Ethnography of the Howard School

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042467/00001

Material Information

Title: Ethnography of the Howard School xxart of Agency, of Resistance and Syncretism
Physical Description: 1 online resource (614 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011


Anthropology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Anthropology thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: I postulate that the processes by which Diaspora people negotiate their social, cultural, and ethnic identities within their new environments will be evidenced within the work of the artists in the society. On examination, it appears that a group of African Diaspora visual artists whom I have dubbed ?The Howard School of Artists? in Washington, DC, who exist in, and around Howard University, while conforming to some norms of the processes of acculturation, collectively and cognitively seeks to resist cultural absorption. The group continues to hold fast to retention of the legacies of their ancestry, utilizing these legacies, to divulge cultural cognition to their audience. Given the creative visual expression (art) as a viable and resourceful route to investigating cultures, this study of The Howard School focuses on the application of art as cultural retentive agent. The research seeks to discover and document agency in the work of the group. The visual form as seminal narrative of cultural expression is pursued across several anthropological theories applicable to the study of cultural processes related to Diaspora issues. Major among these are the historicist, the acculturationist, the psycho-cultural and the human materialist paradigms. The study is concerned with the larger questions related to migration and displacement, and is central to any study of the African Diasporan experience as well as that of all Diaspora peoples. I strategize its point of entry is a dialogue in visual culture looking through the lens of Visual Anthropology situated foremost in the existentialist logos of a historicist insight. The methodologies involve this historical contextualization of the emergence of the ?Howard School,? accessed through archival studies, ethnography-through interviews, participant observation, focus groups, seminar and conference participation, recall and cross-disciplinary historiography. The study provides a useful template based in material culture- visual artistic expression, for the continued examination of the experiences of diverse Diaspora people. In this way it opens another page within the Diaspora discourse, defined by cross-disciplinary studies and praxis for moderating social change. The template used becomes especially friendly to the applied anthropologist.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by EDWARD JESSE SHAW.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Burns, Allan F.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0042467:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0042467/00001

Material Information

Title: Ethnography of the Howard School xxart of Agency, of Resistance and Syncretism
Physical Description: 1 online resource (614 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011


Anthropology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Anthropology thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: I postulate that the processes by which Diaspora people negotiate their social, cultural, and ethnic identities within their new environments will be evidenced within the work of the artists in the society. On examination, it appears that a group of African Diaspora visual artists whom I have dubbed ?The Howard School of Artists? in Washington, DC, who exist in, and around Howard University, while conforming to some norms of the processes of acculturation, collectively and cognitively seeks to resist cultural absorption. The group continues to hold fast to retention of the legacies of their ancestry, utilizing these legacies, to divulge cultural cognition to their audience. Given the creative visual expression (art) as a viable and resourceful route to investigating cultures, this study of The Howard School focuses on the application of art as cultural retentive agent. The research seeks to discover and document agency in the work of the group. The visual form as seminal narrative of cultural expression is pursued across several anthropological theories applicable to the study of cultural processes related to Diaspora issues. Major among these are the historicist, the acculturationist, the psycho-cultural and the human materialist paradigms. The study is concerned with the larger questions related to migration and displacement, and is central to any study of the African Diasporan experience as well as that of all Diaspora peoples. I strategize its point of entry is a dialogue in visual culture looking through the lens of Visual Anthropology situated foremost in the existentialist logos of a historicist insight. The methodologies involve this historical contextualization of the emergence of the ?Howard School,? accessed through archival studies, ethnography-through interviews, participant observation, focus groups, seminar and conference participation, recall and cross-disciplinary historiography. The study provides a useful template based in material culture- visual artistic expression, for the continued examination of the experiences of diverse Diaspora people. In this way it opens another page within the Diaspora discourse, defined by cross-disciplinary studies and praxis for moderating social change. The template used becomes especially friendly to the applied anthropologist.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by EDWARD JESSE SHAW.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Burns, Allan F.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0042467:00001

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2 2011 Edward Jesse Shaw


3 To my m other Dorothy Shaw and my s isters Cynthia, Yvonne, Beverley and Sonia a nd To m y foremost academic mentors T.B. Chang, Malkia Roberts Israel Tribble and Allan Burns


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This exercise has been only partly mine. It has been a collaboration of efforts Many persons have contributed in s ome way to this final product. I have been but the organizer and the one used to coord inate the various elements of the exercise. As such, there are many persons I have to thank. The hesitation arises in knowing where to one has encountered even in t he long past, contributes to the person one becomes, and hence that which one accomplishes. To attempt to recall each person and each experience impacting upon me, would result in a voluminous document and one wonders how then to meet t his goal. So I will not attempt this cumbersome task but instead, let the spirit of my appreciation flow to them upon the wings of the cosm ic energies. In this way, I limit this record of my gratitude to key stages of my development as a scholar and to those persons who figur ed in roles that helped me achieve the particular goal of completing this dissertation. These persons comprise a continuous link to who I owe my gratitude. I begin with my mother Dorothy H. Shaw who always made sure that her children r ead; T.B. Chang, edu cator my teacher at Cornwall Mountain Primary School, whose vision for us, her students, had no end, and who ta ught accordingly. H er tutelage put me on the road beyond fashionin g my learning so that I would develop an appetite to pursue further studies I especially thank Lillian Anderson, my sixth form supervisor and Spanish teacher who placed our learning experience within the real world.


5 I thank Howard University for supportin g me with scholarships througho ut my matriculation from freshman to the M.F.A. degree in 1988. The Faculty of Howard University over saw my development into mature scholarship. They are, therefore, responsible for giving me the foundation upon which this st udy is built. They helped to root me into a sensibility to issues of concern to my culture much of which is common to all peoples. Together, they are a unique group that instilled great confidence in me and nurtured my abilities. I especially thank the Fa culty of the Art Department over the years. Th ey taught me that art is life and that to create is spiritual and a language of culture. Special thanks to my advisor and friend the late Malkia Roberts and to the late Jeff Donaldson, Edward Love and Skunder B oghossian who taught me specific skills. I was indeed made to feel special when the Florida Education Fund awarded me one of its prestigious McKnight Doctoral Fellowships in 1997. It has been through this award that I have been able to pursue these several years in rich academic communities. The Fund has further nurtured me throughout each year with conferences and programs which have continued to prepare me for the role of educator and researcher. I applaud their vision in seeking to fulfill the need for m ore minority doctoral level educators in higher education. I thank t he staff and administrators; Lawrence Morehouse the president and C.E.O. for his vision and unwave ring support; Charles Jackson whose support and encouragement along with his positive atti tude has been a major source of my rejuvenation tim e and ag ain. I thank the staff of the F und for logistical and day to day ass istance. Much thanks to Rach el Nickie who assisted me unwaveringly with the reformatting of my bibliography and took on the tedio us task of transcribing the audio file of the Community Participant Forum. I am very indebted to


6 her and admire her courage and patience Without the additional support of the Florida Education Fund in the final phase of this dissertation, I would have bee n hard pressed to complete my research I am enormously grateful to Larry Morehouse for this additional support. I thank the University of Florida for providing me with teaching assistantships as I completed this study, and for all of the programs prepared for us, the students, to make our education richer and to prepare us for a place in the world of our professions. A special thanks to the Department of Anthropology for providing a nurturing environment for my development i n the discipline. The staff, Kar en Jones, Patricia Gaither King, Juanita Bagnall, Pamela Freeman, have been most helpful and encouraging and always offered help with a smile. Karen Jones wo rk ed out the administrative kinks; Patricia Gaither undertook the communicati onal technicalities an d offered special help on my document submission Juanita Bagnall kept me alert of meeting all of the stipulations and deadlines and Pamela Freeman has been the gatekeeper as I walked into the department so many times for help Without them this trek woul d have been a confusing more arduous journey. The Office of Graduate Minority Affairs at the university was most supportive along the way. I ts spe cial programs throu ghout the matriculation process were designed t o help students negotiate the long route i n this process and it offered special assistance and guidance in many ways I thank the Director Laurence Alexander and staff, Janet Broiles an d Sara h Perry for their support. I am especially grateful for bein g an Auzenne Fellowship awardee through this o ffice for the summer of 2010 which enabled me to complete my field research.


7 My time spent among the Fellows of the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship Program has been very invigorating. These colleagues have been both inspirational and supportive in this proces s. Especially, I am grateful for the encouragement given me by John Warford Diane Allen Gipson, Camille Fea nny, Ade Offuniy in and Bettye Parker Smith a former administrator of the program. I also thank Judy Anderson for her undying devotion in helping me to format my bibliography as we neared submission. and to my editor, Margaret Joynor, who with great patience and expert knowledge went beyond not only to provide me a template I can use from here on, but researched and provided further clarification o n some issues. Surely, without the keen assistance of the staff in the Editorial office at the University of Florida I could hardly have managed the intricacies of the processes of editing and formatting this large document. I thank them collectively for m any hours spent beside me as I tried to get this done. Editorial office Coordinator Stacy Wallace has been above all, most gracious and helpful in working with me on the finer details of this document. For her patience and her insightful assistance, I am g reatly indebted. She has often dispel led my greatest anxieties in this journey Particular members of the Howard University Community have b een very su p p ortive of me in my research for this dissertati on. Floyd Coleman and Ofori Ansa have always encouraged me on this pr oject. Tritobia Hayes Benjamin has been greatly supportive in my engagements in the field and in the processes of realizing this research. She has played a central role in helping me nego tiate many aspects of this experience. I thank her for facilitating my use of the Faculty Exhibition archives and the gallery facilities for the symposium of community participants. Scott Baker was a great


8 source of information on the history of the Art De partment at Howard and helped me immensely in the operation of org anizing the community forum. Eileen Johnston provided me with useful contact information as I sought sources to enrich this study. I am also grateful to Gwen Evere tt, Chair of the Department of A rt for her cooperation on logistics in the community forum and for her insightful input in the research process. I extend my thanks also to Jeanne Steiner Senior Vice President and Manager of the Arts and Culture Program at Bank of America for allowin g me to carry out my hibition of African American art on exhibit at Howard University My research has been enriched by this exposition. The forum participants gave me of their intellectual capital for settling some problematized issues on The Howard School I am indebted to them for this gift and thank t he members, Akili Ron Anderson, Scott Baker James Brown Floyd Coleman, Claudia Gibson Hunter Tritobia Hayes Benjamin, Roberta McLeod Kwaku Ofori An sa, Winnie Owens Hart, Reginald Pointer Cynthia Sands and Alfred Smith I am very grateful to them for sharing their time and their insights on the subject. I also thank retired Howard University p rofessor Frank Smith for his input. The artist s who have in vited me into their studios and classes and tried to help me to see through their glasses, provided me useful tools with which to conclude this study. I am grateful to them for accommodating my interviews and for allowing me to photograph them in their st udios and homes These artist s and their colleagues are committed culture workers and humanitarians of great spiritual worth to our world communities. I also thank those scholars on whose previous research I have been able to rely with such confidence.


9 Sev eral of my friends have played a vital role of support to me in this period of my life. I extend great appreciation to my friend Donna Parker who supported me in mo re ways than I can record here from assisted me with everything from taking care of my healt h and my sustenance to the last minutes of preparing my documents for the initial submission of the document to the University. I thank her immensely for this friendship and loyalty. My friends Norman Reid, Karen Francis and Nick and Anita Alemanne were ve ry encouraging and supportive through the years of this engagement. They, too, told me that I ha d to complete this journey. I must also thank Dr. Alba Burns, who was so instrumental in helping to rebuild my confidence i n the work I had begun She con tinual ly reminded me of the value and importance of my work and of my gifts. Her encouragement has been very useful to me on the last leg of this journey. Without the support of my family, this task would probably not have been possible. It has been a long journ ey charting this route and it has been with the continued support from my family that I have been able to see it through My sisters Cynthia, Yvonne, Beverley and Sonia have been constantly beside me in this process. Together they have been responsible for helping me throughout my entire educational career. They have given me moral support at crucial times given me a place to live and fed me well. I especially thank Yvonne for it was her effor ts that helped get me to Howard University in the first place. I also must thank my brothers by my sisters Walter Gayle, Carlton McFarlane and Morin Campbell fo r their support. Thanks to Walth er and Carlton who, at various times, took me into their homes. Walther and Yvonne have given me housing as I start ed my tenure at Howard and in the end, again kindly provid ed me accommodation


10 as I completed my field research For these most essential gift s and for all of their other s upport in so many ways, I am eternally grateful. My committee members are th e persons who are mos t directly responsible for my successful negotiation through the doctoral process. They have guided my progress over the years and mo nitored my growth through the stages They have been my mentors, giving me useful leads in s ources that augment my study, h elping me with interpretations and accommodating the submission of this lengthy document, reviewing it and providing me useful feedback. It is with their keen and patient support that I have been able to see this document evolve into a work of which I am p roud To them I owe a mountain of gratitude. Professor Willie Baber with whom I taught Applied Anthropology in the spring of 2010, has introduced me to a useful set of tools and taught me useful teaching strategies. I found mu ch to copy from him. His focu s on justice as an applied anthropologist has been especially appealing to me. As a former student of St Clair Drake, whom I admire and whose historicist pa radigm so informs this study, Willie Baber brought a level of spiritual connectivity to which I atta ch great value in this study. Professor Faye Harrison has been an invaluable mentor among those who have had a bearing on me as a mentor and on the production of this document. One of her most cherished qualities to a student is her ease of operation and h er ability to help the student identify with her and her vast reservoir of cu ltural knowledge. I am very happy to have had her as a member of my committee and as a mentor in this venture. She not only shared vital sources of information relevant to my inqu iry, but was always there as a spiritual resource ready to encourage and uplift Her experience having worked


11 among people with somew hat similar backgrounds as those within my study pop ulation made her a valuable ally. I have found t hat my long relationshi p with Professor Max Parker has been most useful in main taining the stamina that an undertaking such as this requires. He has encouraged me and supported me through some of the difficult da ys in my life. As a friend and t eacher, he helped me chart both per sonal and academic routes successfully My studies with him have prepared me to give further worth to this undertaking and to deve lop confidence in the potential of this study in the field of Education Under his guidance I was able to fulfill my intent of making Education a minor in my continued preparation for a career as an educator. It has been through continued c ontact with him that I continued to keep my eyes on the goal of completing this program. When I first arrived at the Univ ersity of Florida I w as told by most of those who knew of my interest, that I needed to get in touch with Robi n Poynor I did and took his classes and in the process felt that he was as much of an anthropologist as I was learning to become. H aving spent years researching in Ni geria he has brought a refreshing vi ew to the study of African Art, and his enthusiasm f or the topic was infectious. Robin Poynor has been extremely inviting and over the years he has helped guide me along the narrow straight in exploring the role of crea tive expression and its meanings and place across cultures. Having developed the appreciation for the role of art in the traditional African context, he has been able to motivate me to greater understanding of the issues of agency that are being pursued in this inquiry I want to thank him for his gentle an d encouraging ways which do much to build the confidence o f


12 the student He has always been very positive ly and intuitively involved in my development as a scholar as he has u nderstood my message even w hile I struggled with it I have also learned much from him through his ded ication to research and writing, and I thank him for lending me his technical writing skills. The person most responsible for my completion of this p rocess is my Committee Chair All an Burns whose skilled and patient direction was the sustaining factor that brought me t hrough periods of altered focus It is for this reason that I have purposively thanked him last that he may receive the last words of my appreciation placed closest to this document. Above the guidance, the moral and material support that he gave me, of all things I thank him most for the fact that he exhibited a belief in my abilities from the very beginning of the process and continued to do so to the ve ry end. It was this belief that compelled me to proceed at a time when it seemed that I had no will or m eans to continue in the program For this trust I cannot thank him enough His confidence in me and his gifts in assisting my return to school after a period ne cessita ting a leave of absence has been the single most vital rejuvenating factor in my life. This act restored my confidence and brought me to a place from which I have never looked back. His s kills as mentor, teacher advisor, ardent scholar, administrator, an d friend, I hope to learn and borrow to the best of my abilities. Without Professor Allan Florid a and I would neither have gone beyond the A B D stage nor managed such an e premier educators and owe him a depth of gratitude I know not how to repay, save to pass his gifts to me on to others. He has been, indeed, a teacher, mentor, friend, an


13 advis or, an advocate and the greatest of support for me I am eternally grateful to him for guiding me with such industry through this process. Finally, I thank my committee collectively for their sharing and encouragement, and for the many useful sources they have suggested for me, along the discussions which they took the time to enter in with me on a one to one basis, which so expanded my perspectives and enriched my research! Willie Baber for his clarification of the place of Howard University as an educatio nal institution for the Freedmen and for recommending the readings on Jacqueline Fear S egal ; Allan Burns for the seminal work of Alfred Gell and for introducing me to the work of John Ogbu and Louise and George Spindler ; Faye Harrison for sharing her exper iences on her research especially that among West Indian migrants in the United Kingdom and for exposing me to the work of Fernando Ortiz and her own work on role of Du Bois in the discipline of anthropology; Max Parker for discussing with me how he uses t he image in his counseling education classes and sessions and for having me share my work in presentations a t his classes over the years; Robin Poynor for recommending the readings by Paula Ben Amos and Monni Adams and for our discussions on the state of s tudies of the creatively induced object we call art.


