Posts Tagged ‘African American’

Dear #McKinneyPoolParty Youth,

I am sorry.

I am sorry that the focus is on you and not on the many adults who contributed to this situation.

I am sorry that the color of your skin caused some people to make you feel like you did or did not belong.

I am sorry that many of you will now be apprehensive about going to pools and social gatherings with your friends.

I am sorry that this will be the way you remember how your summer of 2015 kicked off.

I am sorry that the value of your home too often determines the value people place on you.

I am sorry that we did not prepare you to recognize and handle the amplifying power of social media.

I am sorry that you felt scared.

I am sorry that one of the hardest days of your lives will live for infinity on the internet.

I am so sorry.

In love,

— Simone Monique Barnes



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Day 4: Photographer Michael Cunningham



Three Things:

  • From his official bio: “Cunningham chooses to work in black and white; this allows him to express what is in his soul.  Black and white photography is very personal, he says and reaches deep inside the viewer, making them study the photograph for what it represents outside of pretty colors.”
  • The book Crowns inspired a theatrical stage production, Crowns the Gospel Musical.
  • Cunningham has published four books: Crowns, Jewels, Queens, and Spirit of Harlem.

Where to learn more:


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This mixed media, collage, assemblage and installation artist’s work often includes images of stereotyped African-American figures from folk culture and advertising, like Aunt Jemima, Uncle Tom, Little Black Sambo, African ritual and tribal objects, African American folk traditions and/or family memorabilia.

Survival of the Spirit

Survival of the Spirit

Ancestral Spirit Chair

Ancestral Spirit Chair

Beteye Saar

Betye Saar

Three things:

  1. Her signature piece (one of her better-known and controversial pieces) is entitled “The Liberation of Aunt Jemima.” It was her first protest piece. It is owned by the University of California, Berkeley.
  2. Saar’s work is among the collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institute, Museum of Fine Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and many more.
  3. A native Californian, octogenarian Betye Saar was born and raised in the Los Angeles area. She grew up in Pasadena during the Great Depression, regularly visited her grandmother in Watts, took art classes at Pasadena City College, earned a BA from the University of California at Los Angeles, and pursued graduate studies at California State University at Long Beach, the University of Southern California, and California State University at Northridge. The region serves as a consistent thread through her life and her work.

Where to learn more about Betye Saar:

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40 Days of Black Art: My Lenten journey through images and individuals at the intersection of faith and creativity.

Day 1: Allan Rohan Crite


Allan Crite

Three things:

  1. Known as the grandaddy of the Boston art scene, Crite’s work centered around three main themes: Negro spirituals, religious themes that emphasize non-European aspects of the Bible, and every day African American life
  2. A devout Episcopalian, he classified much of his work as liturgical art
  3. His work is counted in notable collections such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Boston Athenaeum.

Where to learn more about Crite:

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Juneteenth circa 1900, Austin, Texase

The official Juneteenth Committee in East Woods Park, Austin, Texas on June 19, 1900. (Courtesy Austin History Center, Austin Public Library)

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/Juneteenth-Our-Other-Independence-Day.html

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The Rhode Island Black Storytellers 13th Annual Funda Fest begins this Sunday, January 16 and ends the following Sunday, January 23. (It’s held every year during the week of the MLKjr holiday).

Funda means to teach and to learn in Kiswahili and Zulu.

There are free shows, ticketed shows, family shows, school shows, mature audience shows, storytelling, spoken word, hip-hop, African drumming and more. For the full schedule, visit http://www.ribsfest.org

For ticketed events, please visit http://www.ArtTixRi.org

For group tickets to the Saturday night show on January 22, please call the RIBS office at 401-421-7427

For school bookings, please contact Carolyn Martino at 401-721-9980

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