Black Thought Project

Lessons on Centering Blackness

Posted March 7, 2024
By Alicia M. Walters, The Maven Collaborative
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This report reflects on the first four years of the Black Thought Project.

Created by Alicia M. Walters of The Maven Collaborative with funding support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Black Thought Project is a community-based experiment that leverages interactive art installations to create safe spaces of expression and reflection for Black people.

Areas of Focus

The project employs Black Thought Walls to ask questions for the Black community to consider and answer. These questions are divided into seven areas of focus: 1. Individual Wholeness and Dignity; 2. Collective Commitment and Power; 3. Repairing Harm; 4. Rebuilding Trust and Relationships; 5. Redefining Safety and Threats; 6. Thriving and Liberation; and 7. Shared Abundance

Early Impact

In its first four years, the Black Thought Project has activated 15 walls in four cities across the nation. This effort, buoyed by collaborations with over 30 organizations, has documented 1,500 responses as well as 60 audio and visual reactions. The public sharing of these responses creates a powerful opportunity for the broader society to see Black people as they see themselves and for Black people to engage in the practice of freely expressing, exploring and elevating their story, culture, community and history.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations

It's an art installation — and so much more.

The Black Thought Project creates narratives that uplift and liberate Black people while engaging and empowering community members — both Black and non-black — in opportunities to practice the act of Centering Blackness.