BLACKOUT: Through the Veiled Eyes of Others

February 6, 2016 to March 19, 2016

Racist Memorabilia from the Collection of William Berry, Jr.

Berry’s collection highlights how ordinary household artifacts have distorted how generations of Americans view people of African descent as somehow less than human. Mainstream media may refer to a post-racial 21st century America, but stereotypes and distortions of Black people persist nonetheless. This exhibition invited viewers to confront how everyday objects support and perpetuate racism.

“I remember at a certain point in time there was an argument that Black people should seek to have this stuff destroyed,” says Berry. “My position was that you always want to remember what happens when you allow someone to define who you are.”

A retired higher education administrator, Berry currently publishes the online literary journal, aaduna. He has researched and reflected on the variations of racial thinking since the 1960s, and started to collect “differing” images of Black identity in the early 1970s.


Press Links:

– Auburn



This project was made possible, in part, with funds from the Decentralization Program,
a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts  with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by CNY Arts.
Anti-Racism & White Privilege Study Group, Diane Cass & Tim McLaughlin,
Edgewood Gallery, Lanny Freshman & Rae Kramer, Bob Gates & Deborah Welsh, Diane Grafly & Paul Pearce, John Haritatos, Marjorie Head, Barbara Kobritz, Leslie & George Lawrence, Frank & Kathleen Malfitano,  Ellen McKinnon,Rick Olanoff & Susan Wadley, Dr. Erica Vernold Miller, Shirley & Larry Novak, Carole Resnick, Alan Rosenthal, Dana Sovocool, Ann Tiffany & Ed Kinane, Mary Traynor, Carmen Viviano-Crafts and Anita Welych



Kathy Barry & Brian Caufield, Donald Blair & Nancy Dock, John & Dolores Brule, Chana Bursztyn, Dik Cool, Annemarie Deegan, David & Jeanne Holstein, The Holtz Family Fund, Sandra Hurd & Joel Potash, Ann Jamison, Mary Kuhn, Joe Leonard, Walter & Lauren Melnikow, Fred & Diane Murphy, Dene Sarason, Robert Sarason & Jane Burkhead, George Savage, Laurie Gilmore Selleck, Cindy Seymour & Laura Serway, Tupper Property Management, Jeff Unaitis, Ron Van Norstrand, Amy Zamkoff and Anonymous