Art in Crisis

Art in Crisis : W. E. B. Du Bois and the Struggle for African American Identity and Memory

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The Crisis was an integral element of the struggle to combat racism in America. As editor of the magazine (1910-1934), W. E. B. Du Bois addressed the important issues facing African Americans. He used the journal as a means of racial uplift, celebrating the joys and hopes of African American culture and life, and as a tool to address the injustices black Americans experienced-the sorrows of persistent discrimination and racial terror, and especially the crime of lynching. The written word was not sufficient. Visual imagery was central to bringing his message to the homes of readers and emphasizing the importance of the cause. Art was integral to his political program. Art in Crisis: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Struggle for African American Identity and Memory reveals how W. E. B. Du Bois created a "visual vocabulary" to define a new collective memory and historical identity for African Americans.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 296 pages
  • 154.9 x 231.1 x 20.3mm | 408.24g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 106 b&w photos, 1 bibliog., 1 index
  • 0253218136
  • 9780253218131
  • 2,108,258

Review quote

As the first book to examine Du Bois's use of imagery to create racial pride and convey moral outrage, Art in Crisis offers important insights into the history of visual journalism as well as the contributions of one of the twentieth-century's most significant black periodicals. . . * Jhistory * . . . valuable. It supplies a concise account of Du Bois's inclusion of art during his editorship of the magazine. It focuses us on the abundance and high quality of the art included and begins the important job of remembering and documenting the work of black artists now too often forgotten. . . . Art in Crisis makes readily accessible to a wide range of readers a rich sampling of work from The Crisis's formative period.Vol.42.2 (rec'd April 2009) -- Elizabeth Ammons * Tufts University * . . . a reminder of the usage and power of visual images to shape ideas and instill self-worth and opinions in American society. . . . Recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through faculty. * Choice * [T]he paramount value of Kirschke's laudable acoomplishment is that she has simultaneously added to the Du Boisian mystique, while providing a new understanding and appreciation for his role in shaping the manner in which African Americans viewed themselves and were perceived by others.Vol. 94.1 Fall 2009 -- Randall O. Westbrook * Fairleigh-Dickinson University *
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About Amy Helene Kirschke

Amy Helene Kirschke is Associate Professor of Art and Art History and African American Studies at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. She is author of Aaron Douglas: Art, Race, and the Harlem Renaissance.
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Table of contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. W. E. B. Du Bois and African American Memory and Identity2. A History of Black Political Cartoons and Illustrations: The Artists3. The "Crime" of Blackness: Lynching Imagery in The Crisis4. Theories of Art, Patronage, and Audience5. Images of Africa and the Diaspora6. Art, Political Commentary, and Forging a Common IdentityConclusionNotesBibliographyIndex
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