How Artists Contributed to the Black Power Movement

Roy DeCarava. “Couple Walking,” 1979. © Courtesy Sherry DeCarava and the DeCarava Archives.

Curators Zoe Whitely and Mark Godfrey subdivided a mass of 150 works from as many as 60 to occupy 12 rooms at the gallery. They also set an austere tone for the exhibition, as if to prepare the visitor’s mind, placing five screens at the entrance with each one playing, on a loop, speeches any luminaries including King, Malcolm X and James Baldwin.

( Click any picture below to see full-size or scroll through )

( Click any picture above to see full-size or scroll through )

The eloquence and gravity each speaker brings to topics on black life and struggles is able to prime the mind and awaken emotions for an experience that excites as well as it depresses and could dampen the spirit as well as it reaffirms life, if not the necessity of art.

The first room is dedicated to Spiral, a collective formed in 1963 in New York by a group of artists who tasked themselves with figuring out their place and by extension that of the “black artist” in American society.

via: This Striking Exhibition Shows How Black Artists Contributed to the Black Power Movement | OkayAfrica