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Using the art and life of Thornton Dial as a point of departure, this public forum, held on April 8, 2011, explored the status of African American artists within the mainstream contemporary art world, an examination that reflects broader social, economic, and political “hard truths” within society at large. It explored the relevance of black creative expression to issues of social justice across racial boundaries. Fred Moten is a writer and Associate Professor of English at Duke University. Other forum speakers included: Joanne Cubbs- Introduction Greg Tate Julian Bond Theaster Gates Franklin Sirmans

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