Powell, an art historian at Duke University, has filled this small volume with an amazing amount of visual and textual information, including nearly 180 illustrations, concise artist profiles, and extended interpretations of the social and cultural contexts for every conceivable art form, from painting and sculpture to collage and performance art, either by or about African Americans. Armed with a set of perfectly honed analytical tools, Powell winds his way through this dense century of political upheaval, cataclysmic violence, and courageous creativity with fluid grace. He begins with a resounding discussion of how the term black
has come to embrace a wide range of "African diasporal experiences," and why black art has always been profoundly involved in exploring black cultural identity. Many crucial and unresolved issues pertaining to black values and the role of black artists emerge, and as Powell brings fresh insights into matters social and aesthetic, he tracks each phase of the evolution of the visualization of black consciousness by highlighting seminal works by Aaron Douglas, Jacob Lawrence, Melvin Edwards, Lois Mailou Jones, and Alison Saar, to name just a very few of the innovative, paradigm-shifting artists Powell presents. Donna Seaman
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.