14 TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 18 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 19 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ................................ ................................ ........................... 33 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 34 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 36 The Research Question ................................ ................................ .......................... 42 Hypothesis ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 48 R esearch Project ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 49 Limitations of the Study ................................ ................................ ........................... 57 2 CONTEXTUALIZING THE HOWARD SCHOOL OF ARTISTS ............................... 60 The Howard School of Artists as a Social Unit ................................ ........................ 60 Terminology ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 65 The Anthropology and Sociology of Th e Howard School of Artists ......................... 67 The Anthropology of Art ................................ ................................ .......................... 74 The Diaspora Experience ................................ ................................ ....................... 75 Agency among Artists and Within Art ................................ ................................ ...... 76 Strategic Acculturation and Hybrid Expressions in Art ................................ ............ 78 3 THEORETICAL STR UCTURING AND RESEARCH PARADIGMS ........................ 82 Historicist and Human Materialist Paradigms ................................ ......................... 88 Psycho cultural Theoretical Framing ................................ ................................ ...... 90 Research Paradigms and Strategies ................................ ................................ ...... 91 Visual Creative Expression Art as Agent for Change ................................ .......... 92 4 WASHINGTON D.C., HOME OF FREEDMEN, IN PERSPECTIVE ....................... 94 Infrastructural Context Washington, District of Columbia ................................ ....... 94 Social Cultural Context ................................ ................................ ......................... 111 Superstructural Context of Development ................................ .............................. 117 5 METHODS AND PROCESSES OF EXAMINATION ................................ ............ 142 Representations of Diaspora Peoples and their Cultures ................................ ..... 143 Situating Established and Emergent Ideas on the Study of African and African Ame rican Art Forms ................................ ................................ .......................... 154


15 Gearing for the Field ................................ ................................ ............................. 171 Studying as Indigenous and Native Anthropologist ................................ ............... 172 Power Reversal: Studying Up ................................ ................................ ............... 175 Research Goals ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 187 Research Techniques ................................ ................................ ........................... 188 Participant Observation ................................ ................................ .................. 189 Participating Observer Recall ................................ ................................ ......... 191 Campus Visits ................................ ................................ ................................ 194 Conference Attendance and Participation ................................ ...................... 199 Artist Studio Visits and Site Visits ................................ ................................ ... 201 Structured Individual Artist Interviewing ................................ ......................... 201 Discourses and Honoring Functions ................................ ............................... 202 Casual Conversations ................................ ................................ .................... 209 Community Participant Forum ................................ ................................ ........ 215 Archival Studies ................................ ................................ .............................. 216 Material Culture Discoverie ................. 221 6 EMERGENCE AND SUSTENANCE OF THE HOWARD SCHOOL ..................... 235 Historical Context of Emergence ................................ ................................ .......... 236 Formal and Aesthetic Context of Emergence ................................ ....................... 246 Alain Locke and the Call for Adherence to Cultural Legacies ............................... 257 Historical Genesis Art within Howard and the Normal Department ................... 267 Identifying the Spark: Herring, Porter, Locke and the Key to Ignition .................... 271 ................................ ................................ ............................. 272 The Howard School of Art Philosophy and its Local, National, and International Place and Impact ................................ ................................ ............................... 290 The Charismatic Figure: Jeff Donaldson ................................ ............................... 299 The Emergence of Black Art ................................ ................................ ............... 334 7 PRESENTING THE HOWARD SCHOOL OF ART ARTISTS AND THE HOWARD COMMUNITY: ART EXHIBITION OPENINGS AND RELATED FUNCTIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 355 Art Exhibition Openings ................................ ................................ ........................ 355 ................................ ................................ ......................... 383 Public Art Site Visits ................................ ................................ .............................. 384 Curatorial and Gallery Talks ................................ ................................ ................. 385 The Howard School of Art Academic Environment Today ................................ .... 390 8 COMMUNITY PARTICIPANT FORUM ................................ ................................ 398 Coordinating the Community Participant Forum ................................ ................... 400 The Howard Comparticum and the Creative and Artistic Urge ........................... 417 Consensus on th e Claim for the Existence of a Howard School of Art ................. 422 Consensus on the Hypothesis of the Emergent Nature of African American Identity and Composition ................................ ................................ ................... 428


16 Consensus on Structure and Manifestation of a Howard School of Art ................ 429 Consensus on the Birthing/ Emergence of The Howard School of Art ................... 432 Consensus on a Spark in the Emergence of The Howard School of Art ............ 433 Consensus on the Pivotal Years of the Manifestation of The Howard School of Art ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 435 Consensus on the Function of The Howard School of Art ................................ .... 437 Perceptions on the Evidence of Advocacy Attributable to the Howard Univers ity School of Art Philosophy ................................ ................................ .................... 439 Perceptions on the Time/Social Context Effect on the Welfare and Viability of The Howard School of Art ................................ ................................ .................. 442 Consensus on the Definition of Black Art and Related Dichotomies ..................... 445 Consensus on Select Artists Whose Lives and Works Usefully Represent The Howard School Philosophy and Intent. ................................ .............................. 446 9 INDIVIDUAL ARTIST INTERVIEWS: ENCOUNTER, INSPIRATION, PASSION, PROCESS, INTENT AND ASSESSMENT ................................ ........................... 449 Akili Ron Anderson ................................ ................................ ............................... 451 Kwaku Ofori Ansa ................................ ................................ ................................ 5 18 Skunder Boghossian ................................ ................................ ............................. 461 James Brown ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 468 Elizabeth Catlett ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 479 Jeff Donaldson ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 484 Aziza Gibson Hunter ................................ ................................ ............................. 487 Lois Jones ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 498 Edward Love ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 505 Winnie Owens Hart ................................ ................................ ............................... 518 Malkia Roberts ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 531 Alfred J. Smith ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 537 Cynthia Sands ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 547 10 SUMMARY OF RESEARCH FINDINGS ................................ ............................... 556 11 EPILOGUE ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 569 APPENDIX A INITIAL COMMUNICATION PACKAGES SENT TO POTEN TIAL PARTICIPANTS OF FORUM ................................ ................................ ................ 571 The Howard School of Art ................................ ................................ .................. 571 B STUDY ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ .............................. 574 Abstract ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 574 C I.R.B. Requirements ................................ ................................ ............................. 576


17 Informed Consent ................................ ................................ ................................ 576 D PARTICIPANT FORUM CORRESPONDENCE ................................ ................... 578 Howard School of Art ................................ ................................ ............................ 578 Meeting Agenda ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 582 E DEBRIEFING AND FOLLOW UP CORRESPONDENCE TO FORUM MEMBERS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 595 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 601 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 613


18 LIST OF TABLES Table page 8 1 Recurrence of Relevant Terminology during The Howard School of Art Community Participant Forum ................................ ................................ .......... 426


19 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3 1 Mo del of the historicist Paradigm ................................ ................................ ....... 89 3 2 Model of the human materia list paradigm, a s conceived by Paul Magnarella. ... 90 4 1 Map showing the general direction of the flow of colonialist activities over the period of occupations in the so route ........................... 96 4 2 Washington, D.C, tucked between the east edge of the Potomac River and the western shore of Maryland, selected site of the new capital. Photo pp. ....... 97 4 3 Above, 7 th Street and Maryland Avenue, N.W. looking west. 104 4 4 From 7 th Street and Maryland Avenue N.W. looking north along 7 th Street. ..... 105 4 5 Detail, 7 th Street and Maryland Avenue; northeast corner looking north along 7 th Avenue ................................ ... 105 4 6 Corner of 7 th and C Streets, SW looking east toward Capitol Hill, 7.38 am, November 20th, 2010, forty two degrees Fahrenheit. ................................ ....... 106 4 7 The southeast corner of 7 th Street and Pennsylva nia Avenue, NW at 7.26 am on November 20 th 2010; temperature 42 degrees Fahrenheit. In place of this ................................ ................................ ......... 107 4 8 At left, detail of 7 th Street and Pennsylvania Ave nue, NW, former site of located in Virginia., ................................ ................................ ........................... 107 4 9 Images of 13 th and F Streets, N.W. looking west toward the White House just this intersection. ................................ ................................ ................................ 108 4 10 The rear of the imposing building into which A Street, N.E. entering the pi cture at left, ends. ................................ ................................ .......................... 110 4 11 The Supreme Court (from the front) at 1 st Street, NE faces the Capitol building on the right as shown in this 180 degree panoramic image stitched together from fo ur separate images. ................................ ................................ 110 4 12 It was considered a felony for anyone to teach enslaved people to read. Nevertheless some African Diasporans, learned to read and write .................. 118 4 13 Progress of the American Negro (Five great American Negroes), 1939 1940. ................................ ................................ ....................... 134


20 4 14 ctual inscription at top; former location of the Howard University Hospital. ................................ ........... 135 5 1 Professor Ofori Ansa seen teaching a class in 2005. Students get to observe s African Art Collection 197 5 2 Covers of Porter Colloquium programs; 2005 (left) and 2010 (right). ............... 200 5 3 At the 2005 honorin g function for David Driskell (second from right), a large community of scholars, students and community supporters, came toget her to hear the keynote address. ................................ ................................ ........... 203 5 4 At left, publication fo r the program honoring Franklin and cover of his celebrated text, From Slavery to Freedom, over the years. .............................. 204 5 5 John Hope Franklin representing the Africa Diaspora voice at a conference in Trinidad. ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 204 5 6 parallel.. ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 206 5 7 Haile Gerima, Danny Glover, and Mbye Cham discuss film and aspects of 207 5 8 I am in the field with Professor Haile Gerima at the Sa nkofa Caf and with actor/activist/culture worker Danny Glover ................................ ....................... 209 5 9 Roberta McLeod, Founder and Director of the Blackburn Gallery shares one of her awards won two years in a row. ................................ ............................. 211 5 10 The Sankofa Caf which lies almost directly across from the Howard University campus, on Georgia Avenue ................................ ........................... 212 5 12 Images from Sank ofa Caf. At right, (b), the trademark of the Sankofa Caf. One graphic representation of the Sankofa bird is shown here. ....................... 214 5 13 Sankofa Caf parking lot. The urban parking lot becomes a bil lboard for presenting cultural ideology ................................ ................................ .............. 214 5 14 The 1975 Faculty catalogue photograph. At left, Lois Jones in the foreground anticipates the fun. ................................ ................................ ........................... 220 5 15 Frederick Douglas Hall, Howard University main campus. ............................... 224 5 16 ........... 225 5 17 Carnegie Hall is reputedly the most beautiful building on the campus, with ................................ ............................. 226


21 5 18 in campus, named for the university founders. This clock spiral is the iconographic representation of Howard University. ...... 227 5 19 Rankin Chapel which housed the first Fine Arts Gallery which w as situated in its basement. ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 227 5 20 This imposing work stands at twenty five feet with the dignity and grace of The Nike of Samothrace ....................... 228 5 21 The Harriet Tubman Quadrangle. This dorm complex for women is comprised of halls named for James Baldwin, Ernest Crandall, E. Franklin Frazier, Sojourner Truth and Phyllis Wheatley. ................................ ................ 229 5 22 Mary McLeod Bethune Residence Complex, named for the indefatigable educator and founder of the Bethune Cookman College in Florida 230 5 23 Fr Halls and Founders Library. ................................ ................................ .............. 231 5 24 African Americ ans adorns the face of Downing Hall. ................................ ........ 232 5 25 east visible behind the trees, ties Howard directly to that era of the Freedmen ................. 233 6 1 Marcus Garvey dressed as army man and in a parade in Harlem, 1922. ......... 240 6 .2 Family portrait by Joshua Johnston who is known to h ave advertised his business of doing portraits in Baltimore papers ................................ ................ 248 6 3 Landscape by Robert Duncanson shows his skill as an accomplished nineteenth century landscape painter. At right (b) i s a portrait of Duncanson. 249 6 4 Edward Bannister was another accomplished landscape painter. His landscapes were often genre scenes ................................ ............................... 250 6 6 The Banjo Lesson by Tanner shows an ennobling depiction of a grandfather and grandson. ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 251 6 7 University Department of art under James V. Herring ................................ ...... 252 6 8 The classically posed marble sculpture, Forever Free by Edmonia Lewis, is a treasured piece in the Howard University Collection; done 1867. ..................... 254 6 9 Amy Garvey, wife of Marcus Garvey contemplating the bust commissioned to Augusta Savage. ................................ ................................ .............................. 256


22 6 10 A young Alain Locke is s een at left (a). At right (a), Locke with fellow Howard Professors Stuart Nelson and Ralph Bunche at right. ................................ ...... 258 6 11 A group of eminent Howard professors whose names are readable in the origin al legend to the photograph stand at the gate in front of Founders library. ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 260 6 12 Th e cover to the exhibition of works from The Travelling Collection of Harlem Museum of Afric an Art of New York City in 1928 ................................ .............. 260 6 13 Elizabeth Catlett, Negro Es Bello at left. Malkia Roberts(center), Guardian Spirit. Lois Jones (right), Ubi Girl from Tai Region, Nigeria ............................. 262 6 14 AfriCOBRA art commune members circa 1988. In time, five members of the group, seen here, became Faculty members at Howard University. ................ 264 6 15 Sc ott Baker, Assistant Director of the University Gallery. The owl in front of him is the inkwell that belonged to Department and first Chairman of the Department James Herring. ................................ ................................ .............. 268 6 16 First H oward gallery situated in the basement of Rankin Chapel. Photo pp. .... 269 6 17 James Herring, founder and first Chairman of the Art Department at Howard University.. ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 273 6 18 sculpture, Forever Free ................................ ................................ ................... 273 6 19 An early studio art class at Howard, circa 1929. Note the model attired in African clothing. Professor Herring with back turned is at easel 5 th from left. .. 274 6 20 The Daubers Art Club about 1964 dress i n comparison to that in Figure. 6 28, p296. ................................ ............ 275 6 21 Students on the grounds of University Hall at Howard in 1867. ........................ 295 6 22 Moth premiere place in the most important city in the country, for the gathering and socialization of the emerging scholars ................................ .............................. 296 6 2 3 From early Howard has been honoring the leaders of the African and African Diaspora ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 296 6 24 One of the most acclaimed honorary degree recipients and the one who brought the largest crowd ev University, is media mogul and philanthropist, Oprah Winfrey. ....................... 297


23 6 25 Students at another prominent, Historically Black Institution, Hampton University ( then Institute). (a) the young John Biggers is seated at center. At right is a domestic science class, ................................ ................................ ..... 298 6 26 Af rican Americand. ................................ ................................ ........................... 299 6 27 Jeff Donaldson as seen in 1981. This is as Donaldson appeared to me when I arrived at Howard in the fall semester of 1980. ................................ .............. 300 6 28 Art Students displaying their work in front of the Fine Arts building in the spirit of the time. ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 302 6 29 Hale Woodruff the recorder of events in murals and chara cteristic work by Romare Bearden. ................................ ................................ ............................. 310 6 30 A characteristic work by Romare Bearden. ................................ ...................... 310 6 31 ries of murals depicting the Amistad Mutiny; above Cinque and the company on trial. ................................ .............. 311 6 32 Mutiny; above accuser refer s to Cinque. ................................ .......................... 311 6 33 ................................ ................................ ........................ 314 6 34 Jeff Donalds on in later years. ................................ ................................ ........... 319 6 35 Donaldson and Peg gy Cooper Cafritz. ................................ ............................. 322 6 36 prominent African Americans are visible throughout the work. ........................ 325 6 37 says much in accompaniment of the image.. ................................ .................... 328 6 38 The 1997 Festival of Africa venue that had formerly hosted the Pan American Games .............................. 330 6 39 353 7 1 Washington, D.C. and Maryland residents arriving at the opening reception of the Bank of America Exhibition on Sunday, September 26, 2010. ................... 356 7 2 The exhibition ope nings are a place to meet and reconnect. 357


24 7 3 At the appropriate time, the Dean, the Associate Dean or another official of the College or Univer sity will begin the proceedings ................................ ........ 357 7 4 The opening of the Exhibition was a gala event. ................................ .............. 358 7 5 A section of the mid crowd as the opening of the Bank of America exhibition i s about to get underway. ................................ ................................ ................. 359 7 6 Conversations flourish among little groupings and new acquaintances are made usually before and after the formalities. Artist James Brown (back to camera) disc oursing with local residents. ................................ ......................... 359 7 7 .. 360 7 8 At l eft Dr. Carl Anderson retired Vice President for Academic Affairs at Howard and Dr. Floyd Coleman, (b) student make s notes from a work ........... 361 7 9 Featured artist Lawrence Finney of the Bank of Am erica Exhibition, Mixing Metaphors converses with area attendees at the reception ........................... 362 7 10 At left Edward Shaw, in.conversation with Jeanne Steiner and her husband Robert At right (b), Stei ner and former University administrator/art collector James Hill. ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 362 7 11 A jazz quartet from the internationally famous Howard University Jazz Ensemble pauses for a break at the opening rece ption. ................................ ... 363 7 12 Akan King Nana Kwaku Kumniapa III of Ghanaian society is seen here in traditional dress. ................................ ................................ ............................... 364 7 13 African fashio n image of a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock. .............. 364 7 14 At left, alumnus James Brown makes with a typical carved cane. At right, (b), .photograph exhibited in the 2005 Alumni Sh ow, by ar tist Ruth R. Fleming. .... 367 7 15 At left, the indomitable Roy Lewis photographing me photographing him, and 371 7 16 The cover of the 2005 Alumni Exhibition, A Proud Continuum: Eight Decades of Art at Howard University, in full color.. ................................ .......................... 377 7 17 A page in the cata log shows then University President Patrick Swygert and ................................ ................................ ............... 378 7 18 Associate Dean of the Division of Fine Arts, and Director of the Howard University Gallery, Tritobia Hayes Benjamin. ................................ ................... 379 7 19 Group photo of the attending alumni artists at the opening of the exhibition with University President Swygert at center front row, fingers intertwined. ....... 380


