“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[…]