Every February, we honor Black History Month to recognize Black contributions to society and how this long history has shaped America and the world. This year’s theme is African Americans and the Arts. Black Americans offer crucial education and perspectives through art and media. Get to know a few of these Black artists!
Tina Turner (1939-2023)
Tina was the first female and first Black artist featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. She is known as the Queen of Rock n’ Roll and won eight Grammies through her music career. Tina scored a world record following her Twenty Four Seven tour in 2000, which sold more than $100 million in tickets with more tickets sold than any other solo performer in history.
Horace Pippin (1888-1946)
Horace’s influential career in painting stemmed from serving in World War I — he was shot in the right shoulder by a sniper, permanently disabling his arm. Unable to perform manual labor, he turned to painting for both income and rehabilitation. His signature, self-taught style has been displayed in the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation, and more.
Simone Leigh (born in 1967)
Simone holds space for Black women through her artwork as she transforms houses, pots, and more into the bodies of Black women. Her artwork celebrates their power, strength, and humanity. Simone’s structures stand in Chicago, Illinois; Manhattan, New York; London, United Kingdom; and more.
Sidney Poitier (1927-2022)
Sidney, native of Cas Island, Bahamas, moved to New York at 18 years old to pursue acting. He is known for both his work on screen and in the Civil Rights Movement. Sidney won the Oscar for Lilies of the Field (1963), becoming the first African American to win for a leading role.
Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu (born in 1953)
Dr. Kunjufu is a writer, educator, and publisher who has dedicated his career to addressing the issues affecting Black culture in the United States. He is a bestselling author and hosts workshops at schools and churches. His best-selling books include Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys and Developing Positive Self-Images & Discipline in Black Children.
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