A free archive of rare books on Black art and design has been launched by Solange’s creative agency Saint Heron, to encourage education, knowledge production, creative inspiration, and skill development. We love to see it. 

Featuring prominent authors and artists, including the likes of Audre Lorde and Fred Wilson, the interactive website promises to expand the Black community’s access to cultural and creative resources and offers free insight into the minds of the greatest Black thinkers. Something that has been sorely lacking from any Western art curriculum.

 
 
 
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Spanning visual art, poetry, critical thought and design, the free community library aims to provide a space where the legacy of Black identity in creative and cultural production is catalogued and celebrated. The literary works, which include rare and out-of-print titles, can be borrowed for 45 days by anyone in the U.S.

Rosa Duffy, founder of Atlanta-based community bookstore and reading room For Keeps Books, has guest-curated over 50 titles for this first season which launched this week. The first season will run until 29 October and include titles such as a signed first edition of In Our Terribleness by Leroi Jones and a signed copy of The Meeting Point by Austin Clarke. 

 
 
 
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Duffy commented on the collection, “it was really focusing on the people that we know and love, but we might not know the details of what they do. So highlighting these artists, I think that's really important, because then you get to the different mediums and the different spaces that we can move throughout that we might not always be affirmed that we can move through.”

The project is art directed by Solange Knowles herself alongside Sabla Stays. The website offers a striking interactive design with an earthy colour palette, allowing browsers to hover over titles to see cover of books in the library. 

 
 
 
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Solange commented, “These works expand imaginations, and it is vital to us to make them accessible to students, and our communities for research and engagement, so that the works are integrated into our collective story and belong and grow with us.” Free to borrow via online registration, requests are fulfilled on a first come, first served basis.

Aside from her Grammy award-winning singing and songwriting career, Solange has also exhibited performance art, digital work and sculpture at the Guggenheim Museum, the Menil Collection, the Hammer Museum, and Tate Modern.

A queen.

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