We here at Geographicus Rare Antique Maps support the Black Lives Matter movement. We are horrified by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many other Black Americans by the police. We recognize that they are the result of systemic racism, entrenched in our country since before its very founding. Our history is marked by enslavement, repression, and disenfranchisement of Black people. As dealers and stewards of historical objects, we have a responsibility to influence and encourage conversation about our past.
We are privileged to be able to sell antique maps from all over the world covering a broad sweep of history. Most early maps were produced in Europe or the United States. Consequently, many reflect the cultural and racial assumptions of the people who owned the presses, and those for whom they were intended. Indeed, a map can very often tell more about the mapmaker than his/her subject - and thus they sometimes contain racialized content that betray the attitudes of the mapmakers and their audiences. Some charts and maps casually incorporate aspects of baseless prejudice, the slave trade, colonial oppression, religious fundamentalism, redlining, and disenfranchisement. We believe that it is better that the ugly chapters of our past be brought to light, and remembered, rather than be hidden or destroyed.
As curators of historical objects, we are committed to presenting these artifacts and the stories they tell in an honest and revealing light, so anyone interested in the world's cartographic history might be able to engage with and learn from them.