Repeat spawner series: Black scientific illustrators

From the Fisheries Blog, we wish you a Happy Juneteenth!

President Biden recently declared a new federal holiday (the first since MLK day was introduced in 1983!) in honor of Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day) which commemorates June 19th, 1865 – the day that news of freedom finally reached enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas.

To do a small part in acknowledging the far reaching legacy impacts of slavery and continue to elevate discussions on this important topic, let’s look back on a June 2020 post from Rene Martin as she travels on personal journey to explore the enduring system of racism still present in scientific illustration.

The names and faces behind amazing scientific illustrations can sometimes be overlooked, as their illustrative work generally focuses on telling a story or clarifying research. This post began as a dedication to the recognition of black scientific illustrators who focused specifically on illustrating fishes, a topic more on theme with what the Fisheries Blog tries to highlight. My search for these illustrators was in vain, as I realized that after hours of online research, I was unable to come up with any names. I widened my search to incorporate black individuals who illustrate birds, reptiles, fossils, cells, anything…. Although I was able to pull a few names, both historical and current, the list is not long. I implore our readers to learn about these fantastic illustrators, their backgrounds, their illustrative focus, and to comment with names of individuals in the field I have most definitely missed. 

– Rene Martin, A Glimpse at the Faces Behind Scientific Illustrations

Click here to continue reading the original post!

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