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You’re invited to the Black Lunch Table: Serving up equity for artists

Jina Valentine (left) and Heather Hart (right) created the Black Lunch Table project. Photo courtesy

A 10-year tradition aimed at making Wikipedia better reflect Black artists is coming to U of T Scarborough.

The Black Lunch Table project will host an edit-a-thon at the Doris McCarthy Gallery on March 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The project’s goal is to create, update and improve Wikipedia articles pertaining to the lives and works of visual artists from the African Diaspora. No Wikipedia editing experience or subject knowledge is necessary—you'll be prepped with a session on how to edit pages, and can also learn in advance of the event through this presentation.

The project is open to all students, faculty and staff—simply bring your laptop (and a friend!) and learn as you go. 

The Black Lunch Table is an ongoing collaboration between artists Jina Valentine and Heather Hart and has run as a collaboration between the artists for 10 years. The project aims to fill any gaps in the documentation of contemporary art history, and to celebrate the diversity in art and of its artists. 

“The significance of the Black lunch tables in elementary, middle, high school and university lunchrooms is specific to those who choose to participate in its formation, and those whom it necessarily excludes,” Valentine and Hart wrote in an essay for the Skowhegan Journal. “Their existence within otherwise public spaces marks the self-segregation, residual of our country’s history in legal segregation, as well as the persistent and lingering forms of voluntary segregation.”

The event’s Wikipedia page includes a list of 60 artists whose pages may be edited, but participants can also add other under-represented artists not included in the master list.

“The edit-a-thon complements Hart’s exhibition, Northern Oracle, and furthers Hart’s commitment to giving voice and space to those who are systemically marginalized. We hope to see strong attendance for this endeavour," says Ann MacDonald, the Director and Curator of U of T Scarborough's Doris McCarthy Gallery.

Visit the Wikipedia page to learn how you can join the Black Lunch Table.

© University of Toronto Scarborough