25 7 20 Scott Baker, Howard University alumnus and Assistant Director of the Howard University Gallery was responsible for organizing the installation of the exhibition. ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 381 7 21 catalogue and the volume of the registration process that was necessary t o bring the production together ................................ ................................ ............ 381 7 22 A commemorative poster was created for the occasion and was distributed to all of the participating artists and others. ................................ .......................... 382 7 23 curator Deborah Willis (second from right) after the talk with (left right) artist, Lawrence Finney, Bank of America representative, Tritobia Hayes Benjamin and Floyd Coleman. ......................... 386 7 24 A sect ion of the crowd at the talk; Gallery Director Hayes Benjamin (right) introduces curator Deborah Willis. ................................ ................................ .... 387 7 25 Curator Deborah Willis gets the audience in the mood for a spirited and friend ly discourse on the motivations for the design of the exhibition and for insights into the spirit and intricacies of the work of the artists. ........................ 387 7 26 Seniors at the gallery talk listen attent ively and sometimes take notes. Art collector James Hill (left) attend almost every function at the Howard Galleries. ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 388 7 27 Shown here, the engaging spirit of a Gallery Talk when in depth i nsight can be obtained on the works on display. ................................ ............................... 388 7 28 Curator Willis at center with Juliette Bettea and Floyd Coleman. Juliette has continued researching her family lineage for the roots of its African origin for years. ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 389 7 29 Artist Lawrence Finney speaks about his work. Here, he addresses Caretaker 2000. In the background is Sunday Night Out 389 7 30 The Gallery Talk is instructional as the audience is given an inside view not only of the precepts which the curator employs in organizing the exhibition, but also how the works connect one to the other. 390 7 31 Professor Ansa exposing his art history students to the African Art collection on the ground floor of the department. ................................ ............................. 393 7 32 Pr ofessor Alfred Smith makes a point at the graduate critique while students contemplate. ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 393 7 33 Graduate student critique conducted by Professors James Phillips, Alfred Smith and David Smedle y ................................ ................................ ................ 394


26 7 34 Graduate students present their work to fellow classmates and the supervising team of faculty members. ................................ .............................. 394 7 35 Ances tors and Relatives (1995), mural painted outside the practicing rooms of the music department in the basement of Childers Hall. 395 7 36 Another view of the mural, with activist Angela Davis p rominently displayed. In all respects, the work rivals any mural by the masters, Hale Woodruff, Charles White, or Aaron Douglas. ................................ ................................ .... 395 7 37 Details of the mural present pivotal periods in the hi story of the department such as the period of demonstration by the student in the 1970s and 1980s demanding more Afrocentric elements in the curriculum. ................................ 396 7 38 Plaque at the entrance of Chi lders Hall, home of the Art Department since 1961.It delivers an abbreviated history of the art department and displays the longest serving chairman. ................................ ...... 396 7 39 Gwen Everett is the current Chairperson of the Howard University Art Department. ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 397 7 40 The secretarial and administrative staff in the department plays the important role of providing all of the cleric al and logistical support to the Chairperson, the Faculty and the students. ................................ ................................ ............ 397 8 1 Tribute to deceased Howard Art Faculty and AfriCOBRA colleague, Murray DePillars. (Photos Gloria Kirk). ................................ ................................ ......... 407 8 2. The forum panel assembled. ................................ ................................ ................ 408 8 3 Howard Art Faculty in 1980 ................................ ................................ .............. 409 8 4 Art Faculty in 1980 (contd.) ................................ ................................ ............. 409 8 5 Alumnus and former B.A.D.C. President Aziza Gibson Hunter expressed ..... 409 8 6 Akili Ron Anderson recounts some of his experiences at Howard.. .................. 410 8 7 Professor Alfred Smith articulates some of the foundations of the principles of The Howard School of Art philosophy. Photo Gloria Kirk. ................................ 410 8 8 Assistant director of the Howard Gallery of Art Scott Baker emphasizes the impact of Jeff Dona ldson on the Howard University campus and on the Art Department in particular. ................................ ................................ .................. 411 8 9 Professor Owen Hart speaks of her Howard experiences, tying them to her sustained contacts with the Niger ian people of Ipetumodo Village. ................. 412


27 8 10 experience ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 412 8 11 Part of the audience at the end of the question and answer session. .............. 413 8 12 At left, art department Chair Gwen Everett raises an issue, while at right, alumnus and Smithsonian Inst itution set and lighting expert, Timothy Smith expresses his appreciation for a Howard Art education ................................ .... 414 8 13 Student expressing renewed appreciation for the role of the visual arts in educati on ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 414 8 14 Philosophies enunciated by Marimba Ani, a former professor of anthropology and an Afrocentric scholar and spokesperson, in her text shown above, are incorporated into the Howard c ultural ideology. ................................ ................ 415 8 15 Charting of responses on survey of terminology occurrence in discussion. ..... 436 9 1 Akili Ron Anderson a nd me at the 2005 Porter Colloquium at Howard University after serving on a panel together. Field photo. ................................ 452 9 2 The Tree of Life (1999) picks up the Biblical theme and repaints the African li keness into the canons of Western ontology. ................................ ................. 453 9 3 Akili Ron Anderson has been working on a monumental series of mixed media sculpture. ................................ ................................ ............................... 455 9 4 Aquaba Doll. The piece in progress freshly sanded on the lower half. ............. 456 9 5 Akili with the monumental piece, Creation which confronted, dwarfs the human figure ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 457 9 6 The artist taking a pause as the conversation continues. ................................ 458 9 7 Awaiting the photo shoot at Sankofa I, Columbia Heights Subway Stati on. ..... 458 9 8 Sankofa I at the West Entrance with Akili in the foreground. ............................ 459 9 9 During the photo shoot, Akili, at left, takes a moment to explain the work to a curious commuter. ................................ ................................ ............................ 459 9 10 The East Entrance is rendered in saturated cool tones of blues, indigo, violets and greens. ................................ ................................ ........................... 460 9 11 At left, Emperor Haile Selassie attends an exhibition opening in Ethiopia. At right, Skunder Boghossian is seen in the foreground, teaching at the Addis Ababa Fine Arts School ................................ ................................ .................... 461


28 9 12 At left : Skunder critiquing my work, 1987. At right (b, Photo pp.), Skunder at work, directly applying paint from the tube ................................ ....................... 463 9 13 Ancient Fogs, 1977 shows the jewel like and clustered conglomerations suggestive of excavation and connoting connections to the past. Photo pp. .... 4 64 9 14 Skunder Boghossian. Night Flight of Dread and Delight 1964. Photo pp. ....... 464 9 15 Skunder Boghossian Left The End of the Beginning 1972 73. Right, (b). Time Cycle III 1981. Photos pp. ................................ ................................ ....... 465 9 16 Left,(Ph oto pp.) detail from the work of Skunder Boghossian. Right, (b), the sink in the back of the main painting studio, Room 2012, over the years. ........ 465 9 17 Scrolls imagery 1983. Photo pp. ................. 467 9 18 As we enter his studio from the right of this picture, James sits down where he has placed the canes I have asked him to gather to show to me. 469 9 19 when we share studios at Howard. 471 9 20 A cascade of shiver the ceiling as they filter the window light entering the main room of the studio. 472 9 21 Straight back from the scrolls is the stu dy area and the thick felt pieces that are molded and stitched to create a unique half quilt, half collaged painted set of for ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 473 9 22 e Great Creator is perhaps the single most pervasive Adinkra symbol seen in use by The Howard School artists ................................ ................................ ....................... 474 9 23 Above, on this side of the studio are most of his felt pieces. ........................... 475 9 24 .................... 475 9 25 This is the altar James has created around the firepla ce. ................................ 477 9 26 Works by Elizabeth Catlett project a bold and strong image. She worked to project strong positive images of the African American woman. ...................... 479 9 27 Homage to my Young Black Sisters, places Catlett on the senior role of .................... 481 9 28 Tired Elizabet h Catlett, 1946, depicts a tired woman, but still poised with grace and dignity, reflecting on her situation. ................................ ................... 482


29 9 29 Elizabeth Catlett, now ninety six years old, at center with colleagues at Fisk University in 1973. pp. ................................ ................................ ...................... 483 9 30 A highly politicized piece, Negro Es Bello ( Black is Beautiful) invokes the ................................ .............. 483 9 31 Jeff Donaldson; Aunt Jemima and the Pillsbury Dough Boy 1963 64. ............. 485 9 32 Victory in the Valley of Eshu (left) and (b), Majorities Photos pp. ................... 486 9 33 Jam Packed Jelly Tight 1988 was included in the exhibition I curated at Hood College in 1994. Photo pp. ................................ ................................ ...... 486 9 34 Left, All style helps to define a dominant characteristic in AfriCOBRA aesthetics. 487 9 35 Aziza Gibson Hunter in her studio at her work desk. ................................ ........ 491 9 36 Left: Enfranchisement At right Aziza explains an aspect of the work during the interview. This in one of fi fteen pieces from the series Nia and the Box. .... 493 9 37 Four Moments of the Sun, 1. The work presents an opportunity to illustrate the heuristic messages in the works of many of The Howard Scho ol of Art artists. ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 494 9 38 sojourn the Four Moments of the Sun. Photos pp. ................................ .......... 497 9 39 At right, Aziza pauses from her work desk for a picture. ................................ ... 497 9 40 Above: Aziza Gib son Hunter before on e of her altars in her studio. At right, she discusses the sojourn of the African American artist in American society. 498 9 41 Left, Les Fetishes painted in Paris, 1948. Right, Jennie 1943. Photos pp. ..... 500 9 42 Left : Mob Victim (formerly titled, Meditation) 1944, also stimulated by her conversations with Alain Locke. Right, (b), is Petite Ballerina, 1982. Phot o pp. ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 501 9 43 The legend accompanying Lois Jones painting provides some background on her development as an artist. ................................ ................................ ...... 501 9 44 Ti tle wall ..... 502 9 45 At left, t wo generations review the work of Lois Jones. ................................ .... 503 9 46 Ubi Girl from Tai Region, Nigeria (1972) ................................ ............... 504


30 9 47 Edward Love, a contemplative and intensely intellectual artist, is a constant introspective evaluator of social and p olitical developments in the society. Ed ................................ ............................. 512 9 48 chrome automobile bumpers which he t ranslates into metaphors of the African Diaspora experience. At right, Mask for Mingus 1974 Photo pp. ..................... 513 9 49 ReMan, 1980; a graphic image of resolve and determination. Photo Jarvis Grant ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 514 9 50 At left is Mosiah, named for Marcus Mosiah Garvey! At right, Nyabinghi (for Nesta Marley), both done in 1984. Photo pp. ................................ ................... 516 9 51 The Wailers Natty he captures it 516 9 52 his colleagues and friend Skunder Boghossian, Mask for Skunder,with raffia, and at right is Ogun (Big O Series), both 1972 and 1973 respectively. ................................ ................................ ...................... 517 9 53 Professor Ofori Ansa and Harold Burke who often assists him with setting up audio visual lectures, discuss Adinkra symbols in one of Ofori publications. ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 518 9 54 Professor Ofori Ansa talking about the role of the cowrie sh ell in many African cultures and its appropriation into works of art. 520 9 55 Oh Spirits of Our Ancestors, Help Unite Africa 1974 completed one year after the artist arrived here as a studen t from Ghana. ................................ ...... 521 9 56 Kwaku Ofori Ansa, Our Sun Will Also Shine ,or In Our Textured World Every Dot and Every Color Counts 1994. ................................ ................................ .. 521 9 57 Winnie Owens Hart at work on a ceramic piece at left At right, on her first visit to Nigeria in 1977 she works on a large vessel in the traditional skill of women in Ipetumodo village. Photo Marilyn Nance. ................................ ......... 526 9 58 Winnie Owens Hart at work preparing pieces for the kiln. ................................ 527 9 59 Owens Hart at her kiln with a glazed piece of her work.. ................................ .. 528 9 60 In conversation Professor Owens a series in which she worked on a smaller scale with various narrative statements on the female body. ................................ ................................ ........ 530 9 61 Reclining Nude #1 from the Mutilation Series. Photo pp. ................................ 530


31 9 62 Professor Owens Hart explains a piece of her work in progress. 531 9 63 This picture accurately captures the emphatic gestural style and intense intent of Professor Malkia Roberts as an educator and artist. Photo pp. .......... 532 9 64 Maasai Spirit was created in honor of her adorations of the people and their communion with the land. ................................ ................................ ................. 533 9 65 Walk Together Chillun, invokes the vernacular language of the culture. 534 9 66 Sun streams by Roberts captures one of her philosophies of life. Photo pp. ... 535 9 67 Guardian, 1986. This image captures the spir itual essence of the Native American people the Navahoe. ................................ ................................ ....... 536 9 68 Improvisational Strut 1977, a painting of female figures, but a subject about rhythm and improvisation and continuity. ................................ ......................... 539 9 69 played by The Geomonic Band. ................................ ................................ ....... 541 9 70 Some student s from recently ended Drawing class with Professor Alfred Smith as they have more inquiries about a piece he has brought in to demonstra te the idea of movement, rhythm ................................ ..................... 543 9 71 Al Smith contin son models and provides the lyrics that become an integral part of the painting. ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 544 9 72 engaging depiction of Black male/female relationship. The space that exists between them seems to be the subject of his painting and it is created in a sublime and convincing way. Photo pp. ........ 546 9 73 Cynthia Sands at the gate to her backyard. The recurring Adinkra symbol, announce her spiritual commitment. ................................ ................................ 548 9 74 Sands work shows strong influence by the Ethiopian artist, her professor Skunder Boghossian. For this piece she borrows from his use of bark cloth as ground. Photo pp. ................................ ................................ ........................ 550 9 75 Sands paus es to share the experimentation she is doing sewing pieces as small as an inch and a half by three of four inches together in a quilt like fashion.. ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 550 9 76. Corners of Sands home are adorned with pieces of African art. In the picture at left a painting by AfriCOBRA artist James Phillips, is partly seen. ................ 551


32 9 77 During the interview, Sands works on one of her pieces, Loads ..................... 551 9 78 Cynthia making us dinner as we talk about her experiences travelling throughout the African countries and her workshop in Guyana. ....................... 552 9 79 Sands lives her work as an artist by placing it into function. At left Adinkra cloth symbols and Egyptian forms have been painted on tiles and glazed to make her kitchen counters. ................................ ................................ .............. 553 9 80 designs and patterns and crowned by a collection of African dolls and figures; at right her handbag hangs casually while we tal k in the kitchen, ........ 554 9 81 Sands discourses on one of her works. Notice the influence of the work of her mentor, Skunder Boghossian on this piece. Until she identified it as her ........................... 555 10 1 modeling the foot a symbolic image of the journey and course ahead. ........................... 567


33 LIST OF ABBREVIATION S B.A.D.C. Black Artist s of the District of Columbia AfriCOBRA African Commune of Bad Relevant Artist s Comparticum Community Part icipant Forum H.B.C.U. Historically Black Colleges and Universities Photo pp Photograph previously publsihed NOTES ON PHOTO CREDITS I have attempted to assign credit to the photographs appearing throughout this document. Where the author of a photogra ph is known, credit is ascribed by stating the name of the author as in (Photo Gloria Kirk). Where images are taken from publications such as books, catalogs, pamphlets displays and all previously published materia ls, credit is ascribed as ( P hoto pp), p hotograph previously published Where the image was authored in the research field but the name of the photographer was unrecor ded, the credit is ascribed as (Field photo) All other images not designated in one of the above ways were taken by the resea rcher


34 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy ETHNOGRAPHY OF THE HOWARD SCHOOL: ART OF AGENCY, OF RESISTANCE AND SYNCRETISM By Ed ward Jesse Shaw Ch air: Allan Burns Major: Anthropology




36 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION We must encourage every thing that tends to enlighten and polish the human mind Walter L. Newberry, 1841 Over the many years of my engagements wi th the creative expressive form termed art I have been astounded by the nature of its compl exities. Above all things, I always have been struck by the dynamics of its language and its ability to address the essence of things which has evolved into possessing a special way of presenting interpretations of the human condition. ( Hall 1986 ) In this research process I undertake a historic and existentialist study of a group of artist s who have, through shared experiences, emerged with a unified ideology and a structured philosoph y The Howard School of Artist s This group comprises a community of artist s including faculty, presen t and past students and colleagues of the Art D epartment of Howard University i n Washington, D.C. In this study I examine their engagement in processes of acculturation through their works of art Much of this study pursues a hist orical and philosophical path and explores the nature of a rt somewhat generally but specifically the role of art as agent and language of the artist in an African D iaspora community. The research is based on my own participation in this community and my lived experiences as artis t among them as well as on ethnographic studies including interviews, observations, archival examinations and analysis of material culture plus ethnographic sojourn engaging the work and intent of the artist s themselves as cultural guardians or overseer s of the Howard University art philosophy This study explores how Diaspora people negotiate their social, cultural, national and ethnic identities within their new environments In addition, the study seeks to


37 answer the question, What role, in particul ar, does the visual artist play in this process ? Indeed it has been said that like the child speaks truly from the heart, so art speaks of the essence of things. Art exists within us and becomes manifest in its many forms without being first impacted by words, delineation s, social structures, or any attempt to define and circumscribe i t as an entity within itself It exists without any separation of it self from the existentialist state engendering its creation or e xpression and is grounded, first and f oremost, withi n the infrastructural context of the development of any social or cultural order. ( Magnarella 1993 ) This perspective on art is recognized by anthropologists who study this medium ( Boas 1955 ; Hatcher 1999 ; Mintz and Price 1992 ; Otten 1971 ) as well as by many others who are not considered an thropologists ( Ani 1980 ; Dewey 1934 ; Fallico 1962 ; Gardner 1982 ; Gardner 1994 ; Gell 1998 ; Greenberg 1961 ) A rt in context is one of the contributions that more recently came about in the studies of African Art, but is especially salient in studies of the art of Diaspora pe ople because of the uprooting that they experience, thus disturbing their connection to the infrastructure. 1 Creati ve vis ual expression is dynamic and too hum anly accessible and discernible, too spiritual and esoteric to be contour ed, defined or enunciated with any e ase of operation. It is complex as complex as is the human ability to defy pred iction. The most erudi te examination of this phenomenon still leaves it unbo und and without circumscription, unexhausted, and probably inexhaustible. ( Ani 1980 ; 1993 ; Gardner 1 We will see later from Magnarella, how this disturbance comes to affect them in relation both to the so cial and the ideological orders that develop therefrom.


