Poet Larry Neal described the Black Arts as "the aesthetic and spiritual sister of the Black Power ideology." The Black Arts Organization, like that developing political movement, stressed self-determination for Black people, a separate cultural life for Black people on their own terms, and the beauty and goodness...
Neal also noted that the Black Arts Movement was committed to artistic excellence and social change. It demanded "a greater understanding between Blacks and Blacks," and it sought to "abolish racism and advance equality" for Black people.
The Black Arts Movement emerged around 1970 in response to white supremacy's ongoing attempts to destroy Black culture. Poets, playwrights, musicians, filmmakers, and artists focused on preserving Black history and identity during an era when civil rights laws were being passed but racial discrimination and violence against Black people were still very real.
They believed that art had the power to influence society's view of Black people and they used this power to advocate for Black equality. Some famous artists from this movement include LeRoi Jones (later changed to Amiri Baraka), Neal, and Toni Morrison. It should be noted that many other artists worked alongside these three at the forefront of the movement.
Morrison is considered the mother of the Black Arts Movement because she wrote several novels about Black people during this time period. These works included Sula, Tar Baby, Song of Solomon, and Paradise: A Novel.
"The artists within the Black Arts movement wanted to create politically involved work that investigated the African American cultural and historical experience and revolutionized the way African Americans thought and lived," according to the Black Power notion. "In addition, they sought to challenge white supremacy by exposing its evils and injustices toward blacks."
The goal was to provide a vital voice for black people during a time when there were very few opportunities for them to be heard. The artists wanted to do this by creating works that explored issues such as racism, poverty, war, and injustice, which are all problems that affect many people around the world today. They also wanted to use their art as a form of protest because it can have a powerful impact on those who view it.
About two years after it began, the movement came to an end when most of its leaders were murdered by police officers. However, the work created by these artists has continued to influence other artists throughout the world.
Some examples of influential black theatre include A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, which is considered one of the first plays to focus exclusively on black life; and Rites of Spring by William Gibson, which is known for being one of the first major plays to deal with issues surrounding race and identity.
BAM, dubbed the "aesthetic and spiritual sister of Black Power" by Larry Neal, extended these same political themes to art and literature. The movement eschewed standard Western influences in order to depict the black experience in novel ways. Authors such as William Gardner Smith, Earl Nelson, and John Oliver Killens explored issues of racism, oppression, and freedom through their work.
Artists such as Romare Bearden, Kenneth "Kenny" Cox, Jacob Lawrence, and Charles White also contributed to the movement with paintings, sculptures, and designs that expressed the beauty of the black experience and promoted BAM ideas. In addition, musicians such as Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone, and James Brown released albums that espoused BAM principles. Finally, actors including Ruby Dee, Harry Belafonte, and Sidney Poitier became famous for their roles in films that presented positive images of blacks at a time when few did so.
Although not all artists who worked on behalf of black Americans were involved in the Black Arts Movement, they all shared a desire to highlight racial inequality and provide alternatives to the mainstream image of blacks.
Furthermore, many white artists of the time felt a need to respond to the social ills facing blacks. Some used their positions within the art world to express support for civil rights causes; others created works that exposed racial prejudice and stereotypes.
This new emphasis was an affirmation of black artists' autonomy to produce black art for black people in order to raise black awareness and achieve freedom. When Amiri Baraka created the Black Arts Repertory Theater in Harlem in 1965, he formally launched the Black Arts Movement. Other major figures associated with this movement include Jean-Luc Godard, Wim Wenders, Michael Moore, and Terry Allen.
The Black Arts Movement was a response by African-American artists to the lack of opportunity they found within the American art world. Many white artists and critics ignored or dismissed work by African-Americans, considering it to be merely "minor" compared to that of European masters. The Black Arts Movement called for increased attention to be paid by museums and galleries across America to African-American artists.
Some see the Black Arts Movement as a reaction against White Power movements in America during the 1970s and 1980s. These groups were often made up of whites who wanted to keep African-American culture black and away from mainstream society. They used violence and intimidation to prevent people of color from receiving an equal education, employment opportunities, and housing. For example, the Klu Klux Klan burned books by African-Americans in public spaces to show their opposition to the teaching of literature by blacks or about blacks having any influence over white society.
The Black Arts Movement, despite its brief existence, is crucial to the history of the United States. It fueled political action and free expression in every African-American neighborhood. It allowed African Americans the opportunity to express themselves through the media and get engaged in their communities.
Black artists were among the first to protest racial segregation and other injustices against blacks. They used their art as a tool for liberation just like other activists did during that time. Although these events took place several decades ago, they still have relevance today because many problems facing blacks today have roots in the racism that existed then.
Black art is also important because it shows how far blacks have come since slavery. It is a part of our culture that many white people are familiar with even though they may not know it. The Black Arts Movement helped blacks become aware of their own talent and encouraged them to use it. This movement also increased interest in African American history which had been ignored for years up until then.
Finally, black art is important because it has influenced many white artists. Many whites who are involved in the arts acknowledge the role that African Americans have played in creating popular music, theater, and film. Some of these individuals even say that they attempt to channel some of the most famous blacks such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X into their work.