Rethinking Descriptions of Black Africans in Ancient Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Art

Communicating the diversity of the ancient Mediterranean. By Paula Gaither, Elisa McAtee, Kenneth Lapatin, and David Saunders Introduction Museums have much work to do. The Black Lives Matter movement’s call for social reform extends to arts institutions, bringing focus to the need for inclusivity and equity. The ways in which we present and describe artworks[…]

Literature and Newspapers for Black Children since 1920

At the turn of the 20th century, one young black editor implored his peers: ‘Let us make the world know that we are living.’ Introduction Hanging on the wall in my office is the framed cover of the inaugural issue of The Brownies’ Book, a monthly periodical for Black youths created by W.E.B. Du Bois[…]

The Black Women Activists behind the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Honoring the unsung heroes of the Civil Rights Movement. My project, Mug Shot Portraits: Women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, illuminates the under-acknowledged legacy of Black women’s activism through a series of portraits based on mug shots of women who were arrested during the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955 and ’56, the pivotal event that[…]

Ebenezer Baptist Church: A Seat of Black Power in Atlanta for Generations

It was the spiritual home to MLK and to the generations that shaped the vision of the late civil rights leader,. Introduction The high-stakes U.S. Senate race in Georgia catapulted the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church back into the spotlight. For 135 years, the church played a vital role in the fight against racism and the[…]

Philadelphia’s Black Churches: Overcoming Strife since the 18th Century

Black churches have long been an important pillar in Philadelphia’s African American community. Introduction The Black Church is an institution that was forged in crises. Through slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation and the civil rights era, the network of places of worship serving traditionally Black congregations has seen its fair share of traumatic events. In[…]

“I, Too, Sing America”: Remembering David Driskell and Two Centuries of Black American Art

In 1976, the exhibition Two Centuries of Black American Art, 1750 to 1950, curated by David Driskell, debuted at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Opening the year of the Bicentennial, the anniversary of the country’s founding, the landmark exhibition was one of the first to document, in comprehensive detail, the enormous contributions of[…]

A Century of Black Women as Important Party and Electoral Organizers

Even without the right to vote, Black women engaged in political organizing and partisan debates. Today, Black women’s influence in political campaigns is visible and dramatic. In recent presidential and midterm elections, over 90% of Black women’s votes went to the Democratic candidates. Preliminary figures for the 2020 presidential election indicate that the Biden/Harris ticket[…]

The African Union Society of Rhode Island, 1780-1824

The first separate black church in Newport was the Union Colored Church and Society The society is considered one of the first formal organizations founded by free blacks in the United States. By Michael J. Barga Board Member Catholic Social Workers’ National Association Background Mutual aid societies were created by free blacks in the early[…]

Women and the 1956 Congress of Black Writers and Artists in Paris

Photo via AAIHS Examining the significant contributions of women and the dynamics of gender at the 1956 Congress of Black Writers and Artists in Paris.  By Merve Fejzulah PhD Candidate in Historical Studies University of Cambridge The First International Congress of Black Writers and Artists, held from September 19-22, 1956 at the Sorbonne in Paris, was[…]

How World War I Sparked the Artistic Movement that Transformed Black America

Aaron Douglas. “Aspects of Negro Life: From Slavery to Reconstruction.” Oil on canvas, 1934. The New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Art and Artifacts Division. Many associate post-World War I culture with Hemingway and Fitzgerald’s Lost Generation. But for black artists, writers and thinkers, the war changed the way they saw their past and their future. By Dr. Elizabeth J. West / 05.31.2017[…]

Josephine Baker: Iconic Entertainer, Resistance Spy, and American Hero

Josephine Baker | AP By Chauncey K. Robinson / 03.01.2018 It seems only fitting with Black History Month closing out, and Women’s History Month beginning, to highlight a Black woman who exemplified strength and resilience in the face of discrimination and oppression. Famed entertainer Josephine Baker was not only a pioneer in breaking color barriers[…]

What Kwanzaa Means for Black Americans

Kwanzaa celebrations. Black Hour, CC BY-NC By Dr. Frank Dobson / 12.20.2017 Associate Dean of Students Vanderbilt University On Dec. 26, millions throughout the world’s African community will start weeklong celebrations of Kwanzaa. There will be daily ceremonies with food, decorations and other cultural objects, such as the kinara, which holds seven candles. At many Kwanzaa[…]