38 1982 ; Gardner 1994 ) As a discipline and a source of inspiration it has b een examined b y the minds of philosopher s, historian s, so cial and cultural scientists including anthropologist and sociologists, critics existentialists, spiritualists, linguists and even ambitious leaders who would use it for propaganda In the process of all of our h uman examinations over years of study, o ne of the several things we know and are assured of is that art (creativity and the expression of the creative form) is indeed essential to the human spirit. Our survival as a consciousness depends on our ability t o create. Some scholars place the act of creating in the realm of a language ( Barthes 1981 ; Dewey 1934 ; Gardner 1982 ; 1983 ; 1990 ; 1994 ; May 1975 ) So the p rocess and the phenomenon become related to the nomm o and the muntu 2 ( Jahn 1961 ) of Afri can spiritual thought and align with our view of the ontological and cosmological orders That order is the notion of being and of coming to be If not to create a reality of i ts own, then, art the act of creating seeks to annex and address the reality o f experiencing, in its most existentia l and metaphysical states the equivalent of the act of being. It spe aks before being spoken of and as such, it may defy language structure and its potential to addre ss the nature of this unspoken form of discourse 3 T he creative expressive form says that which defies words or semantic language for it does take life onto itself, 2 Muntu (1961) to refer to the concept of the power and the life force inherent in the spoken word. The word, once produced, is the generation of energy and presented is to be likened to the human consciousness; the being of the human existence. It is not confined to the individual and is not just individu alistic, but more so, a pluralistic representation of humaneness, somewhat like a collective consciousness representative of the communal ideal. 3 Roland Barthes, Edward T. Hall and Rollo May provide some of the most brilliant and enlightening discussions on this issue.


39 traverses time and space, and is itself ou r greatest philosophical mystery that of our being. 4 Of all of our engagements, it brings us clos est to commune with our deities. Since art speaks from such an embedded place within the human experience and consciousness I have chosen to enter this d iscourse through its pathways, y et m y attempt t o examine this human complexity can only aim to add fu rther insight into its nature and its motivation, and above all, into its potential for agency. Nevertheless, because of the particularity of my own experiences relative to those colleagues in this study, I expect to be able to extract some hidden and subt le meanings and articulate and present the m didactically Having lived most of my adult life among and close to artist s and having responded to the calling myself, it started to become clear to me that a gap has been allowed to develop between the object o r form as it is creat ed and as it is existentially and the p lace which it has come to be given a reified aura that often s eparates it from its true place and intent. I do not deflect from proposing, in an indirect way, a challenge to dogmas annexing and surrounding the art object and hope this study add s something by way of fill ing such gaps. Even a s a self tau ght artist by the 1980 s, I had already begun to place art in a sphere f or addressing social concerns, s o it was not surprising to me, under the tutelage 4 This, being, is our greatest philosophical mystery because to be is to cease, to die and death or ceasing in this existence is our greatest mystery. Eventuality and the notion of infinite perpetuation, the concerns of most religions, have become so strengthened within us that they are the leading units of control used throughout the ages by religious, military and political leaders to coerce our ways of thought and to regulate our adherence to mores according to our cultures. Rollo May beli eves that the creative act serves the function of transporting the creator closer to immortality through a process he discourses as The Courage to Create 1975, p. 27.


40 of professors within the College of Fine Arts at Howard University, that it would be made clearer that art was a spiritual entity and could be a voice for social commen tary as much as it was for self expression and what I term the beautiful a nd extraordinary experience. Yet there was more that I wanted to understand about its exigenc y A rt became a subject that no longer interested me pure ly for techniques or aesthetics or for its role as agent for social and political address, but more specifically for its source and for its message and intent within the context of its application that is how it develops res ponses to the lived experience. I decided to examine it further within a discipline tha t I credited with possessing the range and the potential to introduce me to the further concepts I wanted to explore. After attempts to look at this topic from an art historical angle, I decided that Anthropology best reflected the potential for a holistic approach to the study of art art being held to be inseparable from the experiences of humankin d and a means by which we come to know of culture ( Becker 1982 ; Fallico 1962 ; Greenberg 1961 ; Hatcher 1999 ; S ieber 1967 ) It became my desire to look back to the sources addressing the beginning of the development of the creative phenomenon and to seek out a fuller appreciation of the topic acr oss ethnic and cultural borders as well as within and without geogr aphic and chronological spheres of its emergence. I have always thought that it was necessary to go to the head of the stream if one wanted to know the source of the mud in the water. A route needs to be taken, if one would be true to their research inte nt, which approximated the nature of the phenomenon under consideration.


41 So as we work our w ay into the discourse ahead, I pause to establish the foundation for this study and to clarify some m eanings that helped to dictate my posture on angles and tangen ts pertaining to the station of art in the cultural process and the existentialist encounters that help define being ( Fallico 1962 ; Jackson 1996 ) I continue to refer to these process es as the human sojourn for meaning and connectedness and call it cu ltural anchoring the putting down of roots, the touching of and harmonizing with the eart h (the cultural infrastructure) through which we gain the spiritual resources to grow. This is the constant in the quest of bei ng and the finding of self. ( Marley 1992(posth) ; Shaw 1988 ) In most cases, Diaspora people become engaged in this existentialist process, some finding better soil in which to set down roots than others. And theirs is a story to tell often through the ir art, the visual narrative of th eir hands, heart, and mind. Such a story becomes their rhetoric of and about wh o they are and about how they are striv ing to be. This is their voice, a language a record of their struggle to become 5 and I refer to 5 the ideology of my homeland, Jamaica, and forged within the Rastafarian ideology of the grounding of he metaphor of the tree as spirit force and image of stability and of well being and his or her ancest va lidity of the oral record as sources for learning and continuity in African and other indigenous societies, he reasoned for the admission of these sources into the mainstream of scholarship and likened the term that is to say narrative in the spoken word (which is the original form of narrative one could expand on this chain of terms to encompass the range of expressive forms within the human the oral record as sources for learning and continuity in African and other indigenous societies, he


42 this tangible voice the creation of their hands as visuature 6 a language viewed. The group among whom I conducted this study, The Howard School of Ar tist s is but one reflection of countless groups and voices speaking through this medium. I am happy here to seek to trace and document their experience s and their message and to establish a template for the future study of other D iaspora and displaced peo ple. The Research Question Most Diaspora people are displaced in the sense that they have been remo ved from familiar environments, ancestral homeland s, way s of life, and a context of existence. Connected to this idea of displacement is an ongoing process of si tuating the self within the new and an engagement in the processes of culture, traditions, and identity that now become looming issues of life patterns previously lived in vicarious and somewhat sub conscious forms Rituals are uprooted reality for such people becomes distorted p atterns are broken and continuity must be sought after, re constructed and restored. As a visual learner, I have searched for a useful image to use as a symbol to illustrate this passage of a Diaspora people this, consiste nt with the role that I assign to image in this discourse The image I present, is that of a marching colony of ant s wh ose reasoned for the admission of these sources into the mainstream of scholarship and likened the term that is to say narrative in the spoken word (which is the original form of narrative one could expand on this chain of terms to encompass the range of expressive forms within the human repertoire. 6 I have found it useful to coin this term,


43 pathway becomes sudd enly and drastically eradicated Such an image, which is common to our perception, seems to best exemplify both t he psychological and physical/material discord that results from having lost the familiar and patterned way of life I have observed the little creatures become confused, anxious, wandering and devoid of will as they become lost. In the case of Diaspora people, w hen the scattering and the removal of the pattern is also accompanied by a hostile living environment and when new set s of external demands are imposed, the dilemma becomes mu ltiplied yet more. This picture essentially d escribes the state of most D iaspora peoples, but none more so than that of the enslaved people of Africa captured, sold and brought across the Atlantic into the Americas ( Drake 1990 ; Du Bois 1903 ; Fanon 1961 ) Their experience in the New World within the occupations that were sustained by the colonial systems continues its residual effects today some four h undred years after it first bega n. Though far chronologically removed from the earlier stages of these occupatio ns, the descendants of the forcibly displaced people have inherited from this sojourn deep scars of sacrifice especially in light of the fact that many vicissitudes of the actions of enslavement still continued to be meted out even in subli me ways Still, insidious, existing forms of racism and social deprivation continue within all spheres of the American society. A s little as one generation away from its official ending se gregation deprivation and disempowerment continues to exist among African America people today. Some of the generation still alive today have themselves witnessed or have exp erienced heinous acts of cruelty legacies of the old system of enslavement and Jim Crow. Within this acculturation process, the African de scendant s in Amer ica still strive for a footing to root themselves In this process there is need for


44 every source of spiritual sustenance that can be amassed for the process is both physically and psychologically draining. Without ample replenishment of the spirit, theirs is a clouded journey. The arts have, more than any oth er source of inspiration, served to soothe the soul and restor e the spirit of a displaced and forlorn people and so it has in this case 7 America ns of African descent have continued to restore themselves over these long years through this process ( Akbar 1996 ; Garvey 1986 ; Hayes Benjamin 1977 ) T he expressive arts are at the forefront of the commitment to cultural e xploration and cultural revitalization The arts are the gel of the s ociety. The artist s are the guardians of the culture, and no domain of human engagement becomes more assigned to cultu re than the contributions of that soc iety's artist s ( Freeman 1993 ; May 1975 ) In examining the dominant question s in this research proce ss, then, and in considering its answer to be framed within the examination of the context of work of the artist s within the community, we are looking from an a ngle that embodies the very essence of what it means to be, to become, to be human, and to be cu lturally aware. This angle of examination, in fact, explores the very meanings of existence and consciousness More than anything else, however, I am enthralle d by the investigation of the human dynamics through a medium so intimately connected to the natu re and essence of the human spirit and of which I am also a practitioner 7 The Harlem Renaissance of the early twentieth century (circa 1919 to 1929 or 35) was a testimony to this, as the greatest strides advanced in anchoring the Afr accomplishments were made.


45 I must begin by delineating aspects of the phenomenon under study. I must also give the reader an uninhibited perspective of the angle from which I as investigator, take this examin ation, provide a clear narrative to establish the context within which my study population operates and from time to time in this latter process, I must engage in detailed description of events and situations in order to reconstruct, as usefully as possib le, an emic and unhindered appreciation of the place from which their voice speaks. In this undertaking, I have no desire to proceed in any other way, and in document such aspects t o inform the study for the purpose I contend. To better understan d the role of the artist within this context, we should look briefly at some of the likely effects of uprooting and displacement on a people or society. Physical (geographic) and type of d isl ocation and magnitude of change are in direct proportion to the ability or capacity to successfully restructure their systems and the rhythm of their lives to restore stability, physically and psychologically. In Los s and Change Peter Marris outlines aspects of the syndrome of loss f or us ( Marris 1974 ) He says: When a pattern of relationsh ips is disr upted in any way for which we are not fully prepared, the thread of continuity in the interpretation of life becomes attenuated or altogether lo s t The loss may fundamentally threaten the integrity of the structure of meanings on which this continuity rests and cannot be acknowledged without distress. But if life is to go on, the continuity must somehow be restored. When the loss is irretrievable, there must be a reinterpretation of what we have learned abo ut our purposes and attachments radical enough t o trace out the thread again. To do this, the loss must first be accepted as something we have to understand not just as an event that has happened, but as a series of events that we must now expect to happen and a retrospect of earlier events whose famil iar meaning has now been shadowed by our changed circumstances. The conservative impulse will make us seek to deny the loss But when this


46 fails, it will also lead us to repair the thread, tying past present and future together again with rewoven str ands o f meaning (p. 21) Generally, p eople of a displaced community are consumed daily with a lingering preoccupation All aspects of life become more challenging, utilizing much psychic and spiritual energy which often results in draining the resolve to conti nue. Coping devices become sought after, and the principal source of consultation is that which is ingrained within the people their collective memories their spirituality and their c ulture. The sense of loss continues to linger even if at different level s of meaning to subsequent generations. Memory is perpetuated as reality, sustained through narratives and forms of material culture and continues to survive engendering an indelible sense of belonging to the pa s t But only the most spiritually and cultu rally conscious, pursue this thread of continuity in a cognitive way. This cognition and this informed purpose, is that which differentiates the Howard School artists from those naturally adhering to habits and customs that have been learned and carried on through proximal and necessary engagements. A displaced community must continue to negotiate its way through existential confrontations in everyday life I ts forms of artist ic expression reflect and reproduce evidences of these negotiations, narrating a s cript the essence of the souls of the people and in a psychological and spiritual way, it literally reconn ect s them to the past by providing a sense of identity and connectio n to some sustaining fo rce ( Bee 1974 ) Working as the interpreter of the needs of the society at any time the cultural griots the older and exp erienced, the charism atic individuals, the artist s and other motivators play a major role in the attempt to lift the spirits of the people by reenacting deeply ingrained cultural forms of expression. Often these reenactments and


47 presentations for communit y participation, foster group conformity and assist in a feeling of security within the individual. This feeling of individual security then becomes community. Thus, par ticipation is essential, and intent in expression becomes central in the output of the members. As cultural f orms are presented, they become holographic and develop into magnetic stimuli for t he souls of the people. The application of symbols, myths, and memories are inculcated and it is from these activities that communitas is developed and cultu ral connectivity is revitalized ( Marris 197 4 ) 8 Gradually the cultural interpre ters and presenters, the artist s, will begin to insert into their repertoire physical, then social and last of all, ideological materia l adopted from within and adapted to the new culture. The displaced people reac t by either endorsing or rejecting certain asp ects and the shifting continues in a dance of compromise of taking and giving. We call this acculturation a process of inter cultural interactions. This process may lead to enculturation or levels of accultu ration. This process or the results therefrom, then comes to define the new identity of this people. The balancing act is a conscious effort and is educati onal as much as it is spiritual ( Lasry 1977 ) 8 There are many accounts of the various forms that Jewish people during the German occupation, used to encourage hope in each other and to try to hold themselves together in spirit Often it was only small objects or even transient signs which became symbols, that were made to take on a sense of reality which gave them hope. The point here is that a separation from reality, that sense of being which a person has come to know and by which he/she construes him/herself to be a conscious factor, becomes imminent when the division between individual and community becomes too wide. A psychological loss of connectivity occurs. Vision, that sense with which one sees and discerns of reality, has the great potential


48 This structure of perpetuation is generally represent ative of processes of the cultural displacement a nd resettlement t hat underwrite the realities of the society coming to exist in a hegemonic state. It is clear that close observation of such processes of cultur al traversing can inform cultural interaction, facilitating not only cultural exchange, but also educational, po litical, and social awareness within and between communities lo cally, nationally, and globally ( Gardner 1994 ; Gell 1998 ; Noddings 1995 ; Webb 1999 ) We must become tempted to wonder, How does this complex contribute to and lend itself to the scrutiny of the eme rging fields of visual anthropology, visual culture, and material culture studi es as well as ethnic studies ? We hope that some answers to these questions will become realized as we progress throughout this investigation Hypothesis With this understandin g and having lived the experience of migration (though unforced) plus having observed the works and the intent of this school of artist s, I was led into the development of a hypothesis, based upon my research intere s t It seemed strategically useful t o situate art as the barometer for investi gating this cultural adjustment among this group and I seemed well positioned to examine this proces s of strategic adaptation, hybrid ena ctments of art and resistance employed by the group. The hypothesis in th is re search project grew from the dominant research question that assumes that people who migrate (through forced or unforced circumstances) or who become disp laced, particularly across vast regions and borders, and especially those who, as a result, have to co ntinue to exist within dominant cultures, strive to retain aspects of their ancestral legacies while engaged in the processes of cultural adjustment through their contact with the new culture. Their striving be come s evidenced


49 within the work o f the group artist s show ing the fusion of th e old with the new as will naturally occur, and providing evidence of the degree of acculturation, resistance and absorption that has taken place within the group ( Gibson Hunter 1985 ) The lev el of cultural absorption may reflect the disposition of the dominant culture and thr ow light on participation in the larger society. It may als o give insight into the nature a nd resilience of the displaced people and the res ilience of their psyche. Below, I will define and clarify the research project Research Project The intent of this research process is to examine and discover if artist s among a particular group of displaced people, specifically The Howard School of Artist s recognize themselves as an identifiable community and if they engage in th e process of recalling and utilizing concepts and p erceptions of a past home ; how they synthesize this perception and cognition within their present state of existence ; if and how they manifest agency in th eir creative visual expressions; and to what eff ec t ( Becker 1982 ; Gell 1998 ) The approach to this research proje ct utilize s a broad range of techniques at times innovative and emerging. By design, the process is unique in that it gives credence to the meaning of memory and recall within the lived experience It admits the investigator as a participating memb er of th e examined community and validates as useful data, his recall as community member prior to this inquiry. The cross disciplinary nature of the study is consistent with its many angles of examination and the range of tools of examination employed in the eth nographic process, is consistent with the complexity of the topic. There is investigator intent for its application This intent is dynamic ranging from promoting the role of art as a uni t o f socio cultural examination,


