UN -

Graphic Design

Thesis Exhibition


A Sin of Omission, Immoral Unbalance in the History of Graphic Design

My research has put me on the path of exploring the missing Black American diaspora in the field of graphic design. My purpose is to bring to the forefront those persons having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa who contributed to design, with little to no recognition, in the classroom and history books. It is not meant to discredit those designers having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe who have significantly impacted the design profession.

Throughout my research, I have found some design work of Black American designers reminiscent of some well-known Euro-American designers. These designers’ works are from three decades: 1920s, 1960s, and 1990s. When comparing the work of two designers (one Black American designer and one Euro-American designer) from each of the three decades, the similarities are glaring. My research begs the questions, “Why are the works of these Black American designers not represented, showcased, or highlighted in design history books or classrooms? Why, instead, have only the works of the Euro-American designers with similar styles been described, showcased, or highlighted in said books and classes?” 

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

-James Baldwin