Addison Scurlock took the iconic portrait of Madam C.J. Walker, the first Black woman millionaire in the U.S., in 1913. The photographer was known for his portraits, which captured the beauty, depth and complexities of Black Americans and how Black culture was flourishing in the early 1900s, during a time when minstrel caricature was common.
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African American Art
The earliest African American artists were slaves. Tho we don’t know their names, they came with skills and traditions from their home countries, including metalworking, woodcarving, and basket weaving. Spectacular examples of traditional arts such as hand-sewn quilts and clay vessels also speak to a historic artistic abilities.
The Gullah-Geechees are the descendants of enslaved West Africans who worked on coastal plantations. Because of their isolation, they were able to hold on to many traditions brought to these shores during the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Gullah-Geechee people have retained many African customs, including religious beliefs and traditions, music, foodways, and words and phrases from African languages.
Each basket starts with a knot, and moistened grasses or pine needles are repeatedly coiled and wrapped with strips of palm frond stems.
Don Hogan Charles captured the moment U.S. Representative Shirley Chisholm of Brooklyn announced her entry for the Democratic nomination for the presidency at the Concord Baptist Church in Brooklyn on January 25, 1972, becoming the first woman and first African-American to seek the nomination from one of the two major political parties.