Research Guides: Black History Resources: Black History Month 2024: African Americans and the Arts (2024)

Each year, theAssociation for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), chooses a theme for Black History Month and this year's theme is African Americans and the Arts.As ASALH shares "African American art is infused with African, Caribbean, and the Black American lived experiences. In the fields of visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary and other forms of cultural expression, the African American influence has been paramount. African American artists have used art to preserve history and community memory as well as for empowerment."

Below we've shared a small selection of dance, music, poetry, and morethat are accessible through the UNH Library. Be sure to let us know if you want help finding these or anyother materials.

  • Research Guides: Black History Resources: Black History Month 2024: African Americans and the Arts (1)Antagonistic cooperation : jazz, collage, fiction, and the shaping of African American culture by Robert G. O'Meally

    ISBN: 0231548214

    Publication Date: 2022

    From the collages of Romare Bearden and paintings of Jean-Michel Basquiat to the fiction of Ralph Ellison and Toni Morrison to the music of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, Robert G. O'Meally explores how the worlds of African American jazz, art, and literature have informed one another.

  • Research Guides: Black History Resources: Black History Month 2024: African Americans and the Arts (2)Turn the World Upside Down by Imani D. Owens

    ISBN: 9780231208888

    Publication Date: 2023-07-04

    In the first half of the twentieth century, Black hemispheric culture grappled with the legacies of colonialism, U.S. empire, and Jim Crow. Turn the World Upside Down explores how Black writers and performers reimagined folk forms through the lens of the unruly--that which cannot be easily governed, disciplined, or managed. Drawing on a transnational and multilingual archive--from Harlem to Havana, from the Panama Canal Zone to Port-au-Prince--Owens considers the short stories of Eric Walrond and Jean Toomer; the ethnographies of Zora Neale Hurston and Jean Price-Mars; the recited poetry of Langston Hughes, Nicolás Guillén, and Eusebia Cosme; and the essays, dance work, and radio plays of Sylvia Wynter. Owens shows how these figures depict folk culture--and Blackness itself--as a site of disruption, ambiguity, and flux. Their works reveal how Black people contribute to the stirrings of modernity while being excluded from its promises. Ultimately, these works do not seek to render folk culture more knowable or worthy of assimilation, but instead provide new forms of radical world-making.

  • Research Guides: Black History Resources: Black History Month 2024: African Americans and the Arts (3)Philip Payton: The Father of Black Harlem by Kevin McGruder

    ISBN: 9780231198929

    Publication Date: 2021-07-06

    At the turn of the early twentieth century, Harlem--the iconic Black neighborhood--was predominantly white. The Black real estate entrepreneur Philip Payton played a central role in Harlem's transformation. He founded the Afro-American Realty Company in 1903, vowing to vanquish housing discrimination. Yet this ambitious mission faltered as Payton faced the constraints of white capitalist power structures. In this biography, Kevin McGruder explores Payton's career and its implications for the history of residential segregation. Payton stood up for the right of Black people to live in Harlem in the face of vocal white resistance. Through skillful use of print media, he branded Harlem as a Black community and attracted interest from those interested in racial uplift. Yet while Payton "opened" Harlem streets, his business model depended on continued racial segregation. Like white real estate investors, he benefited from the lack of housing options available to desperate Black tenants by charging higher rents. Payton developed a specialty in renting all-Black buildings, rather than the integrated buildings he had once envisioned, and his personal successes ultimately entrenched Manhattan's racial boundaries. McGruder highlights what Payton's story shows about the limits of seeking advancement through enterprise in a capitalist system deeply implicated in racial inequality. At a time when understanding the roots of residential segregation has become increasingly urgent, this biography sheds new light on the man and the forces that shaped Harlem.

  • Research Guides: Black History Resources: Black History Month 2024: African Americans and the Arts (4)Dancing Revelations Alvin Ailey's embodiment of African American culture by Thomas F. DeFrantz

    ISBN: 0195348354

    Publication Date: 2004-01-01

    In the early 1960s, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was a small, multi-racial company of dancers that performed the works of its founding choreographer and other emerging artists. By the late 1960s, the company had become a well-known African American artistic group closely tied to the Civil Rights struggle. In Dancing Revelations, Thomas DeFrantz chronicles the troupe's journey from a small modern dance company to one of the premier institutions of African American culture. He not only charts this rise to national and international renown, but also contextualizes this progress within the civil rights, women's rights, and gay rights struggles of the late 20th century. DeFrantz examines the most celebrated Ailey dances, including Revelations, drawing on video recordings of Ailey's dances, published interviews, oral histories, and his own interviews with former Ailey company dancers.

  • Research Guides: Black History Resources: Black History Month 2024: African Americans and the Arts (5)The Measure of a Man: a spiritual autobiography by Sidney Poitier

    Call Number: Dimond - Level 4 ; PN2287.P57 A3 2000

    ISBN: 0062516078

    Publication Date: 2000-04-05

    In this luminous memoir, a true American icon looks back on his celebrated life and career. His body of work is arguably the most morally significant in cinematic history, and the power and influence of that work are indicative of the character of the man behind the many storied roles. Sidney Poitier here explores these elements of character and personal values to take his own measure--as a man, as a husband and father, and as an actor. Poitier credits his parents and his childhood on tiny Cat Island in the Bahamas for equipping him with the unflinching sense of right and wrong and of self-worth that he has never surrendered and that have dramatically shaped his world.

  • Research Guides: Black History Resources: Black History Month 2024: African Americans and the Arts (6)Clark by David Demsey (Introduction by); Clark Terry;

    ISBN: 9780520268463

    Publication Date: 2011-11-08

    Compelling from cover to cover, this is the story of one of the most recorded and beloved jazz trumpeters of all time. With unsparing honesty and a superb eye for detail, Clark Terry, born in 1920, takes us from his impoverished childhood in St. Louis, Missouri, where jazz could be heard everywhere, to the smoke-filled small clubs and carnivals across the Jim Crow South where he got his start, and on to worldwide acclaim. Terry takes us behind the scenes of jazz history as he introduces scores of legendary greats--Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, Dinah Washington, Doc Severinsen, Ray Charles, Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Coleman Hawkins, Zoot Sims, and Dianne Reeves, among many others. Terry also reveals much about his own personal life, his experiences with racism, how he helped break the color barrier in 1960 when he joined the Tonight Show band on NBC, and why--at ninety years old--his students from around the world still call and visit him for lessons.

Research Guides: Black History Resources: Black History Month 2024: African Americans and the Arts (2024)
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