Past Exhibitions

Syllabus for Black Love Library

Photo of books on display in the Wexner Center Store that are included in curator jaamil olawale kosoko’s Syllabus for Black Love Library.

The Syllabus for Black Love Library invites you to explore a list of publications that expand on the themes of our summer exhibition, Portal For(e) the Ephemeral Passage, guest curated by jaamil olawale kosoko.

As kosoko explains, “the Syllabus for Black Love library imagines learning outside the boundaries imposed by institutions. The books gathered here offer perspectives for cultivating love, specifically Black love, as an extraordinary everyday practice of being in the world. With an emphasis on feminist and queer theory, this library invites readers and viewers to engage the question: what can Black love—as it emerges in literature, films, performance, and the politics of living—teach us about liberation, freedom, and beauty? We welcome you to spend time here.”

Portal For(e) the Ephemeral Passage amplifies Black feminist voices in contemporary art and performance through a summer of installations and interconnected events. Click here to view the complete lineup.

Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
Lucille Clifton, The Book of Light
Daphne A. Brooks, Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850–1910
Adrienne Maree Brown, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds
Adrienne Maree Brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good (Emergent Strategy)
Jayna Brown, Black Utopias: Speculative Life and the Music of Other Worlds
Yvonne P. Chireau, Black Magic: Religion and the African American Conjuring Tradition
Ashon T. Crawley, The Lonely Letters
Rodney Diverlus, Sandy Hudson, and Syrus Marcus Ware (editors), Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada
Glory Edim, Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves
Saidiya Hartman, Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth Century America (Race and American Culture)
bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions
bell hooks, Love as the Practice of Freedom
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
George M. Johnson, All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto
Jamal Jordan, Queer Love in Color
jaamil olawale kosoko, Black Body Amnesia: Poems and Other Speech Acts
Audre Lorde, The Black Unicorn: Poems
Audre Lorde, Poetry is Not a Luxury
Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches
Cherríe Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa, editors, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
Toni Morrison, Beloved
Toni Morrison, A Mercy
Pamela Newkirk, A Love No Less: More Than Two Centuries of African American Love Letters
Tavia Nyong'o, Afro-Fabulations: The Queer Drama of Black Life
Nell Irvin Painter, Creating Black Americans: African-American History and Its Meanings, 1619 to the Present
Danez Smith, Homie: Poems
Christina Sharpe, In the Wake: On Blackness and Being
Hortense Spillers, Black, White, and in Color: Essays on American Literature and Culture
C. Riley Snorton, Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity
Alice Walker, In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens

"Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within."
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (1963)

More about the artist

jaamil olawale kosoko chevron-down chevron-up

jaamil olawale kosoko (b. Detroit, MI) is a multispirited Nigerian American author, performance artist, and curator of Yoruba and Natchez descent, currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Learn more on the artist’s website and follow the artist on Instagram.

Portal For(e) the Ephemeral Passage is organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts and curated by jaamil olawale kosoko in collaboration with all of its programming departments.

National Endowment for the Arts
New England Foundation for the Arts

Bill and Sheila Lambert
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Carol and David Aronowitz
Crane Family Foundation
Mike and Paige Crane

American Electric Power Foundation
Adam Flatto
Mary and C. Robert Kidder
Bill and Sheila Lambert

PNC Foundation

The Wexner Family
Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Columbus Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
Ohio Arts Council
American Electric Power Foundation
L Brands Foundation
Adam Flatto
Mary and C. Robert Kidder
Bill and Sheila Lambert
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Nationwide Foundation
Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease

Mike and Paige Crane
Pete Scantland
Axium Packaging
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
President Kristina M. Johnson and Mrs. Veronica Meinhard
Nancy Kramer
Lisa Barton
Johanna DeStefano
Russell and Joyce Gertmenian
Liza Kessler and Greg Henchel
Ron and Ann Pizzuti
Joyce and Chuck Shenk
Bruce and Joy Soll
Jones Day


Past Exhibitions

Syllabus for Black Love Library