Black American Art

Ref: C3125483

An exhibition "Soul of a Nation:Art in the Age of Black Power" is the first one in the UK to highlight the energy and creativity of Afro-Americans from the 1960s onwards. This course aims to provide a history of some of the extraordinary arts that were brought over to America and the Caribbean by slaves from West Africa, for example the making of quilts, pottery, music and dance. It will then assess how such arts developed and reflected the lives, spiritual beliefs, hopes and fears of Afro-Americans during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, culminating in a study of the political content of much of the artwork on the 1960s and the diverse, dynamic Afro-American art that has been produced since then, highlighting talented artists in the fields of painting, textiles, sculpture and performance art.

Course aim

To provide the historical and cultural background to the dynamic creativity of the Black Arts movement in America from the time of slavery through to the twenty first century.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Demonstrate some awareness of the history of slavery in relation to the United States
  • Recognise specific art forms introduced by slaves
  • Understand more about the political issues often portrayed in the artwork

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You will be expected to carry out a range of activities in your own time

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • It is hoped that all students will be able to go to the exhibition "soul of the Nation: Art in the Age of Black power" at the Tate Modern, London

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course outline

Black American Art Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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