Romi Crawford - "Fleeting Monuments for the Wall of Respect"

Thursday, June 10, 2021 - 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Romi Crawford

Romi Crawford discusses Fleeting Monuments for the Wall of Respect with contributors.


In partnership with the University of Minnesota Press, the Institute of African American Affairs & Center for Black Visual Culture at New York University, and the Green Lantern Press, the Seminary Co-op celebrates the launch of Fleeting Monuments for the Wall of Respect. Edited by Romi Crawford, this publication collects over thirty artistic responses to the Wall of Respect, a work of public art created in 1967 at the corner of Forty-third Street and Langley Avenue on Chicago’s South Side. The Wall depicted Black leaders in music, literature, politics, theater, and sports. It sparked a nationwide mural movement, provided a platform for community engagement, and was a foundational work of the Black Arts Movement. There is no longer any physical indication of its existence, but it still needs to be remembered. Romi Crawford proposes the concept of “fleeting monuments,” asking a range of artists and writers to realize antiheroic, non-static, and impermanent strategies for commemoration.

Fleeting Monuments for the Wall of Respect contributors include: Miguel Aguilar, Abdul Akalimat and the Amus Mor Project, Wisdom Baty, Lauren Berlant, Mark Blanchard, Bethany Collins, Darryl Cowherd, D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem, Julio Finn, Maria Gaspar, Theaster Gates, Wills Glasspiegel, Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, Stephanie Koch, Kelly Lloyd, Damon Locks, Haki Madhubuti, Faheem Majeed, Nicole Mitchell Gantt, Naeem Mohaiemen, K. Kofi Moyo, Robert E. Paige, Kamau Patton, Jefferson Pinder, Cauleen Smith, Rohan Ayinde, solYchaski, Norman Teague, Jan Tichy, Visiting Val Gray Ward, Mechtild Widrich, and Bernard Williams.

About the Editor: Romi Crawford is a professor in the Visual and Critical Studies and Liberal Arts departments at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is coeditor of The Wall of Respect: Public Art and Black Liberation in 1960s Chicago.

Advance Praise:

Fleeting Monuments for the Wall of Respect is stunning, revelatory, and moving—a magical accomplishment. It is history, art, witnessing come alive through all the senses. It is deeply important. Read it, read it again, gift it, consult it, quote it, and remember.” —Yo-Yo Ma

“These ‘Fleeting Monuments’ are rich, generous gifts grounded in this Black nationalist geography that continues to offer reflection, hope, and joy.” —Dr. Kymberly Pinder

“The Wall of Respect is in all of us, and this book is an ideally heartwarming story of how Chicago has created a culture of resistance, resilience, and revolution. A must-read.” —Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky.

“This book is a clarion call for us all to reimagine how we remember both the dreams deferred and the joys of history. Once you step into its pages, you realize it is also a portal to a dazzling world away from the dreariness of debates about monuments and memorials to a free world where our radical imaginations are unleashed to create something truly beautiful and new.” —Dr. Lisa Yun Lee

This project is partially supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art through the foundation’s initiative Art Design Chicago. Additional support comes from the Field Foundation of Illinois and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

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