50 of agency in the culturally strategi c education al process to its ability to harness communal inspiration for creating applications for the benefit of the community. In the study of art, the anthropologist often considers it an extension of the overall culture Objects of visual art are, in f act, aspects of materia l culture ( Hatcher 1999 ; Otten 1971 ; Parkin 1999 ; Straw 1999 ) As such, art is not just a cultural form but is also itself culture 9 It emerges from the lived experience which defines culture. Because artists, as individuals are the carriers of precepts of the culture, and because they have chosen the anointing into the realm of interpreting the lived experience, which then manifests as a blend of psychological features built into their grasp of the cosmology and ontologies of the c ulture, that which we get from them is a rich mix of a subaltern language, thick with cultural undertones and reflective of spiritual aspirations. So, given this place of dwelling of the art form, a holistic lens of examination is to be considered best and it exists, ready made within the discipline of anthropology. For this and other purposes, t he discipline is unique in its built in auditing system of self examination, by which it constantly challenges itself to keep up with the dynamism of the human spir it by keeping an eye on itself, re evaluating its methods, paradigms, and approaches and adopting forms of examination applica ble to cultural change. As Morphy and Banks put it, this advantage is, one of the great virtues of the 9


51 discipline: the breadth of its agenda and the reluctance to leave any aspect of the study of humans o utside its orbit ( Banks 1997:1 ) I t is anthropology t hat concerns itself most with the intent for emic or insider interpretation. It is constant in its discourse on the etic/emic dichotomy As well, it se eks ethical approaches and comes closest to the study of anyt hing to do with human dynamics in contextual situations ( Barrett 1996 ; Harris 1979 ; Hastrup 1994 ; Rosado 1993 ) 10 Anthropology has made itself into a genteel, modest, and respectful discipline updating itself, being culturally sensitive through the considerat ion of cultural relativity as a major theory within its repertoire a discipline for the people. Scholars, primarily Hatcher (1999) and Otten (1971) have attempted comprehensive texts on the anthropology of art, but several others have written on the rela tionship of art to culture and society. Dewey (1934), Fallico (1962), Freeman (1993) May (1953, 1975) and Berger Becker (1985) have produced seminal discussions on the topic. But no one, by my reading, seems so far to have attempted a theory on the anthro pology of art. Alfred Gell has explored the subject brilliantly from his individually refreshing perspective that is in his consideration of art as an agent He has called his 19 98 discourse on the subject Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory yet he has argued whether there can be an anthropological theory of art. This has been one of the issues that this most erudite existentialist scholar seemed to have been unable to resolve in his own mind. That Gell found it a challenge to secure a theory on t he 10 For a very useful elaboration of the theories and methods, see Barrett, 1996 and Bernard, 1995. On methods and processes of stu dy, add to the former two texts Bee, 1974, and Banks and Morphy, 1997, covered in the scope of this paper. I undertake examination of the following concerns; representations of "the other" interpretation and the emic concern; power and powerlessness; race and ethnicity; cultural retentions and acculturation; globalization and change; and ethics


52 anthropology of art and indeed his insights into the role of art in society are enormo usly advanced and sophisticated seems indicative of just how challenging the topic is In fact, his general thesis on art has been as an agent in society perhaps swerv ing in the direction, not of the role the functionalists would assign to it, but more of an African conceptualized function, a role in every day life I would suggest that the creation of an anthropological theory of art might raise and leave many more iss ues unattended th an it might seem to resolve. This is so because it seems that to arrive at an applicable anthropological theory of art is to address the unresolved complexities of defin itions of art a cross cultures, time, and pla ce and to seek to transc end its dynamism. I will, however, from the point at which I enter this discourse, as artist, anthropologist, art educator activist and culture worker, and now an examiner of the processes of art with in the anthropological context, suggest some of the tan gents that must be contoured within such a theory. I would argue that an anthropological theory of art while evasive, can be secured. I write this after having completed the Epilogue at the end of this dissertation, upon which I have synthesized the sever al years of my readings and study on the topic, have discoursed with the insightful artists engaged with me in this study, and placed what I know of myself and others as artist s within the lines of several discourse s of the best minds on the topic from a s piritual and existentialist perspective. My insights have come from Marimba Ani.( Let the Circle Be Unbroken: The implications of African Spirituality in the Diaspora and Yurugu: An African centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior ), Paul Crowther ( Art and Embodiment: From Aesthetics to Self Consciousness ), John Dewey ( Art as Experience ), Arturo Fallico ( Art and


53 Existentialism ), Mark Freeman ( Finding the Muse: A Sociopsychological Inquiry into the Conditions of Artistic Creativity ), Howard Gardener ( Art, Mind, and Brain: A Cognitive Approach to Creativity ), Alfred Gell ( Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory ), Michael Jackson ( Things as They Are: New Directions in Phenomenological Anthropology ), Rollo May ( H imself and Th e Courage to Create ) and finally for the structure of the paradigm, Paul Magnarella (Human Materialism: A Model of Sociocultural Systems and a Strategy for Analysis I proffer that an anthropological theory of art would need to begin with a consideration o f the nature of that which we call art. As a relatively recent and Western developed way of referring to creative expression, which has no truly established criteria for defining itself except for a restricted set of tools of an aesthetic by no means un iversal art might indeed be only from a culturally construc ted intent and ultimately only applicable and depend ent on the de clared intent of the creator 11 E ven so, the art world has fallen victim to its own devices often declaring work intuiti vely f umbled at by undiscerning fabricators who display no intent of purpose and no intent t o communicate a message as being works of art against their own prescriptions and consequently imposing on the form characteristics that alienate it from its original an d intended p lace of dwelling 12 This 11 This, therefore, settles the issue that if there are no artists within a society, meaning that if the ir work is not seen as applicable in the given context. 12 s cultural whims upon forms of the other or when the status quo applies its socio culturally sanctioned aesthetic dogmas upon all created expression, we can note the experience of the longtime janitor James itution staff who then declared his work as art, his covered forms from the


54 error most befalls us when we, as curators, writers, historians, anthropologists educators and critics, attempt to speak for others on aspects of their material culture. The dilemma of definition therefore, is a constan t concern and is at all times debatable and confounding as the classification may often depend on the very whim of a sing le individual with in the tangle of the conventional art world. On examination, we see that the threads of this web are tied together b y and with in the structures of power A n anthropological theory of art must be dynamic, contextual and ( probably ) time related It must be grounded, ultimately, in the concepts of an existentialist admission of the nature of being and the structures by wh ich knowledge becomes constructed and distributed by whom, and for what purpose. I t must be placed within the admission of cultural relativism. At the end of this discourse, whereupon I will have provided some insight into the places from which artistic e xpression emerge, why, and for what purposes it becomes engaged, I will present what I consider to be a workable anthropological theory of art. I now realize that it is possible to propose an anthropological theory of art This is quite contrary to the v iew I expressed in my first writing of this paragraph I now see the elemen ts of which such a paradigm may be constructed That whi ch I would propose is that any s dynamic cultural of recourse for anthropological and other studies over the years. Yet one might argue that the very nature of the production of the forms in searc hing for situating a psychic balance within the fabricator, even based on personal and individual need, still bears resemblance to that product of the cognitively aware producer who must satisfy the same urge to produce for the conveyance of a message to a chosen audience.


55 anthropology theor y of huma n materialism ( Magnarella 1993 ) 13 Art is culture. Culture is created out of an infrastructural response that morphs into other emerging stages of the cultural processes of development. Thus art is infrastructure, social structure and ideology these tiers or s tages of development as follows. First, there is the infrastructure which is the geographical, technological, and production context within which a society is situated The next stage of development is the social structure that entail s the defining st ru ctures of social and communal order and interactions. At this stage, matter and material which exist within the infrastructure and which become available by whatever means is employed and fashioned based on existential needs at the basic level s for surviv al T he third level of development is i deolo gical (and spiritual) in which cosmological and idealistic demands foster a need for symbols and forms to support the formalizing of myths and belief systems that emerge out of the social structures and interacti ons Once experienced, these ideologies begin to seek new support from within the infrastructure and hence the will is created to use the elements of the infrastructure and to affect and develop these to sustain the ideologies. And as these two elements m eld into each other in a loop the 13 According to Magnarella in his human materialist paradigm, cultures and cultural forms begin their development through interactions with geographical and ecological infrastructures, begetting a system of social constructions (structure ) which, in turn, begets an ideological structure system. The ideological structure is the highest level of the cultural system that in which reside such things as religion, philosophy, creative expression (which is inclusive of scientific forays), politic al ideas and spiritual ideals. The ideological structure, once established, informs and seeks to procure its needs from the social structure, which must now look back to the infrastructure to supply the means by which the social structure can produce for t he ideologies and ideological requirements of the society. Over time this claiming and recalling establishes a cycle each rhythm beginning the cycle again at higher levels of the social and ideological needs. In the sequence, each level is elevated at each completion of a cycle. Thus eventually, the infrastructure which domain the industry or technology of the culture lies, may move, for example from horse tracks and unpaved pathways to complex systems of on and off ramps serving elevated, intertwined and o verlapping, multi coursed, smoothly paved, highways which transcend the need for the encumbering stop light system.


5 6 new demands on the infrastructure re define role s within the social structure where designations begin to take place impacting conceptualizations within the society as well as on cos mological and ontological perception s For example, some persons are designated specific tasks depending on their skills and inclinations and roles become developed, even inherited. Some are representative Some such as priests and other agents are intercessors. N ew ideologies emerge in sup port of the new social needs, and the cycle revolves again. This is a model that when broken down, actually c omes to be seen as present within the historicist paradigm and the natural history study approach. I have taken the time to a ddress this point in order to establish the dynamic and shifting nature of the artist ic element as phenomenon and reflection of the cultural and social experiences of the society in which it is produced. While doing this, it has been my intent to proceed so as to always remai n close to the reminder that it is indeed due to this complexity of the phenomenon that make s it such a revelation of the reflections of the human soul, spirit and intent. In addi tion, I intend to relate the human materialist paradigm directly to the exp er ience of the African Diaspora n in America existing within the designated infrastructure, exposed to the social organization and systems of the time, and imposed upon by the ide als of a society from which people of color have for the most part been denied f ull access. 14 14 The process alluded to can be seen simulated in the development of jazz as a musical form emerging out of the communities of African Diaspo rans in North America. This was an existentialist response to cultural impositions of exclusion ( Jackson, 1996). The form the music took was ancestral, syncopated complex and spo ntaneous in its rhythmic structure


57 Limitations of the Study Anthropology is a discipline that is known for using a combination of quant it ative, qualitative and interpretive methods This pluralistic approach gives anthropology a significant advantage to be able to look at an i ssue from different perspectives, but it also results in research where no one method predominates. With regard to ethnographic research we are admonished to utilize ever expanding repertoire of techniques and choices to assert as objective a posture as w e might be able to attain ( Aguilar 1981 ; Barrett 1996 ; Bolles 199 6 ; DeVos 1992 ; Jones 1982 ; Maquet 1964 ; Nader 19 93 ; Russell 1995 ; Sheehan 1993b ) While the intent of such logic is obvious, in any field nce a s ubjective function; s o is logy applied within the process, interpretation of data even may fall victim to researcher or industry bias Some scholars have discussed some of the cautionary approaches that we m ust adhere to in order to accomplish proper anthropological investigation. Aguilar, ( 1 981), DeVos (1992), Lundstedt (1963), Maquet (1964), all point out potential pitfall. As such it has become useful protocol that the researcher offers to and does decla re his or her position relative to the program of the research. This empowers the reader to take into consideration possible presumptions or limitations of the study, while also seeing the possibility of an enhancement of the process of examination and th e usefulness of its application. If, for example one engages in a study as an inside investigator or as a native anthropologist, what does one contribute, extract or discover and findings fare? Today, the insider agenda has become one of the areas of post modernist strategies for grounding and standardizing existi ng methodologies that has


58 yielded great er access to auto information and heuristic revelations previously inaccessible to some examiner s So I summarize my disclosure below I am an artist trained within the Howard University art community. I received both a Bachelor of Fine Arts (in 1984) and a Master of Fine A rts degree ( in 1988 ) from Howard I a m a Jamaican of African descent, and my culture and heritage are directly connected to the African American experience. I am a migrant to the United States and a close observer of the dynamics encountered within the social, cultural and political systems in the processes of striving for cultural synthesis. As an educator, having taught art for nine years, I have developed a keen sense of the role of art in fostering cu ltural understandings and cross cultural appreciation. My teaching of art was within a liberal arts college in the predominantly (female) European American population. In this current role, as researcher, I speak both from within and outside of the experience of the community under inquiry, and I consider this a unique privilege offering me specific strategic points of observation. I n engaging this study of the larger concept o f a Howard School of Art philosophy and how it become s framed within the experience s of the community referred to as The Howard School of Artist s, I must also place The Howard School within the context of Diaspora S tudies with respect to migration and di splac ement. In the long run, I intend, as an applied anthropologist to channel all of this discourse and its finding to the liberating field of education the impact of cultural hegemony on educational participation and the role of art as combatant in empow ering and stimulating participation. It becomes necessary to establish the identity of the group by contextualizing it within the framework of the study and to characterize its work and its


59 intent. This study must therefore, begin with situating Howard Un iversity within the infrastructural context of Washington, D.C. In turn, Washington, D.C. must be contextualized within the African Diaspora experience. It seems salient then, that the progression of the discourse takes this order so that as consideration of the theoretical framing of the study is undertaken, the relationships may be better understood and appreciated.


60 CHAPTER 2 CONTEXTUALIZING T HE HOWARD SCHOOL OF ARTISTS Kwaku Ofori Ansa we cannot complain about the history b eing told incorrectly unless we document our own history. Roberta McLeod The hypothetical foundations and the application of this study are spread across several spheres of the discipline of anthropology. Its major emphasis is, of course, the qualitative examination of the manifestation of material cultural form in the process of the cultural experience within the par ticularity of the given context, that of The Howard School of Artists. This context and the context o f the triangulation the cross connection of directions the processes of examination, make the study a comprehensive examination of the topic philosophically, as well as existentially. 1 I equate philosophy and existence in this exercise as being syllogis tic with theory and practice. However, it is founded in Cultural Anthropology under the rubric of a visual anthropological examination. It addresses Diaspora studies and processes of cultural contact The Howard School of Artists as a Social Unit The focu s of this study is the group of African Diaspora visual artist s associated with Howard University in Washington, D.C. who participate in the contemporary art world within the United Sates while at the same time holding on to having their work and their int ent being informed by their African ancestry as they address the social and 1 The idea of triangulation in inquiry wa s borrowed from the military industry where the process is used as a surveying tool and points or areas can be established employing this method. The idea of triangulating, then, is about charting with precision. By triangulating we become more dynamic; be ing able to locate and situate both points and planes (areas).


61 cultural marginalization of their people the descendants of the system of enslavement and the vestiges of slavery expressed through racism still manifest in the American culture T h e artists deliberate attempts to retain aspects of their African ancestral past while living within the hegemonic Euro American cultural state within the U S, makes them notable ( Nessen 1993 ; Szwed 1974 ) They are composed primarily of African Americans who have been joined by others migrating from various areas within the African Diaspora as well as those persons migrating directly from the continent of Africa. Among the members of this community and certainly at its core are members of the faculty of the Department of Art at Howard University, some of whom are or have bee n members of formally o rganized art collectives, the students and alumni of the d epartment and affiliated artist s from within the greater Washington community, including colleagues of both faculty and alumni. Of course the alumni have become spread through out the continental US, the Caribbean and Africa primarily, so that, in fact, The Howard School of Art philosophy, has become international. The group is defined by a philosophy born out of a shared experience and an approach to expressing themselves creat ively in visual forms that speak to the same intent and often with a consistent repertoire of iconographic characteristics. Overtly t hese artist s continue to recognize their ties to their African legacies, seeing themselves as migrants to this country by w ay of the forced expulsion of their African ancestors from the African homeland. 2 They are a clearly identifiable group held together by a 2 Winnie Owens Gibson source of my strength of the test


62 shared ideology and a similar deep structured Afrocentric ally informed ethos. I refer to them as The Howard School of Artist s because their ideology has been formulated from the institutional history and stature of the University in the history of all Dispersed African people. 3 These artist s are narrators who do not hold back from expressing their Afrocentric ideologi es. T heir art speaks directly and fearlessly to the injustices of social and cultural inequities and racial biases. They equate form and aesthetics with rhythm in life and de emphasis formal analysis in exchange for purpose and agency. They consider aesthe tics as structure in their work and message as essence. Whereas the art of the high world is secular, commodified and appropriated without ritual, theirs is spiritual, contrived and controlled heuristic and ritualistically purposive. One holds their art readable as literary works encompassing all of the aspects of their history and social and political struggles. Their works act as visual documentation for the perpetuation of ancestral legacies and provide evidence of the blending of those cultures with t he new. 4 Through their work, they seek to educate their audience to an appreciation of the beauties of the ancestry and that there are benefits to be had from returning to its ideologies in order to restore a sense of self that which was diminished over th e years of suppression. This shared cultural legacy is useful to restore the community spirit 3 In fact this influence has now returned to impact the motherland, as we will come to see later. 4 acculturation. S product is a complex mix of transmutations, and a non linear process of interaction, compromises and the creation of new elements which would not have otherwise been realize d if not for the processes of interaction responses.


