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Joshunda Sanders

was born in Harlem to Richard Hill, of North Carolina, and Mae De Veaux, who had immigrated from the Caribbean. De Veaux is the second-oldest of eight children and has said on her personal website that she was drawn to the world of books and words to “reimagine the world her mother understood” only as “you got three strikes against you. You poor, you black and you female.”

During the Black Arts Movement and other social movements of the 1960s and 1970s, De Veaux found herself inspired to create a different reality on the page. She worked as an assistant instructor in English for the New York Urban League between 1969 and 1971.

Under the guidance of the writer Fred Hudson, who was leading the writing workshop at the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center in Harlem, she won first place in a 1972 national black fiction writer s ...


Adebe DeRango-Adem

was born in Providence, Rhode Island to an African American father and professional boxer of Cape Verdean descent, and Caucasian mother of Irish descent.

Gallagher began her artistic career at Oberlin College in Ohio, where she studied writing from 1982 to 1984. In 1989 she attended Studio 70, a private art school opened by artist Michael Skop, in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Gallagher went on to earn a degree in fine arts from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1992. Her art education continued in 1993 at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, where she was supported by a Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship.

Gallagher has cited the African American poets of the Darkroom Collective founded in the Cambridge area by writers Thomas Sayers Ellis and Sharan Strang as a key influence for her early works in addition to the writings of Gertrude ...


Roberta Washington

the first African American woman licensed as an architect in the United States, was born in Chicago, the only child of James A. Greene, a lawyer, and Vera Greene, a homemaker.

Greene received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1936 and a Master of Science degree in City Planning and Housing in 1937 from the same school. After graduation she was hired by Kenneth Roderick O'Neal, the first black architect to open an office in downtown Chicago (he later hired the nation's second licensed black female architect, Louise Harris Brown). In December 1942 Greene became the first officially licensed black female architect in the state of Illinois and in the nation After working in O Neal s office Greene applied for and was eventually hired for a position at the Chicago Housing Authority This was something of a ...


Edmonia Lewis often drew upon her dual ancestry for inspiration. Her best-known work, Forever Free (1867, Howard University Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.), was inspired by the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment, the document issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 calling for the freeing of slaves in the United States. Created in marble, Forever Free depicts a man and a woman who have learned of their freedom. In an expression of gratitude, the woman kneels with her hands clasped; the man rests his foot on the ball that held them in bondage, raising his arm to display the broken shackle and chain on his wrist.

Little is known about Lewis's early life. Sources give differing birth dates (1843, 1844, and 1845 and birthplaces Ohio New York and New Jersey Her father was an African American and her mother was a member ...


Charles Rosenberg

who attracted considerable attention from collectors starting in the 1980s, after a lifetime of agricultural and domestic labor, may have been born in Brookhaven, Mississippi, but spent most of her life in nearby Martinsville and Hazlehurst. All three communities are along Highway 51 as it runs through Lincoln and Copiah counties. As with many people who live most of their life in obscurity, her family tree has not been thoroughly documented.

Tillman is a common name in Copiah County, both among people designated by law and culture as “black” and those who choose to think of themselves as “white.” Based on interviews by art curator and collector William Arnett between 1986 and 1995 with Smith a sister and her only son she was the third of thirteen children All children contributed to the family economy by raising cabbage tomatoes and beans initially sharecropping but eventually buying their own land ...


Leora Maltz Leca

painter and sculptor, was born in Junction City, Kansas, but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at a young age with her parents and younger sister, Lauren. There, the artist grew up, drawing and painting since her earliest years, with her interest in art encouraged by a creative and supportive family. Stout attended Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University, graduating with a degree in art in 1980. Throughout her high school and college years, Stout cultivated—and perfected—a precise, photographic realism, inspired by the works of Edward Hopper and others. A postcollege stint as a signmaker at a local thrift store helped the artist develop a facility for lettering and signage, along with a fondness for text that informs her work to this day.

An extremely versatile artist adept at working in a range of materials and media Stout most often explores the terrain between painting and sculpture in visually complex and ...


Krystofer A. Meadows

abstract artist, printmaker, and sculptor, was born in Jacksonville, Florida, the youngest of eight children of Ruth Voight, a schoolteacher, and Erlan Thompson, a pharmacist. As a little girl, she knew that she wanted to be an artist. Her earliest efforts were in photography, processing and developing prints in the darkroom that her father built for-her. Thompson graduated from Old Stanton High School in 1953. Her father wanted her to attend Florida A&M, but she insisted on going to Howard University in Washington, D.C. Although she had spent many years painting, Thompson entered Howard without any formal training in art. At Howard she studied with James A. Porter, an artist and the author of the 1942 book Modern Negro Art the definitive study of African American art in its time Porter was influential in Thompson s development as an artist and was ...