The Contibutions of Black Americans to the Arts
Without a continuous bond uniting men, without a continuous current of shared thought, there could be no living worthy of being called human. Richard Wright spoke these words in his autobiography Black Boy. He, as well as many other black Americans have displayed exmplemtory talent in the arts. As a matter of fact, blacks have contributed their talents to the arts, for many years, especially in the areas of painting, literature, and music
Many people are unaware of the contributions black people have made to the art of painting. Painters such as Benny Andrews and Jacob Lawerence have expressed the pain and joys share through their paintings. Jacob Lawerence, whose styles range from expressionism to cubism, is famous for the painting Grand Performance. The painting show blacks coming together in the performing arts. On the other hand, Benny Andrews is an artist that conveys his meaning through allegory. He is, however, known for his contribution to the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition. He was one of the firsts to start this organization which protested against the underepresentation of black art.
Another art that blacks influenced is literature. For example, Richard Wright was one of the first writers to address and protest against the racism problem in America. In his book, Native Son, he shows how a black boy is driven to kill a white woman. He also wrote essays for a book written by former communists who were displeased with the party. Most of his works show the struggles of black Americans. Likewise, novelist Toni Morrison writes about the struggles of black females. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature and in the late 1980s, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her book Beloved. This book shows the effects of slavery on a former slave after the war. Morrison is not the only woman to receive awards for work. Maya Angelou given many awards, including Grammys in 1994 and 1996. She received the one for the recording of her poem On the Pulse of Morning recited at President Clintons inauguration and one for Phenomenal Woman. She along with many others has shown explemary talent in literature.
Beginning as early as slavery, blacks have impacted music dearly. Jazz, a form of music stemming from gospel, is a form of expression. One famous jazz musician was the trumpet player Miles Davis. He was a master impressionist and is known for developing a slower form of bebop known as cool jazz. His album Kind of Blue is considered to be one of the finest albums. One of the greatest R&B artists today is Whitney Houston. Her album, Whitney was the first album by a female to debut at number one on the
American music charts. She became the person to sell ten million copies of her first two albums. She has received many awards for her music. Another form of music is rap. Rap is nothing more than poetry performed to music. Although rap is fairly new, people across the country are interested in it. Queen Latifah is a female rapper that has become famous in rap. Her music related to the up0lifitng of black females. She has also received awards such as an American Music Award for female rappers.