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Colored Pictures Race and Visual Representation

ISBN-10: 0807856967
ISBN-13: 9780807856963
Edition: 2006
List price: $47.50 Buy it from $19.55
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Description: In this book, artist and art historian Michael Harris investigates the role of visual representation in the construction of black identities, both real and imagined, in the United States. He focuses particularly on how African American artists have  More...

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Book details

List price: $47.50
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 2/27/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 6.12" wide x 9.25" long x 0.72" tall
Weight: 1.782
Language: English

In this book, artist and art historian Michael Harris investigates the role of visual representation in the construction of black identities, both real and imagined, in the United States. He focuses particularly on how African American artists have responded to--and even used--stereotypical images in their own works. Harris shows how, during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, racial stereotypes became the dominant mode through which African Americans were represented. These characterizations of blacks formed a substantial part of the foundation of white identity and social power. They also, Harris argues, seeped into African Americans' self-images and undermined their self-esteem. Harris traces black artists' responses to racist imagery across two centuries, from early works by Henry O. Tanner and Archibald J. Motley Jr., in which African Americans are depicted with dignity, to contemporary works by Kara Walker and Michael Ray Charles, in which derogatory images are recycled to controversial effect. The work of these and other artists--such as John Biggers, Jeff Donaldson, Betye Saar, Juan Logan, and Camille Billops--reflects a wide range of perspectives. Examined together, they offer compelling insight into the profound psychological impact of visual stereotypes on the African American community.

Michael D. Harris is associate professor of African and African American art history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. An artist and curator, he is a longtime member of the Chicago-based artists' collective AfriCobra.

Okediji uses the lens of visusl art to examine connections between the U.S. and the Yoruba region of western Nigeria, considering works by African and African American artists.

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction. Black: The Discredited Signifier/Signified
Constructing and Visualizing Race
The Nineteenth Century: Imaged Ideology
Aunt Jemima, the Fantasy Black Mammy/Servant
Jezebel,Olympia, and the Sexualized Woman
Color Lines: Mapping Color Consciousness in the Art of Archibald Motley Jr
The Language of Appropriation: Fantasies and Fallacies
Turning In from the Periphery Coda
Notes
Index

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