Roots and Routes: Art of the African Diaspora

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Throughout the fall semester, students of the course “Art of the African Diaspora” explored the art history of people of African descent. Collectively, these people can be recognized under the rubric of the Black Atlantic, a term Paul Gilroy coined to refer to three major geographical regions (namely Africa, Europe, and the Americas) that are indelibly connected by the Atlantic Ocean. The African Diaspora in this part of the world is characterized by the dissemination of black people that began with the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and continued with cross-migratory patterns across the Atlantic. The history of the Diaspora also includes the creation of religious, political, cultural and art movements. All of this has impacted the art making in various geographical, cultural, and socio-political paradigms.

This virtual exhibition is a testament to the knowledge gained by the students from this course and features art works chosen by them, all of which speak to the experience of artists of the African Diaspora throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries. We hope you enjoy this exhibition and are able to learn from the art and the accompanying texts.