Red, White, Black and Blue: Documenting America’s Racial Illiteracy – A Keith Knight Presentation

Knight’s talk was both autobiographical and a chance to comment on society through his art. Knight, who grew up in Boston, remarked that he had only one black teacher in school – and that was a substitute who, as a comic artist, at least modeled a career that appealed to Knight. It wasn’t until Knight was in college that he actually read the works of African American authors…

“When people always say, ‘Why do you always have to make it about race?’ We didn’t make it about race. White people made it about race a long time ago, and we are the residual effects,” Knight said. “This is why I do what I do. I try to make it funny, but we have to have the awkward conversation”…

Knight urged all to speak up against racism and to understand the experience of not being prioritized. “Where you don’t hear about your history, your accomplishments, where every book that you read does not feature you as a protagonist,” he said.

VCU News reviews the recent slideshow presentation by Keith Knight.

“He’s especially important because he is of the moment,” said Cindy Jackson, library specialist for comic arts. “His comics are very timely and socially conscious and his message is important. And I really think it connects with audiences young and old.”


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