week of 12/7: Kwanzaa and Faith Ringgold’s visual art

For Monday 12/7, we’ll (almost) wrap the semester with a look at Kwanzaa, the festival founded by Maulana Karenga and the US Organization.
We’ll have our last guest speaker of the semester, Dr. Segun Shabaka, to talk about the Kwanzaa tradition and its practice by the National Association of Kawaida Organizations (NAKO) in Brooklyn.
ReadRoots and Branches” and “The Seven Principles” (Nguzo Saba) from the official Kwanzaa website.
Watch Dr. Greg Kimathi Carr, chair of Howard University’s Department of Afro American Studies interviewed by Salim Adofo in this 29-minute TV show.

Optional: Read Floyd Hayes and Judson Jeffries’s “US Does Not Stand for United Slaves!” (PDF on the Readings page.)
 Further Resources: See Historian Keith Mayes’ Kwanzaa: Black Power and the Making of the African-American Black Holiday Tradition for a comprehensive look at the evolution of the celebration. Scot Brown’s Fighting For US is the definitive historical source on the US Organization.

Faith Ringgold, The Black Arts Movement. From the Art in Context website.

For Wednesday 12/9, we continue looking at visual art of the Black Arts Movement with a look at Faith Ringgold. Ringgold has become known for her story quilts, but we’re going to look at some earlier work from her “American People” and “Black Light” series of works from the 1960s to early 1970s. Read the 2 pdf files from Ringgold’s autobiography We Flew Over the Bridge. (Both PDFs on the Readings page; book is also at Wexler Library and the NY Public Library system).

Next view the images in the embedded PowerPoint file from the 2 series (which you can also download as a PDF):

  • What do you see?
  • Why is it appealing to you?
  • How does this work represent the ideas of the Black Arts Movement? (Does it?)
  • What are the similarities and differences between her work and that of Emory Douglas?
  • Who is represented in the pictures? Who isn’t?
  • Choose 2 images to create a short narrative about. What themes of the course and Black Arts Movement do you see represented?

    Our last class is on Monday December 14 and will be a wrap-up/review for the final exam. The final is on Monday, December 21 from 6:20-8:20 PM in our usual room. This follows Hunter’s standard Fall 2015 Final Exam Schedule-1 (PDF). Note the earlier start time and plan ahead — especially if you need to leave work early!

    Notes/Reminders: Remember that there’s a paper due next week. Also, the documentary Baddddd Sonia Sanchez is screening on Sunday 12/13 at the African Disapora Film Festival.