63 wherever one may now dwell within the Diaspora and this unifying factor has the potential, through psychic restoration, to improve the condition of the communitie s upon all contingent areas of life. We should consider the ideology of this group as emanating from a dual, though closely aligned identity a composite of the implanted Sankofa 5 ideology existing within the Howard University Art Department and that of the AfriCOBRA 6 art commune a direct and focused art collective promoting an applied approach with the same philosophical intent. This symbiotic relationship was orchestrated by the sagacious Jeff Donaldson, the foremost organizer o f the AfriCOBRA group and la ter chairman of the Howard Art Department and Dean of the College of Fine Arts. The appearance of a collective identity manifested within the work of t he Howard School suggests that we examine the intent of its members Is this a calculated effort and cou ld this unified stance be placed within the realm of cultural transmission or cultural resistance? Is this artist ic retort a response to and continuation of the process of acculturation after so many years of African presence in the Western Hemisphere? If there is intentional agency within this work, how is it manifest and can its benefit to the community be assessed? To begin to arrive at answers to these questions it is not only useful, but compelling that we establish the context of the development of th e ideology of the group. In keeping with the earlier admission of the efficacy of the human 5 Sankofa is the Akan ideology of looking to the past to inform the present and to prepare for moving ahe ad into the future. See footnote 6. This ideology became concretized within the Howard Art Department from the time Alain Locke exhorted African American artists look to Africa, their ancestral homeland, for inspiration. 6 AfriCOBRA is the acronym for the


64 materialis t paradigm to this study, I adhere to its outlining of the developmental stages of cultural progression. This informal collective, in intent, in philosoph y, and in content, can indeed be ascribed the identity of a micro culture within the African Diaspora and within the African American culture This can be presupposed because the group, though not formally incorporate d as a collective, nevertheless achieve s such nomenclature because the members recognize themselves as a community defined by the boundaries of a shared experience in intellectual development and artist ic intent. 7 And while we have already established that they are not necessarily deemed the or iginators of the idea of recognizing and retaining ancestral legacies, they have not only developed the concept into a cognitive and consistent dimension, but remain at the core of such communities, situated in Washington, D.C., directly within the histori cal development of the foremost and one of the earliest institutions of higher learning in one of the most prominent and historic centers of residence of African Diaspora people on the North American continent and in the entire world The recognition of th e contextual placement of The Howard School of Artist s is also best served by utilizing the paradigm of the historicist model of cultural investigation ( Drake 1990 ) Such an approach establish es the infrastructural context within which this group developed. St Clair Drake in his classic treatise Black Folk Here and There charting the dispersion of African peoples throughout the worl d, has used this model of examination most effectively. 7 As expressed by members of the participating members of the community during the forum held at Howard University in October, 2010.


65 Terminology Within some academic circles, nebulous terms have occasionally crept into our discussions over the years. We have sometimes used terms without thought to their meta meanings and have impos ed terms from one era upon another in such ways that we have gradually erode d the nuances of meaning and deflected attention from essential details. Bereft of the context with in which some of these semantic terms originat ed, ideas have overlapped and in these overlapping implications have create d misunderstandings even within disciplines. Hardly anywhere is this more so than in our present anticipated discourse I present as an e xample, prime for this discussion the terms, Negro Art Afro American Art African American Art and Black Art, some of the meanings of which we hope to adequately and useful ly clarify in the pages to come. To illuminate the issues pending discus sion here, and to clearly delineate one phenomenon or group from the other within their proper historical and sociological contexts I ha ve set out to use terminology I deem useful and appropriate for an educational project such as this is In doing this, I have followed the pattern of Max Parker in his text, Becoming Multiculturally Responsible on Campus: From Awareness to Action where he saw the need, because of the nature of the topic under study, to provide a glossary of semantic terms for use throug hout the discourse. This is necessary when the writer anticipates that in discussing a topic, meanings may be misconstrued, especially so when the topic has the potential to have meanings misaligned creating, at the least disclarity and at the most, offens ive reactions I use the terms of reference in the list following to level out and simplify meanings and to amplify historical and anthropological accuracies (Loewen, 200 4, 2007, 200 ) The terms will be used from here on throughout this document. I hope t hat t he reader will


66 find them useful in clarifying my meaning but also hope that they will be seen as necessary in anthropological dialogue. The term The American is used to apply to the native people of America. The term European American is used to re fer t o people of European descent residing in America. The term African Diaspora n is used to refer to all people of African descent throughout the world and includes African Americans The term African American whe n used here refer s to African Diaspora n s in America at all times except with reference to the p eople and their art of the 1960s and 1970 s social movements. It is assigned more dynamism and more comprehensiveness than the term Black used to refer to the people and their art of the 1960s and 197 0s The term is historically and chronologically contoured to the general experience of the people. The term Black in reference to African American s ( and African Diaspora ns ) is considered to be time specific and strategic and is used primarily in referen ce to the art of Black peop le of the 1960s and into the 1970 s for a period of time intentionally not ascertained as some artist s continue to see their work as Black Art regardless of the less intense social movements of the past decades. Contouring of the application of this term will be discussed further in this paper. The term slave(s) i s connotative of an inheritance and is seen as inviting subjecti vism, as slavery is a condition the result of the imposition the (capture and) forced servitude of one human person or group by another. Slavery is the social construction of a n inflicted reality. This being so, one does not become a And subsequent generations are not born as slave s but born into (a condition of) enslave ment. Their experience of enslavement is totally dependent upon the whim and temperament of the enslaver. This is especially more graphically i llustrated when a free person becomes subjugated into the condition of enslavement. The terminology relating to slave is thus uni later ally directed and ethno geographiculturally created A more accurate te rminology for this context reflect s the historical and exi stential encounters of the African Diaspora n people. I have chosen the term s enslaved or enslaved p eople or any derivative thereof as a reference to those during this period, up to a peri od varying from 1835. When the B ritish emancipated the people they had enslaved, to 1886, when Cuba freed their enslaved population. I use the term scholar to refer to the intellectual who is a non practitioner of an art form.


67 To ascer tain that no intellectual distinction is impli ed between being a scholar and an artist, in certain contexts, II use the term scholar/ artist to refer to the practitioner of an art form. It is hoped that this lexicon of terminology wil l aid the reader s in deciphering my intents in this discourse and to help them in assessing with more clarity t he i r thoughts on the issues presented. The Anthropology and Sociology of The Howard School of Arti st s Howard S. Becker i n his book Art Worlds ( Becker 1982 ) says that, The dominant tradition takes the artist and art work rath er than the network of cooperation, as central to the analysis of art as a social phenomenon ( p. x). Becker presents a thesis in wh ich the art object is examined i n a more holistic socio anthropological context. His thesis then, for this text was analyti cal. This was set out as being an exploration of the potential of the idea of an art world for increasing our understanding of how people produce and consume artworks. (p x ). He takes the approach of treating art as not so very different from other kin ds of work, and treating people defined as artists as not so very different from other kinds of workers, especially the other workers who participate in the making of art works (pp. ix x). Becker also admits that his treatise does not emerge from a notion not already realized in sociology and cultural studies or even art history, He focuses on forms of social organization and has frequently compared art forms and works which have quite different reputations as art. (p. x ).In doing this, he offers the i dea that good social science produces a deeper understanding of things that many people are already pretty much aware of and that whatever virtue this analysis has does not come from the discovery of any hitherto unknown facts or relations.


68 Instead, it comes from exploring systematically the implications of the art world concept (p. x). 8 ( I admonish the reader to take the time, here, to explore the summary ideas on the reification of the art object and the artist, below, footnote 7. Thi s is perhaps the most important commentary on the most enlightening writing on the idea of art radically adjust the structure of the art world The question that remains, though, is, Can the art world today given its structure allow it?). Thus, i n a refreshingly productive analytical approach to the study of the art object, as opposed to a reified icon, the product of a sole creator, Becker looks, instead, at the entourage surround ing the creation and presentation of the work of art. He calls his approach one based in a skepticism about conventional definitions of the objects of sociological study, ( p. i x). He makes it very clear that he is much more aware of and concerned with tr eating art as the work some people do, and have been more concerned with patterns of cooperation among the people who make the works th an with the works themselves (p. ix). Of course, other writers have offered refreshing examinations of the subject over the years ( Ani 1994 ; Barnland 1992 ; Freire 2010 (1970) :6 ; Lynch 1993 ) As Becker readily admit s I have not ...been the first to think about the arts in this way. There is a hearty tradition of relat writing about the arts ( p xi ). In fact 8 The emphasis here is mine.


69 such sources of scholarship must even go back enough to include John Dewey series of lectures Art as Experience (1934 ) a pioneering work in this area. 9 9 It is imperative that I undertake to generates it. There has been much written in summaries of his theses on art, even complete text s such but that which I find extremely useful at this time is that provided at the Wikipedia site, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Art_as_Experience The following is quoted directly from this source: to affects your life. That is why these theories are so impor tant to our social and educational life. Such a change in emphasis does not imply, though, that the individual art object has lost significance; far from it, its primacy is clarified: the object is recognized as the primary site for the dialectical process es of experience, as the unifying occasion for these experiences. Through the expressive object, the artist and the active observer encounter each other, their material and mental environments, and their culture at large. This is a dramatic expansion of th e bounds of aesthetic philosophy, for it demonstrates the connections of art with everyday experience and in so doing reminds us of the highest responsibilities that art and society and the individual have always owed to each other. ost intimate and energetic means of aiding individuals to share in the arts of living. Civilization is uncivil because human beings are divided into non communicating sects, races, nations, classes and cliques[2] the aesthetic experience. Dewey proposes that theirs is a continuity between the refined experience of works of art and everyday activities and events, and in order to understand the aesthetic one must begin with the events and scenes of daily life. We mus t recover the continuity of aesthetic experience with the normal processes of living. It is the duty of the theorist to make this connection and its implications clear. If art were understood differently by the public, art would gain in public esteem and h ave wider appeal. everyday experience. Glorifying art and setting it on a pedestal separates it from community life. comes an experience for human beings. Art intensifies the sense of immediate living, and accentuates what is valuable in enjoyment. Art begins in happy absorption in activity. Anyone who does his work with care, such as artists, scientists, mechanics, craf tsmen, etc. are artistically engaged. The aesthetic experience involves the experiences. Art cannot be relegated to museums. There are historic reasons for the compartmenta lization of art into museums and galleries. Capitalism, nationalism and imperialism haved [sic] all played a man..


70 The hypothesis based on the idea of the exis tence of a Howard School of Art al so owes a debt to Becker's (1982 ) notion of art worlds or an art c ommunity a cooperative effort in which the coalition as a group has a focused intent and relies on the role of each other Becker supports his arguments with wholesome and useful illustrat ions. He introduces the efficacy of the examinat ion of another contemporary art form the world of film and argues that the high art world considers a work of art a reified and sacred object beyond the scope of ordinary consumption, and the artist as an individual (sometimes a recluse) often discovered and sole producer of the image presented Yet, in the case of t he form s he employs in his illustrat ions and film examples this is by no mean s the case. In reasoning he asserts that all the arts w e know, like all the human activities we know, in volve the cooperation of others Refe r ring to Hollywood and other film centers, he concludes, The list of credits which ends the typical feature film gives explicit recognition to such a finely divided set of activities (p. 7). In other words, Becker sees the art form as an object of collaborative effort and the final product as the embodiment of the socially cohesive effort of a group or an entity Becker's illustration of cooperative art production ric hly inf orms the intent in this study as I recall an exhibition of Professor A lfred Smith's work in the 1980 s on which I had collaborated while an undergraduate student at Howard. I re member having lived very simila r elements of which Becker speaks. When th e exhibition at Nyangoma AfriCOBRA artists, from the outset, sought nominal fees. This intent was very Afrocentrically strategized. It should be clearer then that I have purposefully decided to examine art through the lens of the historicist and from the lived experience of a select group of people. Much of this decision came from my encounter with the work of Dewey and others.


71 Gallery in Adams Morgan, Washington, D.C. was reviewed by art critics from the Washington Post Smith had listed his students involved with each piece as collaborators, giving us credit thus actually playing out Becker's hypothe sis and ins ight. This idea has therefore, been lived within The Howard School of Art and I have participated in that existential event! 10 The Howard School I argue, grew, for the most part out of what I call a lack of access to all the regular means of doing things. It had its seeds planted; they sprouted, wave red, developed, and matured u nder the direction of Jeff Donaldson. What is its state and level of existence at this time? Will it perpetuate itself? If it has wavered how will it regenerate itsel f? Will it regenerate having all of, less of, or little of the infrastructural, ideological, and psycho cultural elements as it had before. What would it require for regeneration if it is found to have subsided? As Becker (1982 ) reminds us, this is indeed the anthropology of the study the element contributed by the factor of the human dynamism He says that there is not a functionalist theory which suggests that activities must occur in a particular way or the s ocial system does not survive The social sy stems which produce art survive in all 10 Professor Alfred J. Smith was fully engaged in practicing elements of his recent experience in having visited and studied woodcarving in Nigeria. In a drop in office visit with him in October, 2010, on which occasion we reached the point of discussing his recent interdisciplinary coll aborations with theoretical physicist James Lindesay and his discourse on fuzzy logic and the role of rhythm in the process of life, he spoke of his vivid reminders of the African experience in which there was a conscious rhythm in the process of carving; of digging, and of planting (with chanting and song); of pounding of food in mortars; of the handmade loom as men made cloth; of kids play, and of the very way in which a woman walked carrying the heavy load on her head. I discovered that he had also expou nded on this during the forum and will present his words later. The Howard University Art Department is a proven patchwork of pieces of this nature of experience fabricated from the visits, from time to time, to Africa, the Caribbean, South America, Europe and Oceana.


72 sorts of ways, though never exactly as they have in the pa s t (p. 6) 11 One is impelled to ask then, if such a complexity of sociological, industrial and system ic coll aboration exists on the product ion of art how can it not reflect the social system within which it is produced? It is, in fact, this very system, the context, and the outcome of the structure and art of The Howard School that is the focus of this study. The study of The Howard School e xamines the inceptio n and flourishing of the School within the context of Howard University, the city of Washington, D.C. the personage of Jeff Donaldson an d the Afri C O BRA commune This dissertation show s within larger historical and structural contexts, the existence and sojourn of the charismatic leader Jeff Do naldson who hails from Chicago, a city known for its advancement of African American cultur al forms (jazz and p ainting, literature and performance art among others ) We revisit the account of the development of the department, examining the coalescence with the foundation laid by James Herring and James Porter and the admonition of Alain Locke for adherence to the Sankofa principle up to his subsequ ent appointment as Chair of the Art D epartment 12 and finally his 11 Ofori Ansa, at the community forum, exhibited the same view as we will see later. 12 centered logos for teaching and communicating cultural and ancestral values. It is derived from the people of Ghana who are known to be perhaps the best employers of proverbs and wise sayings to teach and to foster social equilibrium. The Sankofa concept begins within the proverb that says in Akan, which literally of the most widely used cross on closer examination, we see that other cultures do carry wit hin their structures some ideas of ancestral reclaim and adherence to inform contemporary social behaviors nowhere is the idea such an One source provides a social backg ch back and gather the best of what our past has to teach us, so that we can achieve our full potential as we move forward. Whatever we have lost, forgotten, forgone or been stripped of, can be reclaimed, revived,


73 visi on for the need of placing a focus on the potential for cultural awareness and agency in the work of art Finally one ask s How did The Howard School of Art germinate and flourish over the years, and perhaps, in epilogue, where is it situated today ? And to an swer these we must take a look at the development of process things occurring in support of or in contradistinction to the development and perpetuation of the movement that founded The Howard School of Art concept and its philosophy. We examine the phenomenon as a living entity, as it existed and breathed and modulated itself. The question of its eventuality how its ideology and manifestation may become intersected in regard to retention of form, to gradual change (acculturation), or to absorp ti on ( total enculturation), may well direct us eventually toward an anthropological theory of art by way of this applied anthropological analysis F or the time being, we return to the efficacy of the application of this stu dy to the Diaspora experience for a bove all, it is the meaningful anthropological examination of a phenomenon the art of a group that embodies the lived experience of a people. This direction of study, spurr ed by Becker's notion of collaborative intent moves us toward reducing the esot eria and iconization of an object. It places the o bject preserved and perpetuated. Visually and sy Bois Learning Center site, http:/ /www duboislc.net/SankofaMeaning.html ). The symbolic representations have taken several stylized graphic forms developed from the whims of the artist or designer over time. There is also the lesser known heart shaped image used sometimes. See the Sankofa Caf sign Figure 4 11, (b), page 199. More information and products as well as a full range of educational products connected to the Sankofa and Adinkra symbols can be accessed at the web site maintained by Howard University African Art Hostory professor Kwaku Ofori Ansa, SankofaGhana.com.


