CultureAfrican American Arts and Artists – What You Should...

African American Arts and Artists – What You Should Know


Black culture is rich and unique in manner unique ways. Art is something that has been around since the dawn of time. It’s an eternal journey of experimenting with colors and forms to come up with innovative new concepts, which is what makes it so fascinating. There are many different types of art; however, some are more prevalent than others depending on the region they originated from or the country they are practiced in today. For instance, there are quite a lot of paintings by African American artists out there that most people haven’t heard about yet.

When it comes to art, African Americans have always had a special connection with visual expression. From the beginning of slavery until the present day, African Americans have developed an unrivaled creative capability that has regularly blossomed into different genres. This article will explore the more obscure names among the most famous African American artists in history. You won’t know these artists if you don’t read about them or look for references within books, journals, and other forms of media. Some might seem as if they were only discovered recently; however, their true value is what their influence is for posterity. There are so many talented African American artists whose work you may not have known about before. Let’s discover a few incredible African American artists!

Jacob Lawrence

Jacob Lawrence was born on September 7, 1917, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. At the age of 2, he moved with his parents to Easton, Pennsylvania. He and his two siblings were sent to a foster facility in Philadelphia after his parents separated in 1924. After Jacob turned 13 years old, the siblings reunited with the mother in Harlem.

Jacob Lawrence was awarded a scholarship to attend the American Artists School in New York in 1937. He received assistance from the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project after graduating in 1939. By the time, Lawrence was already creating his own narrative series, with more than 30 types of paintings on a single theme, thereby establishing his modern aesthetic. In 1941, he completed The Migration Series, or the Migration of the Negro, one of his most well-known series; Lawrence became the first African American to join the Edith Halpert’s Downtown Gallery when the series was shown there in 1942.

Lawrence accepted a tenured position as a professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, in 1971. Here, he started teaching until his retirement in 1986. In addition to teaching, he spent the majority of his life painting commissions and creating limited-edition prints to support charities like the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Children’s Defense Fund. In addition, he created a 72-foot mural for the Times Square subway station in New York City and painted murals for the Howard University, the University of Washington, and the Harold Washington Center in Chicago. 

Most Famous African American Artists

Gordon Parks

During the 1940s and 1970s, American documentary photographer Gordon Parks made a name for himself as a photographer of civil rights, poverty, and African-Americans. He was prominent in this area of photography in the United States in the 1940s and 1970s. Parks was the first African American to produce and direct major motion pictures. He is well known for his iconic photographs of poor Americans during the 1940s, for his photographic essays for Life magazine, and as the director of the 1971 film Shaft. He was also an author, poet, and composer.

Parks was a modern-day Renaissance man whose creative work included fiction, nonfiction writing, musical composition, and filmmaking. In 1969, Parks became the first African American to write and direct a major Hollywood studio feature film, The Learning Tree, based on his bestselling semi-autobiographical novel. His subsequent film, Shaft, was a blockbuster critical and financial success, inspiring a number of sequels. Among other things, Parks produced and directed, and composed the music for a ballet, Martin, in 1989. In addition to memoirs, novels, poetry, and photographic technique books, he also published several books. He worked for the last three decades of his life to refine his style, and he died in 2006.

Wrapping Up

African American artists are some of the most talented people in the world; however, they often go unrecognized due to their history. The struggles of racism, oppression, and discrimination have been a constant for African Americans; therefore, it can be difficult for some artists to be taken seriously in the art world. Additionally, there are many artists who are not widely known and those from the past or present who have been overlooked overlook. However, it is important to remember that there have always been many talented African American artists, and it is important to learn about them and appreciate their work in order to enrich our society and culture. There are many ways to discover new artists and artists you might not have known existed before. You can start by looking through books and journals that have articles on African American artists, as well as finding references online in reference books, journals, art journals, and websites. You can also attend art exhibitions and view art online in order to learn more about the art you like. If you want to learn more about the most famous artists, you can read books and journals that have been published in the past and present, as well as art journals from the past that have been digitized. You can also look through articles, journals, and reference books that have been published in the past about famous African American artists you might not have previously known about.


African American artists have a rich history of innovation and creativity when it comes to the visual arts. They have contributed to many different genres, including painting, sculpture, photography, film, and other media. While there are many famous African American artists, there are also many artists who are less well-known. It is important to learn more about famous and lesser-known African American artists in order to enrich your knowledge and appreciation of the many forms of art that have been created by African Americans.

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Kim is an 80s wild child. She loves to write on all things culture related. Kim enjoys watching TV shows such as The A Team. Kim started her writing career with a Bachelor of Journalism and Communication from Rowan University in New Jersey. Over the years, Kim has written for a variety of publications on world-topics. She’s married and shares 2 kids with her husband. They make their home in Irvine, California, where they enjoy camping trips along the coast.


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