African American artists have always been part of my art collection, but they have been gaining attention lately.
The most well-known African American artist is the late Charles Bronson, known for his work in the genre of African American photography.
Bronson is credited with creating some of the first black-and-white photographs, and the images have influenced generations of photographers.
The best known contemporary African American photographer, Johnnie Walker, is known for photographing African Americans in the 1960s.
Walker’s photography was groundbreaking, as well, and his work has been recognized worldwide.
Johnnie Walker is the man behind the great African American film, Black Rain, which won an Oscar for Best Picture in 1962.
He has also created the popular “black” and “white” color photos.
Black Rain won the Best Picture Oscar for best picture in 1963, and it was the first film to win multiple Oscars for Best Cinematography.
“Black Rain” won the 1978 Oscar for Outstanding Cinematography, but it is often cited as one of the worst films in cinema history.
The film was one of many that featured the use of the Black Panthers as anti-police protestors.
The Black Panthers were an offshoot of the Ku Klux Klan.
In 2012, the documentary “Dirty Jobs” explored the racial and economic inequalities that plagued the Black community during the 1980s.
Other well-loved African American photographers include the late John Travolta, who won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Johnny Knoxville in the 1985 film, The King and I. Travotas famous photo of himself standing with his wife, Gloria, at a rally in Selma, Alabama, in the wake of the police shooting of the unarmed civil rights marcher on Aug. 9, 1965.
Dirty Laundry won Best Picture at the 1976 Academy Awards, but the movie also featured the racially charged “N.Y.P.D. vs. Black Panthers” confrontation, which was seen by many as a racist attack on African Americans.
James Baldwin was also an important figure in the history of black American photography, as he shot the iconic “My Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and the “I Want to Work” posters in the early 1970s.
He was also a key figure in shaping the image of Black America in American cinema, and many African American films are based on his work.
Also in the filmography, the late, great Robert Bresson created the legendary “The New York Times” photograph of African Americans on the hood of a car during the 1964 Civil Rights marches.
There are many more African American filmmakers to choose from, but I would recommend visiting the galleries and learning more about African American art.