74 more in the realm of mater ial culture a more holistic categorization for examination of a form as heurist ic in its exigence as this is The Anthropology of Art Not many texts have been wri tten on the anthropology of art. The subject has pro bably been evaded because it presents too complex a set of challenges. Culture and art are ingrained within each other, yet potentially and often distinct and repellent in syntactic identification and applicati on. They co exist inextricably intra culturally, yet present perplexing issues when intercultural discussions and associations are attempted. The better known of the studies attempted include those by Franz Boas (1955 ) Jeremy Coote and Anthony Sheldon ( 1992), Alfred Gell (1998) Evelyn Hatcher (1999) and Charlotte Otten, (1971), and of necessity one must consider the work of Dew e y (1934) on art, as anthropological in its insights. Boaz work was written during stages of the early development of the disc ip line when the study of the creative forms of non W estern societies and especially of marginalized people when those forms were still co nsidered enigmas of creation n ot parallel to Western art and aesthetic standards Examinations and analyses were perf ormed from the perspectives of the writers, wh o then were to scientifically dissect and investigate creative works as corollaries of a nave and unstructured response to the form of physical objects within the experience of the society. For sure, the a nt hropolo gy of art has been one of the least written on subjects with only one comprehensive completely ethnographic study under this discipline accounted for to the date of this writing 1978 dissertation study In Honor of the Ancestors: The Social Context of Iwi Egungun


75 Chanting in a Yoruba Community ( Davis 1978 ) carried out during matriculation at Bra ndeis University. 13 The Diaspora Experience T he work of St Clair Drake is especially important to this research for his scholarship in the study contextualizi ng the complete experience of the movement of people of African origin throughout the world in particular, the processes of their dispersion in the We st ern Hemisphere It is also noteworthy as the most comprehensive study yet performed on the structuring o f the system of the Atlantic slave trade that ranks as one of the, if not the greatest human tragedy of all time. In his two volume text, Black Folk Here and There he provides the rea der with an accessible palatable discourse on the facto rs that led to t his travesty. I say palatable because for either African American s or European Americans to revisit this drama is often emotionally consuming. It often instills feeling of guilt in the Euromerican and disdain in the Afrimerican. Drake, without compro mises, presents it to us so that we may participate in the experience with less wrenching emotion s and more objective analysis and cognition. In this way the reader leaves the discourse with a greater sense for charting a course of action. This is no myst ery because Drake was an applied anthropologist and a quiet but solid force in cultural activism. Another giant, Marcus Garvey must also be a cknowledged for his philosophies and scholarship and primarily for the application of his knowledge to the exist ential 13 I will show later the works of the revolutionary approach of the Sieber, Fraser and Thompson school of art historians who studied ethnographically among the producers of the objects of art they were interested in exa mining.


76 betterment of the people of the African Diaspora in seeking to establish structures for economic development and independence. His writings are many but his most enduring works are his philosophical discourses on the worth and achievements of Ne gro es and his insistence o n the need for self sufficiency ( Garvey 1986 ; Lewis 1987 ) In addition, W. E. B. Du Bois and Franz Fanon must be noted for their insights into the psychological and psycho cultural functioning of the Afri can Dia spora psyche within the contentious conte xt of past and continuing cultural subju gation Likewise Bob Marley must be documented for the insights he provides through his music, into the pervasive influence that colonialism had on the lives of Diaspora peoples We must also address his gift of pac kaging and infusing such power into his message of resistance and the form of his presentation in such a way that it could reach the masses of people from all descent 14 Agency a mong Artist s and Within Art It is adm itted, though often overlooked, in the fie ld of scholarly research that the art of a people is the most essential, revealing, and yielding route to qualitative research in the socio cultural aspects of life. 15 Since the art of a people reflects the infrastructural, socio structural, and ideologica l systems within which that people exists, it will reflect responses to the infrastructural and socio cultural realities even and probably more certainly so, if they have been displaced. Displaced people, by the very 14 Recognizing this, Edward Love, a prominent Howard School artist, myself, and many other have paid iconographic tribute to Marley. 15 This position has been presented by many scholars over the years. Among these are, John Dewey, 1934; Charlotte Ott en, 1971; Evelyn Hatcher, Marimba Ani,1980 and 1994; Bell Hooks ,1995, Acklyn Lynch,1993 and others.


77 nature of being uprooted undergo psychological and often spiritual destabilization. They must call on innate or instilled re sources to aid in their response. Marimba An i refers to this restoration as the Sankofa antidote to the maafa the disturbing force. Psychic and physical balance can be disturbed by maafa such as enslavement and hegemonic existence and require re alignment. Sankofa, provides a neutral izing, then a positive vital force that is best accessed through ritual, an ideology that is at the base of the cosmologica l beliefs of most African and indigenous societies The process of restoration with the Sankofa antidote is ritualistic. The society must juggl e its experiences, collective cultural ethos and held notions of the past with the new and the imposed. Using th eir inherited ideologies balanced with the ideologies of the new culture within which they find themselves, the people must fashion forms and meanings out of the infrastructure and the social culture to sustain them with an ideological structure attached t o, but separate from the dominant (Magnarella 1993 ) The engagement will at times utilize heuristic elements of culture to create visual manifestations forms that become their agents for cultural expre ssion. 16 In the process, they confront issues of cultura l retention and identification as they undergo the various stages of experiencing the accultura tion process, and the resultant works manifest aspects of their metaphysical states of existence; longings, retentions, concerns, celebrations, desires and visio ns, recognitions, triumphs, sorrows and cultural icons. To really know the art of a people, then, is to know them and their history, their concerns and their victories and their visions for the future 16 This aspect will be explored later specifically within the work of Aziza Gibson Hunter, used as an example of this phenomenon.


78 To what degree are these processes of retention, absor ption, enculturation and resistance evident in this process of synthesizing? Because the art created by a people is as directly related to their cosmological and ontologi cal ideologies as well as to the everyday aspects of their lives, this approach also b ecomes a useful and direct route to studies in migration and ethnicity ( Ani 1980 and 1994; 1934; Fallico 1962 ). In the same way that we are able to reconstruct systems of ancient societies through study of their artifacts (art in facts or conversely, facts in art), we do even better to study the works of the artists, artisans or craftsmen while they are yet alive and able to expound further on meanings and intent. Like Berger suggests, being able to study art as part of a social or cultural system is so pl ainly a great advantage And since it is so integral to arriving at an existential understanding of hu man behaviors and human systems, why, we ask, is it not more fully incorporated into all spheres of study of the human condition? 17 ( Alexander 1987 ; Crowther 1993 ; Gardner 1994 ; Greenberg 1973 ; Hansen 1979 ; Harrington 1979 ; Jacob 1984 ; Loewen 2009 ; Ogbu 1974 ; Schinneller 1968 ; Spindler 20 00 ; Tax 1952 ; Trueba 1989 ) Strategic Acculturation and Hybrid Expressions in Art Of paramount importance in clarifying the socio cultural aspect of this study with respect to the African exper ience are certain aspects of culture relating to time, place, and cons tancy This researcher posits here that the exper ience of Afr i can Di aspora people in the Americas (and elsewhere) is simultaneously histori cal and emergent a 17 In some ways, fulfilling first, the requirements for this study, as an applied this becomes my advocacy role the tapping into all of the potentials of creativity/art to ameliorate any number of human spiritual and educational needs


79 continu um of the process of being uprooted and transferred into a new dominant culture. Diasporans most often are found refusing to be fully ac culturated, and insist o n retaining, by processes of complex methods of negotiation, both con scious and sub conscious aspects of their ancestral culture for psychical, spiritual, and cognitive sustenance and revitalizati on. This is a process o f developing a creole or hybrid cultural adaptation ( Harrison 2007 ; Mintz and Price 1992 ; Ortiz 1945 ; Ortiz 1982 ) It is by no means close ended and does not show promise of completion for as long as the social and cultural structures exist within the infrastructure in which people seek to actuate their existence, there are negative and exerted reminders which are aspects of the place an d ti me from which the maafa originated Because t he syncretizing process of the African Diasporan is, in mo st places, still ongoing, t he H oward community of artist s has e mbrac ed the African ancestral principle to itself and over the years continue d to adhere loyally to its calling ( Gayle 1972 ) The Howard School has been attentive to providing one such set of strategies. As Clement Price has stated ( Price 2010 ) : Memory has also played a rol e in the forging of a uniquely African American cultural identity in the United States as twentieth century blacks knew well of their lowly, unenviable place in the larger society. They were knowledgeable of the distinctiveness of their experience here a nd what the past had made of them historians and other scholars created contexts for a deeper understanding of black life race and racism, and the persistence of injustice in American democracy. At the same time, and often for the same reasons, artist s used song and music, dance and visual representations of historical and contemporary black life under pressure to ennoble black life Indeed, artist s, perhaps more than others with talent and intense perspectives within or about black communities, mined t he recent and distant pa s t In doing so, they helped blacks navigate contemporary life and envision a more hopeful future. Artist s have often been daring observers and visual chroniclers artist s have given a deeper meaning to t he presence of black people in the making of the American Republic (p. 7)


80 Whereas most cultures that have been subjected to the ignominies and horrors suffered by African s in t he New World might have completely assimilated or retained only trace elements of their past cul ture, this was not the case for African descendants especially throughout the Caribbean and parts of South America, as well as in regions of the North American mainland. 18 I suggest that this community of which we speak here, is one of th ose last vestiges of cognitive resistance to cultural domination in this twenty first century c ontext. Its strategy is char ged sophisticated, spiritual and sublime, and it is a legacy to be valued and retained. 19 O ne of the main reasons for this mode of res istance ha s been the context to which the people came to be introduced a context that has marked these people of the Diaspora from that time onward a devaluing of their self worth and extended dehumanizing of the spirit It is my belief that the negative i deologies formulated and perpetuated upon the Afriasporan experience, the meager allotment of resources and the sparseness of opportunities for advancement, as well as negative stere otyping and the persistence of racism toward Africa n isms are deeply ing rained with in the mainstream social psyche. 20 That which is African has continuously been construed to be more primitive, prone to negative behavior and risks, inferior, and dependent. Thus 18 We know of such extreme instances of resistanc e as happened throughout Haiti led by Toussaint 19 Du Bois is in awe of this ability of the dispersed African and the resulting experiences they encountered in the Americas and most of the world, to have the will to continue to strive for a sense of self, and to have accomplished the growth and established the sur vival instincts and practices that they did 20 It is noteworthy that so insidiously is racism ingrained within American (and world) culture, that even the people of color, often appropriate aspects of racial tendencies, applying them to their own people. T his is a result of a complex interplay between historical, social, political, power, economic and even religious and psychological factors


81 when there has had to be a constancy of reminders and affirm ations of their human qualities and cultural worth this could not have co me from t he oppressive dominant system and culture ; t herefore it must have been innate coming from the pervasive psychological sources of resistance and resilience. These reminders and s uch resistance have come in the form of revitalization movements through groups and charismatic individuals like the Harlem Renaissance, the social re awakenings of the 1960s 1nd 1970s, Marcus Garvey Alain Locke, W. E. B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington Je ff Donaldson, Robert Nesta Marley, and many others over different per iods of time These movements and individuals have served to provide renewals of the commitments to alternative s for these dispossessed people ( Switzer 1993 ; Wallace 1956 ) T his is the impetus that I claim for the retained and reclaim ed sources that this research examine s Thus in the case of The H oward School of Artist s the resistance and philosophical models move individuals to revisit the forms and structures of their ancestors. These vaguely or strongly reinforced archetypes are recalled may be m odified or may be used direct ly the ancient mor e so than the contemporary as practices, to be adopted in this context, seem to need to become chronologically distanced from the present before they become symbolic and sought for provenience An enduring example that fulfills this criteria would ce rtainly be the Sankofa concept and symbols discussed here.


82 CHAPTER 3 THEORETICAL STRUCTURING AND RESEARCH PARADIG MS Since I think we have now clearly established that the subject of art is best studied from a holistic perspective, it is the intent in t his study to deposit it within several anthropological theoretical frameworks. This becomes necessary, since no single theoretical approach can adequately clarify the complexity of the interrelated veins of the subject. In this multidimensional theoretical approach, it is hoped that a greater yield of insights will be encountered. This process is particularly noteworthy of study since through it are revealed some of the fundamental and deep rooted ideological and existential structures of the old order, whi le exposing the process of negotiation in the act of the synthesis to become to blend the old with the new. I provide her e, a brief encounter with some of the theories of the d iscipline applicable to the construction of this research order, and a look a t some of the scholarship on the African Diaspora experience, so that the reader may better appreciate the route that I undertake in the methods and processes of examination which follow. This is also necessary to emphasiz e the importance of the context i n which these artist s work. With adequate emphasis on the theoretical approach which is employed, we can better understand the design and processes of the research. In the process, I also present a brief look at some of the discourse on the topic. Given the scope of the breadth of the focus and the literature associated with it an attempt at a complete literature review would be unduly lengthy. In this chapter, therefore, I do a summary of only a select number and the major and most direct sources of litera ry contribution to the study.


83 Decades ago, in his own way, the developmental psychologist John Dewey took an anthropol ogical stand when, in his text, Art as Experience (1934), he suggested that artist ic expression is foremost a reflection of the ideologie s and the existenti alist nature or practices of human cognition experience Charlotte Otten ( 1971 ) expanded on this theory with less focus on philosophy and education and more o n anthropology when she present ed her discourse Anthropology and Art: Readings in Cross c ultural Aesthetics Later Evelyn Hatcher (1999) reiterat ed this focus in Art as Culture: An Introduction to the Anthropology of Art Just prior to Ha tcher, Sharon Patton (1998) in her art historical approach African American Art provided a useful contextual framing and function for much of her discuss ion on the subject. Alfred Gell (1998) in Art and Agency : An Anthropological Theory discusses how the potency of the creative forms of expression acts as agent and instigator for social, cultural, and political change. For this reason, therefore, one must look at that which preceded the creation of the form, as well as that which is ongoing in its process, and for this examination a historical examination using the historicist ( St Claire Drake, 1990 ) approach proved essential. This paradigmatic framing allows us to address the object within a chronological context and manages to attend to the complexities of the cultural context of its creation A n in depth analysis of the intent of the producer and its culture specific goals is thus permitted I accompany this para digm with other approaches of examination psycho cultural paradigm within acculturation theories is useful for the specificity of its application to the response of these artist s to the historicity of their realities. Finally Paul Magnarella' s theory of a human materialist approach as the source of the exigency of


84 cultural ph enomen a helps to overlap and bring the various paradigms together in a grounded way. I also make reference to the n atural h istory approach which closely resembles the dev elopmental process of culture formation. I see little d ifference between these two and an existential approach. Most recent scholarship tends to mention the growing shift toward process in the way s that African Diasporan cultures have emerged. They look m ore at co options and blending, and correctly so. Edward Braithwaite in a n addendum to his text Folk Culture of the Slaves in Jamaica ( Braithwaite 1981 ) writes that, It is during this period that we can see how the African, imported from th e areas of his great tradition went about establishing himself in a new environment, using the available tools and memories of his traditional heritage to set going something new, something Caribbean, but something, ne vertheless recognizably African. ( pp. 6 7) Fernando Ortiz has also contributed well to this discourse. Faye Harrison reviews the role ransculturation/hybridism with reference to the complexity of these cultural interactions. In an entry on Fernando Ortiz, printed in the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences Harrison poi nts traditions in particular that of the Afro Cuban culture and its multi ethnic African heritage ( Harrison 2007 ) 1 The major contribution that Ortiz made was the development 1 When one thinks of the work of Ortiz, the experie nces of Wifredo Lam on whom he writes as well, also come to mind. Lam expended much energy seeking to understand the multi ethnic segments of his family background in Cuba, being part African with an African Grandmother, and being part Chinese and part Eu ropean He travelled extensively between Europe and Haiti, delving into and taking a ta ste of the variety of these cultures, and seemed to be (Ortiz, 1982); Balderrama, 1992); Sims, 1992).


85 of a theory of transculturation which stressed the significance of culture and history. As Harrison pointed out, Ortiz Coined as an alternative to acculturation, the more conventional concept in U.S. and British cultural social anthropologies, transculturation elucidated the complex transmutations o f culture (Ortiz[1947] 1945, p. 94) and the ongoing interchanges, reciprocities, and tensions in a national context in which diverse peoples have experienced loss or uprooting (p. 102), as well as the accomplishment of creating new cultural form and a s ocial system for ordering the lives of both the dominant and the dominated. ( p 80) So this model differs from a functionalist or natural contact cultural adaptation model in that it is dynamic and essentially complex, including aspects of practices develo ped at subaltern levels and engrained into the culture rather than being expropriations. These subaltern and responsive practices develop and become installed into the repertoire of experience and survival exponentially, and become hybrid cultural characte ristics of great complexity. Ortiz presented a refreshing and expa nded vision of cultural interaction s and added a new voice to the analysis of cultures coming in to contact with each other As Har rison continues to point out: ffered an alternative to the dominant canons of anthropology and history as established within the Northern Hemisphere ( p. 80 ). Another scholar, Charles Joyner, in his entry in the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture adds his voice in support of this sugge stion. Also, Robert Farris Thompson (1983) has coined the term Callaloo Culture 2 in reference to the overall structuring of 2 greens. Cooked, it wilts and crumples into itself, the n is mixed with shredded codfish or other protein


86 the many facets of the culture of the African Diaspora notwithstanding the fact that he has correctly identified numerous direct African cultural retentions in his research among these peoples. Lawrence Levine's Black Culture and Black Consciousness also addresses and suggests a synthesizing of influences in the cultures of African Diaspora people today. Like Flash of the Spirit ( Thompson 1983 ) Africanism in American Culture ( Halloway 1990 ) is another notable wo rk tracing direct continuities from Africa t o the New World and Robert Bee's (1974) Patterns and Process es is well suited as the foundation for a closer examination of this subject. His use ful insights into the profiles of the acculturationist and psycho cultural paradigms have been very useful in formulating strategies delineated in Methods, for the research in this project. Herskovits is said to have spent most of his life examining the re lationships that he noted to exist between Africa and the descendants within the Diaspora. Trained in the United States in North American h istoricist anthrop ological principles, Herskovits took a view of departure from the dominant theories of the time He was a strong proponent of cultura l relativism, suggesting in a discussion of Afro Americ an research strategies that much of socially sanctioned behavior lodges on a psychological plane that lies bel ow the level of consciousness. ( Herskovits 1952 ) Accordingly Herskovits went on to suggest that greater significance should be given to the study of motor habits, aesthetic patterns, and value systems ( ( Herskovits 1952 : 153). On this, h e is correct. source. The result is a melding of two or more original forms into an inseparable concoction, synthesized a new blending with great flavor and new tastes.


