and other questions. We believe that our lack of historical perspective about the origins of mass incarceration limits our ability to develop viable solutions.
Black/Inside: A History of Captivity & Confinement in the U.S. considers how a system of imprisoning Black men and women has been sustained from colonial times to the present. The exhibition illustrates the historical roots of black confinement and provides insights into how the U.S. became a Prison Nation, detaining & incarcerating over 2.3 million people. While we are focused on black confinement and captivity in this exhibition, we must also necessarily interrogate what it means to be “free.”
You can learn more about the Black/Inside exhibition here.