2 african american art and music

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Lecture on African American art, music, and dance for humanities course

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2 african american art and music

  1. 1. Race: A Social Construction<br />Creative Expressions in Literature, Art, and Music<br />
  2. 2. In the 21st century, what does science tell us about race?<br />Human subspecies don’t exist.<br />Race has no genetic basis.<br />Skin color tells us nothing about a person since it develops independently from other traits.<br />There is more variation within, not between races.<br />Racial distinctions justified social inequalities as natural.<br />Racism is responsible for social institutions that disadvantage some while advantaging others.<br />
  3. 3. W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black FolksForethought<br />“HEREIN lie buried many things which if read with patience may show the strange meaning of being black here in the dawning of the Twentieth Century. This meaning is not without interest to you, Gentle Reader; for the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line.”<br />
  4. 4. Racial Stereotypes in Popular Culture<br />Minstrel Shows: White Actors in “Black Face”<br />
  5. 5. Popular Songs of the Time:Using Racial Stereotypes<br />
  6. 6. D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation<br />Gus, the “Black Brute” is a white man in black face who pursues the virginal white woman who would rather jump from a cliff than be touched by a black man.<br />
  7. 7. Griffith’s depiction of Reconstruction<br />In Griffith’s version of history, all African American people were less than human. They are depicted here in the state house as stereotypical “coon” figures.<br />
  8. 8. Vaudeville: Continuation of the Minstrel Tradition<br />White actor Al Jolson dons black face in his most famous film, The Jazz Singer—all the more significant because this was thefirst “talkie,” the first film to have sound.<br />
  9. 9. Bert WilliamsStar of the Ziegfield Follies<br />To be able to work on Broadway, African American actor and singer Bert Williams had to blacken his face and perform on stage ironically in black face.<br />
  10. 10. Bamboozled (Dir. Spike Lee, 2000)<br />Spike Lee’s satire on black stereotypes and popular entertainment<br />
  11. 11. From Bamboozled<br />Spike Lee’s movie demonstrates how the stereotypical images from earlier in our history remain. The plot of his film revolves around two African American entertainers who star in a new minstrel television show, emblematic of all the stereotypical images that continue in our culture—from Martin Lawrence to Tyler Perry to all of the thugs , drug lords, and gangsters that populate the movies.<br />
  12. 12. From Bamboozled<br />Spike Lee provides a montage of stereotyped images from popular entertainment caricaturing African Americans.<br />
  13. 13. Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Banjo Lesson (1893)<br />
  14. 14. Aaron Douglas, Aspects of Negro Life:From Slavery Through Reconstruction (1934)<br />
  15. 15. Aaron Douglas, Building More Stately Mansions (1944)<br />
  16. 16. Archibald Motley, Mending Socks (1924)<br />
  17. 17. Archibald Motley, Blues (1929)<br />
  18. 18. W.H. Johnson, Street Musicians (1940)<br />
  19. 19. W.H. Johnson, Mount Calvary (1944)<br />
  20. 20. Jacob Lawrence, The Migration Series (1940-41)<br />
  21. 21. Jacob Lawrence, Carpenters (1977)<br />
  22. 22. Jacob Lawrence, Ordeal of Alice (1963)<br />
  23. 23. Betye Saar, The Liberation of Aunt Jemima (1972)<br />
  24. 24. African American Music<br />The only unique form of music created in America has African American roots.<br />Ragtime, blues, and jazz found their beginnings in African American culture.<br />
  25. 25. W.C. Handy “St. Louis Blues” 1914<br />
  26. 26. Scott Joplin, “Maple Leaf Rag”Ragtime (recorded in 1916)<br />
  27. 27. Louis Armstrong, “What Did I Do (to beSo Black and Blue?) 1937<br />
  28. 28. Duke Ellington, “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got that Swing”)<br />
  29. 29. Charlie Parker (and Dizzy Gillespie)Koko (1947)<br />
  30. 30. George Gershwin“Rhapsody in Blue” 1927 performed by Leonard Bernstein<br />
  31. 31. Katherine Dunham<br />Stormy Weather was Lena Horne’s most noted performance, but Katherine Dunham’s choreography is not to be ignored in this video.<br />
  32. 32. Alvin Ailey<br />Revelations (1960)—drawing on African American culture, including spirituals, song-sermons, and gospel<br />

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