Black History Month: The Arts

“We survived because of our perseverance. That is reflected in our art, that is reflected in our music, that is reflected in our literature. And the list goes on.”

MIDLAND, Texas (ABC Big 2/Fox 24) – African American art forms have become deeply rooted in our lives. We checked in with those in our community, who dedicate their time to educate and keep their culture alive.

From jazz and rap to vibrant paintings and ethic dances, African American contributions to mainstream media are endless.

“We survived because of our perseverance,” said James Fuller. “That is reflected in our art, that is reflected in our music, that is reflected in our literature. And the list goes on.”

Robbyne and James Fuller are CEOs of the Midland African American Roots Historical/Cultural Arts

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Antwaun Sargent Discusses Black Photographers

If you haven’t heard of curator and critic Antwaun Sargent, you are missing out on one of the most brilliant contemporary voices on photography. The 32-year-old just joined the Gagosian gallery as director after a decade of writing about the art scene and one year after his first book, The New Black Vanguard, was released. It has become an instant classic, highly recommended by editors across the industry and taught in art schools; the book highlights the complex and personal ways that photographers grapple with expression and identity.

“For me, that link between the past and the present and the future was really important,” Sargent told BuzzFeed News. “When you say something like ‘the new,’ it automatically points to a history that has largely been unseen, unrecognized. The acknowledgment of these young photographers is an investment in the future. We talk about the future as though we don’t control

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A closer look at Robert Duncanson, the Black landscape artist behind the inaugural painting presented to the Bidens

The first lady, who helped select the painting from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, pointed to the rainbow, an uncommon feature in antebellum landscape paintings, as a good omen. “I like the rainbow,” she said. “Good things to follow.”

Working in a nation on the brink, Duncanson looked to the landscape: marred by the displacement of Native Americans, cultivated on the backs of enslaved people, soon to be the site of a bloody war. In it, he found a rare, radical hope — it came as a gray-toned rainbow, an elm tree symbolizing freedom and an Edenic valley scene.

A century and a half later, hope arrived again in the small miracle of having his work — the first inaugural painting by a Black artist — displayed in a space that, just two weeks earlier, had been desecrated by a Confederate flag-carrying mob.

Duncanson painted “Landscape With Rainbow” while living

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NYC Design Studio TRNK Celebrates Black Protest Art

NYC Design Studio TRNK Celebrates Black Protest Art

To kick off Black History Month, the New York City based design studio TRNK debuted an exhibit titled Resistance/Resilience, focusing on contemporary Black protest art that honors the strength, triumph, and beauty of Black resistance. “It’s always so exciting to see the finished, fully realized product after working on it for so long,” TRNK Co-founder, Tariq Dixon tells ESSENCE. “I’m very pleased with how this exhibition turned out and the diversity of narratives we were able to express through the final selection of works,” he said.

Resistance/Resilience intends to communicate the truth about Black identity. Confronting the comfortability with struggle and the ability to recover, which ultimately furthers our fight for equality. “These types of projects are my favorite part of my job. They’re motivated by a personal passion or curiosity, and allow me to more deeply investigate those questions,” Dixon exclaims. The founder chose 7 artist to highlight

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