Sunday, May 26, 2013


BlackWomen Who Rule in the Arts

Phoebe Beasley      from google image for educational purposes only
African American Artists were few and far between in earlier periods of America, unless they produced  were a practical craft that benefited the people they worked for or were owned by. Art done on plantations where many African American were forced to live were crafts they had brought with them from Africa.  Along the costal highways of South Carolina one can still fine stalls that sell baskets learned and passed down from one generation to the next.
Bettye Saar  from google image for educational purposes only
Gullah Basket Weaver on Coastal South Carolina Highway

 The baskets were made for rice harvesting and brought to America by the captured enslaved people from the Rice Coast of Africa.  
Faith Ringgold's Tar Beach     from google for educational purposes only
      Fine arts seems to be regulated to those who had money for college and money for extra mentoring.  But, bit by bit, Black artists have made themselves a place in American art. Even more rare were the presence Black women artist, then came Faith Ringgold, Lorna Simpson, Thelma Golden, Bette Sayre, Kara Walker, and Elizabeth Catlett. These women had a huge impact on the world of art. They could express their way of life and how harsh and painful it was, they could tell of the unfairness of slavery and maltreatment and of the humiliation they endured as being treated as less than people.  

Now a new wave of African American Women Artists is arriving with new messages and imagery.  In our next posts we will look in depth at individual African American Artists who made a difference in the early movement of Black artists in America and the we will move on to the present and look at the new exciting group of Black women artists making a difference today.
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