Other Sellers on Amazon
Against the Odds: The Artists of the Harlem Renaissance
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Explore the lives of visual artists who made the Harlem Renaissance one of the 20th century's richest artistic moments. Archival footage, newsreels, and photographs recall the influential force of exhibitions, Harlem's vibrancy in the Roaring Twenties, and significant personalities such as William E. Harmon, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Alain Locke. Watch African-American artists triumph over formidable odds to create lasting beauty.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Prior to the formation of the Harmon Foundation there wasn't an outlet for Black artists to display and sell their works. The genesis of the foundation with white liberals and approval from the Black intellectuals came at a price for the artistic freedom of the artists.
The artists had to fight an uphill battle coming from three fronts.First, Black intellectuals demanded an art that uplifted the race which would serve as propoganda in combatting negative stereotypes. Second, White liberals wanted a display of art reflecting the negroes' "primitive" African heritage. Then you had Black artists who painted in the European style and were not interested in African themes. Thus you had this battle of artistic freedom that the artists had to fight in addition to trying to survive.
This video shows the contributions of these wonderful groups of men and women who defied conventionality and produced great works against the odds. I thouroughly enjoyed their various styles and mediums of art work that they refused to compromise for either groups. for those who want to study visuals Black artists during this time period, this video is a must to have. You will be inspired, enriched and thoroughly pleased about these great giants of art.
I love the way high school and college literature courses are beginning to embrace Renaissance writers. However, this may leave many to think that the Harlem Renaissance lacked material artists. This documentary disproves that fallacy. It got tired hearing, "Here was this painter, and that sculptor, then another painter." Still, I love how this work is a "Who's Who of Renaissance Material Artists?" I think viewers can spot the artists that inspire them the most here and then conduct further research on them.
This documentary will make you repeat, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." These painters struggled with whether they should present Black themes or non-racialized ones. They questioned whether they should turn to Africa for inspiration or not. Painters had to put energy into resisting producing stereotypical images; however, though the narrator never says the term "bourgie," these painters did not just want to portray prim-and-proper "idealized" Black society life either. Of course, Langston Hughes' essay on "the New Negro artists" and his duties had to be quoted here.
It's understood that Harlem Renaissance writers were not all male. Many current readers celebrate Zora Neal Hurston, Jessie Fauset, and others. This documentary proves that not all of the material artists were male either. Still, this work does omit sexual orientation matters as Renaissance researchers often do, shamefully. Just as writers like Thurman, Nugent, and Hughes were gay or bisexual; this documentary discusses Alain Locke and Richard Barth'e Thompson but fails to mention their gay identities. This documentary was produced in the early 1990s and some of the artists were still alive. Seeing them, with speech problems, balding heads, and missing teeth, was a delightful window into the past.
This documentary had diverse interviewees in terms of race and gender. I loved that the interviewees admitted that white patrons and art critics were often limited or racist in their supposed promotion of these Black artists. However, all the interviewees came from New Jersey universities. I am surprised that no scholar from an NYU or Columbia, for example, was asked to submit some quotes.
I feel that I am a better human and stronger African American after seeing this work. I recommend this for numerous audiences.
W.E.B. DuBois and others made the movement possible by obtaining funding from various sources, many of them white. For the first time in American history, Blacks were able to attend art schools. The idea was to show through the arts that Blacks were full human beings. The hope was that this revelation to whites in power would win Blacks complete rights as American citizens. This didn't happen, however, the repercussions of the movement are still being felt. Though few visual artists of the renaissance were able to make livings as artists, many of them became art teachers in Black colleges and universitites.
This videotape is an excellent resource for art and literature classes, African-American Studies, and American history courses, as well as for individuals who enjoy learning something new.