The Racial Imaginary

When Claudia Rankine was recognized by the MacArthur Foundation in 2016, she used her $625,000 award to build an extraordinary Interdisciplinary Cultural Library to provide a platform for artists and scholars to explore the idea of race. Two curators for The Racial Imaginary Institute—essayist and painter, LeRonn P. Brooks, Ph.D. and renowned poet and lawyer Monica Youn—will lead a discussion of this new model of art curation, collaboration, and its role in lifting voices that are otherwise unheard through galleries and museums.

LeRonn P. Brooks

Dr. LeRonn P. Brooks an assistant professor in the Department of Africana Studies at Lehman College of CUNY. His interviews, essays, and poetry have appeared in publications for Bomb Magazine, The Studio Museum In Harlem, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Spelman Museum of Art, The International Review of African American Art as well as The Aperture Foundation, among others. He has received fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation and Callaloo Journal and is a curator for The Racial Imaginary Institute and the Bronx Council on the Arts. He is also the creator and executive-producer of Culture/Context, an online conversation series currently featuring major African American and African artists.

Monica Youn

Monica Youn is the author of three books of poetry, most recently BLACKACRE (2016), which won the William Carlos Williams Award. It was also a finalist for the NBCC Award, the Kingsley Tufts Award and the PEN Open Book Award and longlisted for the National Book Award. Blackacre was named one of the year’s best poetry collections by the New York Times, the Washington Post and BuzzFeed. Her previous book IGNATZ (2010) was a finalist for the National Book Award. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Witter Bynner Fellowship from the Library of Congress, the Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, and residencies from Civitella Ranieri, the Rockefeller Foundation / Villa Serbelloni, the MacDowell Colony and the Corporation of Yaddo. Her poems have been widely published, including in Poetry, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Lana Turner, The Paris Review, and The Best American Poetry. Linda Gregerson has called her “one of the two or three most brilliant poets working in America today.” The daughter of Korean immigrants and a former lawyer, she teaches at Princeton University and in the MFA Programs at NYU and Columbia University.