Freedom’s Stand, a new commission by artist Faheem Majeed is on view through August 2023 on the High Line at 30th Street near the pathway to Hudson Yards in New York City. Freedom’s Stand displays two centuries of Black newspapers on a 15-foot-tall wooden structure.
Majeed’s Freedom’s Stand is an homage to the influential role of Black newspapers as historic sources of information dissemination, community representation, and cultural production. The Stand showcases a monthly rotation of headlines, articles, photographs, and advertisements from historical and contemporary Black American newspapers, such as the Chicago Defender from Chicago, Illinois and Nubian News from Trenton, New Jersey.
The 175 total newspaper images are displayed, over the course of the installation, on a 15-foot-tall open structure made of reclaimed wood and wood-composite panels, resembling two-dimensional images layered in space. The structure’s form was inspired by Dogon architecture of Mali and outmoded newspaper stands designs formerly found on the streets of Chicago and New York.
Freedom’s Stand is named after Freedom’s Journal, the first Black-owned and -operated newspaper in the United States, founded in 1827 in New York. The paper offered a counter-narrative to newspapers that marginalized and encouraged the enslavement of Africans.