The Black Aesthetic Team and About Page

The Black Aesthetic Team 

The Black Aesthetic is a curatorial collective,

whose mission is to curate a collective understanding of Black visual culture.

By working with artists, writers, and filmmakers. We cultivate work that asks our audience to consider their relationship to Black art. Based in Oakland, we are invested in developing a community who will participate and engage with our mission. When you support The Black Aesthetic, you are actively supporting a network of Black Artists. Through film screenings, and publications we want to add to a growing collection of artistic visions that are grounded in place, body, and lived-experience.


Jamal Batts

Jamal Batts is a writer and doctoral student in the Department African American and African Diaspora Studies at UC Berkeley. His work explores blackness, queerness, visual culture and the intricacies of sexual risk and risk-taking. His writing has appeared in the catalogue for The New Museum's exhibit Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon and the SFMOMA's website in conjunction with their Modern Cinema series.


Leila Weefur

Leila Weefur is an artist, writer, and curator who lives and works in Oakland, CA. She received her MFA from Mills College. She tackles the complexities of phenomenological Blackness through video, installation, printmaking, and lecture-performances. Using materials and visual gestures to access the tactile memory, she explores the abject, the sensual and the nuances found in the social interactions and language with which our bodies have to negotiate space.

She is a recipient of the Hung Liu award, the Murphy & Cadogan award, and the Walter & Elise Haas Creative Work Fund. Weefur has worked with local and national institutions including SFMOMA, Southern Exposure, The Wattis, and Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and Smack Mellon in Brooklyn, New York. She is the Audio/Video, Editor In Chief at Art Practical


Malika "Ra" Imhotep

Malika "Ra" Imhotep is a black feminist writer/root worker from Atlanta, GA currently pursuing a doctoral degree in African American and African Diaspora Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.  Her thinking engages black femme performance aesthetics and cultural production throughout the Black Diaspora. Her creative praxis is invested in a textual and performative enjoyment of undisciplined movement, the historical present, black obscenities, black spiritual practices and other blackityblk happenings.


The Black Aesthetic was founded in 2016 by former members Ryanaustin Dennis and Christian Johnson.