February is Black History Month. Time to embrace my inner history nerd and look around for famous, semi-famous, and should-be-famous African American historical figures and related events to blog about….I will bypass various controversies about whether “BHM” should exist- if it makes too much or not enough of the topic, if it excludes others or segregates African American history from American, or wrong or right. I’m just going to dig on in.
Here’s our first spotlight. This man is world-reknowned as an artist but I had, not surprisingly, never heard of him before I learned he was an influence on one of my favorite writers, August Wilson. His name is Romare Bearden. (1911-1988).
You can read his official bio here at the website for his foundation. His work spanned about five decades, encompasing cartooning, collage and oil painting. Along with being an artist he was also a noted writer about art. Pieces of his work currently are on display at places like the Met, the Whitney, and even the Boston MFA. Here’s a small sampling. (” I don’t know much about art, I just know what I like…”)