The Harlem Renaissance

In the 1920’s in Harlem, New York City, the Harlem Renaissance was born. Noted as one of the most artistically fertile and creative periods in American history, African American intellectuals, writers, artists, actors, musicians, dancers, designers, and film-makers thrived in a creative cultural and social explosion celebrating African American culture and identity.

Some notable contributors include intellectuals such as W.E.B. Du Bois, authors Zora Neale HurstonLangston Hughes and Countee Cullen, film-maker Oscar Micheaux, jazz musicians Duke Ellington and Bessie Smith, fashion trend-setter and dancer Josephine Baker, visual artists Aaron Douglas, Augusta Savage, and Jacob Lawrence, and many more!

A video on the Harlem Renaissance:


The Black Arts Movement

From The Black Arts Movement was the name given to a group of politically motivated black poets, artists, dramatists, musicians, and writers who emerged in the wake of the Black Power Movement. The poet Imamu Amiri Baraka is widely considered to be the father of the Black Arts Movement, which began in 1965 and ended in 1975.

To read more on the Black Arts Movement (1965-1975) click here!

Emory Douglas on the Art of the Black Panthers:

[vimeo 128523144 w=500 h=281]



Black Artists in Oakland

Check out this informative article entitled Where Are Oakland’s Black Artists?



BLACK ARTISTS ON ART (Multi-Volume book)

From their Facebook Profile:

BLACK ARTISTS ON ART is a book series started by Samella Lewis and Ruth G. Waddy in 1969. The original two volumes featured the works and words of over 150 actively producing artists of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.

Now, over 40 years later, BLACK ARTISTS ON ART is releasing new volumes of the book that highlight black artists who have redefined what it means to be a black artist while still preserving the traditions of African cultural expression.

BLACK ARTISTS ON ART is currently accepting artist submissions for Volumes 3 & 4 of the book. Click here for the link!


artists to check out:

Elizabeth Catlett (printmaker, sculptor, graphic designer)

Jacob Lawrence (painter, Harlem Renaissance)

Augusta Savage (sculptor, Harlem Renaissance)

Samella Lewis (printmaker, painter, author, historian, educator)

Charles White

Unity Lewis (Oakland-based visual artist and musician; grandson of Samella Lewis, and producer of Black Artists on Art)

Duane Deterville

Sasha Kelley

Karen Seneferu

Christopher Burch

Trevor Parham


More Resources:



From their website: The Museum of the African Diaspora showcases the art, history, and cultural richness that resulted from the migration of people of African descent throughout the world. Through our mission and shared African heritage, MoAD connects all people.


some Black-owned galleries in Oakland:


Joyce Gordon Gallery

Thelma Harris Gallery

Betti Ono