African-American Art

Afro-American Tradition in Decorative Arts - This documentary explores how art and craft objects developed from a combination of Afro and American influences and how this tradition is being carried on today. Included are baskets, intricate wood carvings and pottery made by slaves. Modern Black artists at work were filmed in Charleston. (VC 1035)

Against the Odds: The Artists of the Harlem Renaissance - Documentary telling of the struggle of Black visual artists in the 1920’s and 1930’s to show and sell their work. It describes the influence of the Harmon Foundation in creating an artistic home where Black visual artists flourished and developed a wide range of talent. (VC 9502)

The Art of Romare Bearden - Romare Bearden’s art captures the diversity and richness of his life. With roots in North Carolina, Bearden migrated North at an early age, living in industrial Pittsburgh, vibrant Harlem, and, later in his life, on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. These four locales and his memories of their people, music, colors, and stories form the basis of Bearden’s collages and paintings, whose style exhibits a unique blend of cultural influences from Harlem, Europe, and Africa. (VC 11598)

Betye and Alison Saar: Conjure Women of the Arts - Mother and daughter artists demonstrate collaborative art, and the use of found objects in their work, and reflect on their relationship, motivation, and role as African-American women. (VC 4173)

Faith Ringgold Paints Crown Heights - Faith Ringgold details the creation of the quilt she created to represent the diverse cultures and traditions comprising the area of Crown Heights in New York city. (VC 4174)

From these Roots: A Review of the Harlem Renaissance - Uses still photographs and filmed sequences to recreate the social and political climate of the Harlem renaissance--a period of great artistic and cultural activity in the 1920’s which had, and still has, a profound influence on black American art and self-awareness and life-style. (VC 11174)

Hidden Heritage: The Roots of Black American Painting - Traces the work of Black American artists from the American Revolution to World War II. Places the artists’ individual achievements in the context of social change, abolition of slavery, Jim Crow laws, racial violence and segregation. (VC 1795)

Jacob Lawrence: The Glory of Expression - A documentary about the life and work of Jacob Lawrence, one of America's great painters, the first African-American to be represented by a New York City gallery. Emphasis is placed on the epic narratives he painted about the struggles of the African-American people. Central to the video is the attention given to the emotional aspects of the process of creating art as well as the importance of motivation and determination for success. (VC 2933)

New Orleans' Black Indians: A Case Study in the Arts - Mardi Gras in New Orleans serves as the background for this study of a mixture between American Indians and Blacks who compose the Black Indian tribes of New Orleans. The traditions, costumes, songs and dances date back more than 100 years and create living history of their folk art which is passed from generation to generation. (VC 6649)

Young Aspirations, Young Artists: Empowering At-Risk Youth Through Art - This film portrays a group of talented inner-city kids from New Orleans, who design, draw, and dream together under the watchful eye of a great teacher. It provides an exceptional model for a nurturing and challenging environment in which young people develop their creativity and artistry. (VC 6642)