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Black Movements analyzes how artists and activists of recent decades reference earlier freedom movements in order to imagine and produce a more expansive and inclusive democracy. The post-Jim Crow, post-apartheid, postcolonial era has ushered in a purportedly color blind society and along with it an assault on race-based forms of knowledge production and coalition formation. Soyica Diggs Colbert argues that in the late twentieth century race went "underground," and by the twenty-first century race no longer functioned as an explicit marker of second-class citizenship. The subterranean nature of race manifests itself in discussions of the Trayvon Martin shooting that focus on his hoodie, an object of clothing that anyone can choose to wear, rather than focusing on structural racism; in discussions of the epidemic proportions of incarcerated black and brown people that highlight the individual's poor decision making rather than the criminalization of blackness; in evaluations of black independence struggles in the Caribbean and Africa that allege these movements have accomplished little more than creating a black ruling class that mirrors the politics of its former white counterpart. Black Movements intervenes in these discussions by highlighting the ways in which artists draw from the past to create coherence about blackness in present and future worlds. Through an exploration of the way that black movements create circuits connecting people across space and time, Black Movements offers important interventions into performance, literary, diaspora, and African American studies.
Kelley unearths freedom dreams in this exciting history of renegade intellectuals and artists of the African diaspora in the twentieth century. Focusing on the visions of activists from C. L. R. James to Aime Cesaire and Malcolm X, Kelley writes of the hope that Communism offered, the mindscapes of Surrealism, the transformative potential of radical feminism, and of the four-hundred-year-old dream of reparations for slavery and Jim Crow. From'the preeminent historian of black popular culture' (Cornel West), an inspiring work on the power of imagination to transform society.
Imagine the civil rights movement without freedom songs and the politics of women's movements without poetry. Or, more difficult yet, imagine an America unaffected by the cultural expressions and forms of the twentieth-century social movements that have shaped our nation. The first broad overview of social movements and the distinctive cultural forms that express and helped shape them, The Art of Protest shows the vital importance of these movements to American culture. In comparative accounts of movements beginning with the African American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and running through the Internet-driven movement for global justice ("Will the revolution be cybercast?") of the twenty-first century, T. V. Reed enriches our understanding of protest and its cultural expression. Reed explores the street drama of the Black Panthers, the revolutionary murals of the Chicano movement, the American Indian Movement's use of film and video, rock music and the struggles against famine and apartheid, ACT UP's use of visual art in the campaign against AIDS, and the literature of environmental justice. Throughout, Reed employs the concept of culture in three interrelated ways: by examining social movements as sub- or countercultures; by looking at poetry, painting, music, murals, film, and fiction in and around social movements; and by considering the ways in which the cultural texts generated by resistance movements have reshaped the contours of the wider American culture. The United States is a nation that began with a protest. Through the kaleidoscopic lens of artistic and cultural expression, Reed reveals how activism continues to remake our world.
What impact do sexual politics and queer identities have on the understanding of 'blackness' as a set of visual, cultural and intellectual concerns? In Queering Post-Black Art, Derek Conrad Murray argues that the rise of female, gay and lesbian artists as legitimate African-American creative voices is essential to the development of black art. He considers iconic works by artists including Glenn Ligon, Kehinde Wiley, Mickalene Thomas and Kalup Linzy, which question whether it is possible for blackness to evade its ideologically over-determined cultural legibility. In their own unique, often satirical way, a new generation of contemporary African American artists represent the ever-evolving sexual and gender politics that have come to define the highly controversial notion of 'post-black' art. First coined in 2001, the term 'post-black' resonated because it articulated the frustrations of young African-American artists around notions of identity and belonging that they perceived to be stifling, reductive and exclusionary. Since then, these artists have begun to conceive an idea of blackness that is beyond marginalization and sexual discrimination.