Black Arts West Culture and Struggle in Postwar Los Angeles

ISBN-10: 0822346796
ISBN-13: 9780822346791
Edition: 2010
Authors: Daniel Widener
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Description: From postwar efforts to end discrimination in the motion-picture industry, recording studios, and musicians' unions, through the development of community-based arts organizations, to the creation of searing films critiquing conditions in the black  More...

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Book details

List price: $22.99
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 3/8/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 384
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.408
Language: English

From postwar efforts to end discrimination in the motion-picture industry, recording studios, and musicians' unions, through the development of community-based arts organizations, to the creation of searing films critiquing conditions in the black working-class neighbourhoods of a city touting its multiculturalism-Black Arts Westdocuments the social and political significance of African American arts activity in Los Angeles between the Second World War and the 1992 riots. Focusing on the lives and work of black writers, visual artists, musicians, and filmmakers, Daniel Widener tells how black cultural politics changed over time, and how altered political realities generated new forms of artistic and cultural expression. His narrative is filled with figures invested in the politics of black art and culture in postwar Los Angeles, including not only African American artists but also black nationalists, affluent liberal whites, elected officials, and federal bureaucrats. Along with the politicization of black culture, Widener explores the rise of a distinctive regional Black Arts Movement. Originating in the efforts of wartime cultural activists, the movement was rooted in the black working-class and characterized by struggles for artistic autonomy and improved living and working conditions for local black artists. As new ideas concerning art, racial identity, and the institutional position of African American artists emerged, dozens of new collectives appeared, from the Watts Writers Workshop, to the Inner City Cultural Center, to the New Art Jazz Ensemble. Spread across generations of artists, the Black Arts Movement in southern California was more than the artistic affiliate of the local civil-rights or black-power efforts: it was a social movement itself. Illuminating the fundamental connections between expressive culture and political struggle,Black Arts Westis a major contribution to the histories of Los Angeles, black radicalism, and avant-garde art.

Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction Acts of Culture, or, Maybe the People Would Be the Times
Cultural Democracy in the Racial Metropolis
Hollywood Scuffle: The Second World War, Los Angeles, and the Politics of Wartime Representation
The Negro as Human Being? Desegregation and the Black Arts Imperative
Writing Watts: The Rise and Fall of Cultural Liberalism
Message from the Grassroots
Notes from the Underground: Free Jazz and Black Power in South Los Angeles
Studios in the Street: Creative Community and Visual Arts
The Arms of Criticism: The Cultural Politics of Urban Insurgency
Festivals and Funerals
An Intimate Enemy: Culture and the Contradictions of Bradleyism
How to Survive in South Central: Black Film as Class Critique
Epilogue
Notes
Works Cited
Index

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