There is no established "GENRE" distinction that defines Black or African American Art from it's own aesthetic base. Hip Hop Culture has 50 years+ towards that end and is the only aspect of living African American Culture that is both completely American and Completely defined "Authoritatively" from the "African American" ( Black ) Grass Roots aesthetic. As an Artist within the 70's Rap to 90's Rap / Hip hop Culture of NYC the "Indie" ( independent Entrepreneur ) Spirit was a driving force. Our Generation are Architects of today's African American culture in it's entirety. That accomplishment alligns with period "Black" history of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Immigration and Naturaization Act. The Era of Political and Ecconomic Growth began with MLK's work. As an adherant to staunch ( necessary ) individualism of the NYC Hustle Spirit, in a time where almost every new rise or discovery was a Black first, We consciously sought Self Definition. Defining our "OWN" experience intellectually and Spiritually was an American Africanist movement that came out of Movements like Afro Centrism, Black Power and the European Negritude Movement.
The Yoruba Divinity Shango / Jakuta is the God of Fire and Lightning. As the composite Orisha, Sango's knowledge led the regeneration and continuation of countless Yoruba Tribal Spiritual practices during Slavery.
He is The Oba ( King ) of the Orishas...Priest, /Diviner / Warrior / Protector of Children, Assassin and Lover. Here, Xngo D'Ina / Shango Alafino - The Umbrella, stands defiant with his Mother Spirit Nana Burukku. Nana is the Oldest of the Orisha and is said to be an ancient manifestation of Yemoyale, the Great Mother Divinity of the Yoruba Pantheon. The Green throughout represent the "Canopy"...the floration of Orisha Oko...Osanyin - the God of Medicines and Herbs.
Under the Protection of the "Bush"...Orisha Oko the Forest, Escaped Slaved survived...
To some, the hardships of living deep in Nature was the only choice over Slavery, so they lived, fought and helped others escape.
There they reconnected with their ancestral Spirits and the Drum...
Social Commentary is "Art Journalism"
My original orientation as a Young African American Artist was to reflect the range of Aesthetics that came from the Harlem NYC and the National Black Arts Movements back to the Depression Era WPA projects. "BLACK ART" developed "within" and "through" the confines of the American / European Art Wealth Patronage, Industry Markets and Education Systems. When discussing Black art Today, it becomes obvious that "personal" opinion is the Popular Aesthetic of valuation. Personal opinion doesn't always have the insight to define Black Art in it's essence...which acts as the general description. In FACT, there is no common description of Black Art other than being of the Black Experience...further, Realistic Imagery depicting Black people.
In the Popular Realm, ART itself >as a "Term" is highly personalized in terms of what it claims to be from the mouths of the
Self Taught individual who see's "INDIVIDUALITY" - "GOD Given Talent" and "Will" as the definer. Artists who develop amateur practices and decide to go to College or Art School rely on Education & Networking in the field and the History that tells the story of where we are today. So an "Advanced" education actually places you in the field fully defined. As always you either have that family or patronage support...or you socialize, network and build your following.
ART to an Art Schooled Artist is WORKING FROM ONE OR MORE GENRE BASES using the learned principles of composition, texture, style, technique, medium and the "Chosen" defining artistic direction that is working and has relevance to the goal.
MONEY...OR INCOME ...OR WEALTH COMES FROM PURSUING YOUR STUDIO PRACTICE IN FULL AND CREATING
THAT BODY OF WORK THAT DEFINES YOUR STYLE AND MODE OF COMMUNICATION. "Professional Practices in the Art" is an actual College Curriculum that is necessary today, where it was not "AS" necessary in my early days.
BLACK ART IS SOCIAL COMMENTARY
IF YOU CALL IT "BLACK ART" THEN YOU ARE EXPRESSING AN ASPECT OF PROTEST WHETHER IT IS PASSIVE OR AGGRESSIVE
AFRICAN AMERICANS LIKE MY GRAND FATHER CHARLES BROWN CAME HERE FROM THE CARIBBEAN IN THE 1920'S
They came to assimilate ( raise a family, work and have a better life ) to experience the American Dream which at that time was Legit and functioning amidst Social Racism from Original Americans as well as the first wave of early European immigrants.
To Assimilate, which the large majority of Caribbean immigrants did in America...is to basically willingly take common work to support yourself, "adopt" the benefits and social opportunities in the majority culture, pay taxes and be a good citizen
= do your life as a beneficial citizen and being a cog in the whole machine.
A great many folk from the Caribbean came here before the 1964 civil Rights Act and became the American Middle Class
and they are still there. Some ( MANY ) became part of the wealthy classes. Assimilation does not equal selling out.
IT WAS THE WAY OF PROGRESS FOR THE PRE CIVIL RIGHTS ERA. EDUCATION, WORK TRAINING AND FAMILY.
Those successful immigrants represent the core of America. They can't be labeled as Coons because they are liberal minded -
as some from the Popular based "Black Construct" mentality, will assert. Trolls search the media for their form of Social Personal "WOKE" commentary which is Shielded by Avatar, highly antagonistic, relying on over played hearsay and intentionally not Insightful.
Intellectualism or speaking proper English is seen by many as "Speaking the White Mans language" This coming from someone who rejects education as indoctrination and who is writing in poor to fairly competent English. > Lacking any indication that they understand that THEY speak the language that THEY reject as Indoctrination. Language is how you express...How you express is from your state of mind...If you have no language you tend to emote in order to physically express what you cannot verbalize. Language both visual and written is a Sword.