Black Arts Movement

The Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and ’70s was led by African American cultural activists as the “aesthetic and spiritual sister” of the Black Power movement. The Black Arts Movement reinforced emblematic Black Power mantras in the form of visual arts, including “Black is Beautiful” and James Brown’s “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud.” Iconic images of activists such as Bob Marley, Angela Davis, and Malcolm X pervaded art and popular culture during the Black Arts Movement, as did other symbols like the raised fist, Afro hairstyle, and vivid graphic patterns inspired by art and textiles of the African Diaspora. Artists in the movement often employed techniques such as appropriation, screen printing, and collage, which lent themselves …

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