“Black Collectivities” selectively reproduces and expands on the proceedings of a conference held in Chicago in May 2013 that brought together an international roster of artists, art historians, cultural critics, and curators invested in the histories and futures of collaborative practice in Africa and its diasporas. In this article, conference organizers Huey Copeland and Naomi Beckwith introduce the aesthetic, conceptual, and political stakes animating the conference and the issue emerging from it with an eye toward both critiquing mainstream artistic discourses around collectivity and articulating the centrality of black cultural practices to them.

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