87 This is particularly true of African Diaspora people the world over since they have been so devalued. Attempts have been made to strip them of their dignity and their aesthetic forms and f unction s throughout history and in the prese nt social and political system in which they are continually assigned an inferior distinction. George E. Simpson in his discussion ( Simpson 1972 ) concurs with Herskovits when he writes that in the accult urative situation psychological principles and psychological attitudes are frequently more persistent and tenacious [than cultural forms] because they [may] exist be low the level of consciousness That is to say they are deep structural and deeply rooted within the consciousness ( Simpson 1972 ) W. E. B. Du B ois Franz Fanon and Carter G. Woodson, among others, take incisive look s at the damaging psychic effects on Native peoples from the European occupation in the We stern Hemisphere ( Akbar 1996 ; Ani 1994 ; Dubois 1961 ; Fanon 1961 ; Woodson 2006 (1933) ) They allude to the defense mechanisms the non European people were forced to employ for survival. Yet surprisingly, and paradoxically, it is in the cont ext of survival through their resistance and their attempts to protect the ir psyche s, that the vestiges of the culture s of the enslaved people remained intact. The social structure of the times placed them outside the context of the main society, forcing t hem to cre ate their own social entities. T he enslaved people retained certain practices that were essential to their continued spiritual and social existence. Because of the need to develop their own structure for social functioning they were forced to be creative and self sustaining. They revived social institutions known to them and wherever necessary or practical, adopted aspec ts of the new culture. Some of this socialization took on forms of religious extensions, units of entertainment, and


88 structures for work and trading. T hough t he present generation of the descendants of the wave s of forced African migrants to the New World is still experiencing cultural, social, and economic domination and some ethnic oppression more than four centuries since their ancestors were first torn fr om their culture and their land ( Francis 2010 ) they have their memories and loyalty to their ancestry to which, like any other people, they must subscribe. Like Faye Harrison points out, A lthough the contemporary African diaspora is largely a by product of the modern world system, dispersed African populations and communities have a history that predates Western colonialism and capital labor relations. ( 1992). There is no doubt that any pe ople so displaced, undergo the phenomenological impact of transformations through time, accult uration, syncretism and cultural evolution Historicist and Human Materialist Paradigm s The historicist paradigm, in fact, follows the course of logic as it incu rs that the best way to understand the present is to look back at the events of the pa s t since as it is often said, nothing happens in a vacuum. It is an approach placed within both existentialism and phenomenology. It is grounded upon concepts of conti nuity and patterns. In addition, it automatically inherits for itself an ability to unco ver truths by promulgating accuracy in representation and a dispelling of the camouflages cloaking aspects of the recording of events. And because human consciousness is inherently placed within the three spheres of past present and future, we do well to understand the basis of the past upon which we live in the present and to plan for the future This focus is the foundation of the Sankofa paradigm. Because the histo ricist paradigm allows for a re visitation of events things as they were and as they happened, it re examines the perspec tive of all parti cipants in an


89 historical context. In aligning these varied theoretical approaches, I place the Human Materialist forma t as a more interactive and illustrative way of presenting the hegemonic Historicist paradigm. Placed under the larger umbrella of historically framed enquiry, the Human Materialist paradigm affords us an analytical as well as a development al view of even ts which then become constructed as processes of c ultural development. Models of both paradigms set out in the figures below, illustrate aspects of their characteristics. Historicist (natural history/ historiography) Paradigm ( St Claire Drake) Figu re 3 1 Model of the h istoricist Paradigm; though this might not always go as far back in a study as to make literal connect ions to the land, that is indeed the place to wh ich all things /systems are really connected place, habitat, geography infrastructu re So the past represented here, really ties the stage to the beginnings, the land. The point of examination is the present and ideological structure as occurs in the Human Materialist Paradigm, becomes re higher ordeals ; synonymous with the Sankofa paradigm. Human Materialist Paradigm (Paul Magnarella) PAST PRESENT FUTURE


90 Figure 3 2 Model of the human m aterialist paradigm as conceived by P a ul Magnarella T he development of phenomena (culture) is dynamic and looping re inventing itself across the stages Such circularity and cyclic rhythm, is a valuable and realistic way of addressing the human sojourn inasmuch as all life has pattern s and cycles. In addition to this, the se semantics of the model fall right into al ignment with the African focus on the rhythms of life and human synchronicity with the land. Psycho cultural Theoretical Framing Psycho cultural theories of anthropological studies allow us to start with the more general and work toward the specific We s tart with the premonition of a response pattern that tends to be an organic and naturally stimulated answer to factors within the ecology and the society and environment. These theories are based on the concept that there tends to be a general psychologi cal blueprint across cultures. A study of these general tendencies provides entryways into the directions that certain events bear for groups an d societies in transition. A t the same time, unde rstanding individual personalities can provid e an insight into aspects of a culture that are deep rooted and not immediately evident looking at the whole. The understanding of some Du Boisian (1903) Fanonian (1961), or Geertzian (1973, 1983.) deep structures examined jointly with the particularity of the contexts can reveal the reasons for the role s played by the few that may depart from the established patterns and come to have impact on the complete culture This understanding informs the appreciation of the charismat ic individual in societies.


91 I let the process of defining these methods become field techniques that I employ in the study. In doing this, I attend to Jacque s Objectivity in Anthropology (1996) theses in Anthropology: A S uide to Theory and Method where h e promotes the eradication of the gap between theory and practice. Research Paradigms and Strategies The strategic aspects of anthropological research are well covered in such sources as Stanley Barrett's (1996) discourse, just mentioned above. H Russell Bernard's (1985) R esearch Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches and edited text, Qualitative Methodology ( Van Maureen 1979 ) Stanley Ba rrett's work is fundamental and critical because he simultaneously provides an attempt to present theory and methods alongside each other this to fill a long i dentified problem that has existed within the discipline, which is some distance between th e li terature on methods and that on theory He provides a very realistic assessment of methods and theory, providing an historical background to the development of dominant theories in the field. Barrett then goes on to suggest ways to fill the gap the major o f which are the application of ethics in observation and dynamism in practice, then useful application. Not every way of conducting research can be written down and theorized, he says. The researcher must be informed on the various aspects of the disciplin e but be creative inasmuch as humans are dynamic, adjusting methods and practice as necessary, making sure to be true to the study population and to anthropology.


92 Bernard's discussion of the empiricist and rationalist ideologies of how we come to know of t hings is very useful in charting a course through t he maze of approaches, and moves to ward what he holds to be fundamental to the researcher and the researched p roper ethics. Proper ethics help to determine one's research strategies for being true to our r esearch colleagues and not to research fads, the currency of investigative principles or to social movements in academia the influence of funding sources and foundations or the culture of institutions and populism. Specific to my sub field of study, Vi sual Anthropology, and most useful and I find John and Malcolm Collier's (1986) Visual Anthropology: Photography as a Research Method ex tremely useful tom my work both now and for future research I p ar ticularly value the connections made on the recognition of meta levels of communication/information sharing discourse This become s central to the study of a subject as complex and as humanistic as art Visual Creative Expression Art as Agent for Cha nge Agency in art is probably the most emergent area of this discussion, attracting the most current attention perhaps as a result of the recent development of Visual Culture studies. A vast field of discourse has developed that examine s the role of visual creative expression beyond the role of icon and image of aestheteria. While many others have alluded to the resonance of a function one active person engaged in examining the role of works of art over the years, Alfred Gell must be acknowledged as the champion in the discourse on agency in art. 3 In his text, Art as 3 The recognition of agency in art might be as old as the form itself. Some of our earliest art depictions, cave drawings and paintings in southern Africa and southern Europe might in fact might have been


93 A gency he sets out a clear and revealing look at the philosophical and psychological role of the art image in motivating action and as a form of narrative discoursing. As a discipline m uch of Visual Culture Studies now is based upon the role of agency and narrative in art, it being adopted as one genre of the manifestation of visual forms This incorporation of art into Visual Culture Studies has catapulted the study of th e visual object into new spheres by admitting more consideration of folk art and ritual arts, body adornment and graphic depictions in pop culture such as tattooing and graff iti and electronic media forms. 4 This, accompanied by an on going reduction of h ierarchies that has engulfed the societies of the world over the last few decades and which has seen to the arrival and ensconcing into the canons of art, such departures as Andy pop images of common commercial and household objects, and more la tely, graffiti as art have created the avenues for challenging many canons but especially th at which seems to have redefined or re examined the borders of the fine art concept. a gents for assistance in hunting or other rituals. While such an argument may be unsubstantiated, given that we have not yet deciphered the reason these works were produced let alone their meanings, the study of the Egyptian art of the Pharaohs undoubtedly indicates an awareness of the potential of the image for substantiating belief and supporting ideologies and political structures. Also, throughout the ages, images have been used as agents in political propaganda all through Western imperialism to the mo dern era when the swastika, a symbol meaning good or well in Sanskrit, was subverted (and displayed reverse) by the Nazis and used by them virtually universally for propagandistic purposes. One of the notable and positive cases of art in active role as ag ent is seen in the case of the Mexican muralists Jos Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siquieros and Diego Riviera whose work proved to be potent forms of motivation for the Mexican people in their social struggles during the period of unrest and revolution w hich I will place between 1910 and 1929. 4 Culture Program. Since then, the field has spread widely and branched into different areas. One of the mos t enduring branches will be that known as material culture which blends all forms of tangible creative expression, fusing artifacts, crafts and so called art objects, often as well, utilitarian or com modified and reproducible forms.


94 CHAPTER 4 WASHINGTON D.C., HOME OF FREE DMEN, IN PERSPECTIVE Until the li on has his own historians, the tale will always glorify the hunter Ghanaian proverb. Washington, D.C. today, is ensconced within an aura of democracy and a grand aura of the highest levels of achievement of a former British colony. Its structures and inst itutions are of premier place among those in the world and its monuments are numerous and emboldening as much as they are admired and revered throughout the world. Washington, District of Columbia, has become the city at the center of the democratic world, representative of freedom and promise, but within the very archives of its vast holdings of archival material that attest to its emergence on the world plane, are its many secrets and a hidden history which was enacted on a stage just one hundred and fift y years ago on the very sites that now look like the images presented in Figures 5 3 to 5 11. It is useful to examine the natural history of this great city in order to offer a proper contextualization of the emergence of Howard University This historicis t approach also prepares us for understanding and appreciating the framing of the philosophi es that were developed to represent the ideologies and aspirations of its art department. Infrastructural Context Washington, District of Columbia The fact that thi s school of thought developed within the capital city of the United States of America holds a level of significance. The history of the city post emancipation holds a unique place in the history of the African presence in America. Washington, D.C. is rev ered as the home of many civic organizations, national headquarters of social and cultural societies, the home of most arms of federal institutions, and the seat of the ba stion of democratic governments However, t his city perhaps one of the most liberal


95 and sophisticated of the cities in the West, holds many secrets concerning the treatment of peoples of color as far as one hundred and more years after the declaration of the emancipation act. This legacy continues in the direct memory of its citizens stil l alive from the times closely following the emancipation act. Let us look briefly at the history of the city as the backdrop against which our colleagues of study exist and which culture they still negotiate decades later. The natural history work of St C lair Drake, Black Folk Here and There Vol. 2 provides a valuable backdrop to the way in which the colonization and suppression of the world occurred to the peril of the people of African descent (as well as others). The explorations of Europeans which en ded up in the exportation of their two most cataclysmically effective tools of domination, religion and suppression (enslavement), set up a system and a course of events that came to de fine the nature of being for all of African peoples across the Atlantic to fill the need for labor, evolved into the most subhuman treatment and conditioning of one group by another that history has had to record. The procedure evolved into a system that became entrepreneurial, at the same time seeing to the building up of the wealth of the enslavers and their systems through free labor accompanied by the removal of the natural resources and minerals from the lands of the indigenous people. The lasting system of chattel enslavement placed up on the Afr ican importees for such an extended period some four hundred years established this system of free labor which was used to establish the kingdoms of the Western world a place in which there was little or no place for the workers themselves. What role did the city of Washington play herein?


96 Figure 4 1 Map showing the general direction of the flow of colonialist activities over the period of occupations in the so called triangular trade route upon which the wealth of Europe was built. Photo pp The District of Columbia is situated strategically on the low lying plains adjoining the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. It developed on what generally has become known as swamp lands It adjoins one of the most notorious states of slave habitation and t reatment within the continent, Virginia. The tobacco fields of Virginia during colonial times were requiring large labor forces and much of that demand would be met by a thriving slave market operating out of Washington, D.C. This city became the primary r oute through which the enslaved Africans were ushered onto the plantations ( Apidta 1998 ; Franklin 1947 ) Tingba Apidta provides us with a glimpse of the geography of the place and the context of its own placement, in addition to address ing the query above. In his precise and graphically written text, The Hidden History of Washington, D C A Guide for Black Folks (1996), he points out that:


97 The so called Residence Bill of 1790 authorized the establishment of the permanent seat of governm ent of the United States somewhere in the Potomac region. George Washington preferred this place partly because of its position on a great river an almost equal distance from the Northern and Southern states and possibly because half of the Black people in the entire country lived in chattel slavery in Maryland and Virginia. The Black labor required to raise a world class city from the swamps would already be on States Government bought itself a 10 square mile piece of both Maryland and Vi County shows that in the area within the lines of the Federal city, there were 124 whites and 591 of their Black African slaves (p.9) Figure 4 2 Washington, D.C, tucked between the east e dg e of the Potomac River and the western s hore of Maryland, selected site of the new capital. Photo pp. The occupation rising on the site which was to become the city of Washington was a sore sight to begin with. It was a morass of decrepit and lowly struc tures. Some of the other names proposed for the new city, according to Apidta, included Straggling Village, Palace in the Wilderness, Embryo Capital, and City of Trees Without


98 Houses among others. Yet it became named for Washington and Christopher Columbus and was known as a stinking swamp of filth and disease and became home to a town of European Americans living on the labor of their black slaves This was to remain so for several decades (p. 10). The infrastructure within the budding city was c rude and cruel. The building up of the site was going to be the major toil of those African Americans who were either brought to or chose to remain in the area. They were at the bottom of the pile in the attempts to tame this site. Some descriptions of the city to be elucidate the structures out of which this city grew. Slavery had cultivated in Maryland and Virginia a plantation gentry fully conformed to leisure and luxury. But early Washingtonians lived amidst filth and disease, an uninviting change fo r the arriving statesmen and diplomats, who thought Washington scarcely any better than a mere swamp Families dumped their improperly disposed of, creating more public health pro blems. (Apidta, p. 11) One person, on the record, spoke of large deposit on the surface of the ground made by the (garbage collector) and the numerous dead carcasses left to putrefy. Another co mplained about the alleyways, which receive the filth that flows from almost every house in our city. They are generally badly paved and undrained and yet are used Other voices said, There are few houses in any one place, and most of the m small, miserable huts. Another reported We had to cross ditches and stiles and walk alternately on grass and pavement and strike across a f ield to reach a street. (pp. 11 12) Even the writer Charles Dickens had an opinion on the state of the infrastr ucture of the future metropolis. Writing of the city in 1842, h e said it was consisting of, spacious avenues that begin in n ( p p 9 10). But soon this place was to take


99 over and absorb the trade of the largest slave trading firm in the entire United States, Franklin and Armfield which had its headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. And the gradual transformation of this swamp like cesspool would take place out of the labor of the African American populace over the succeeding year s. With its proximity to the Chesapeake Bay, the budding city became a central point for the embarkation and debarkation of goods and trade to North and South. As Apidta tells us, These geographic benefits, coupled with an insatiable demand for Black Afri can bodies, made the District the very seat and center of the domestic slave traffic called the Congo (p. 14). Maryland and Virginia developed as breeding states and the auctioning of the enslaved took place from the holding blocks throu ghout the District. Washington, D.C. became the hub of the distribution channel. It is reported that: An assortment of interstate traders operated from the many tavern barrooms in the District, and the largest slave trading firm in the country, Franklin & Armfield, was headquartered in Alexandria absorption into the District. By 1830 Washington had drawn most of the trade from Georgetown and much of that from Alexandria and it was then that the District of Colum bia was called the very seat and center of the slave trade in the United States. Wedged between two breeding states Maryland and Virginia Washington, D.C. served as the depot for the wholesale traders who surveyed the inland breeding farms to buy the be st of the crop of Black buck men and sturdy Black women. From here, manacled Africans were marched by the Capitol, even while the Congress sat in session, to one of the many slave pens that serviced the traders (p. 14 15) Later, even former enslaved per sons who had either been manumitted or who had bought their freedom were detained at random and re sold to southern enslavers. Such occurrences taking place are easy to imagine once we recall that the selling of enslave persons was a trade a money making b usiness. Apidta report that:

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100 Even if a free person had proper papers proving his status, these papers were frequently taken from him and destroyed at the time of his capture. Blacks might be snatched off the streets, placed in jail, and then auctioned off by a presidentially appointed marshall of the District to recover jail fees. (p. 16). As an example, he tells us that, In 1841, trader James H. Birch kidnapped and and shipping him to New Orleans as a slave. (p. 18). 1 There are countless accounts of violent acts meted out to women and children and men who dared to be in the wrong place within the city. Drunken bands of European American men roamed the alleyways to have their way with the women and to turn in District of Columbia: A Bicentennial History ( Lewis 1976 ) makes this refrain: You call this the land of liberty, and every day that passes things are done in it which the despotisms of Europe would be horror of the earth not even exceptin g in the rivers of the coast of Africa was there so great, so infamous a slave market as in the metropolis, in the seat of government of this nation which prides itself in freedom (pp. 47 48). The situation was considered deplorable on many accounts, yet it persisted for many reasons. It had become a way of life and the system that perpetuated the wealth and development of the new colony. On arrival in The District, the enslaved or re enslaved people would be taken through a route that according to Frederi ck Bancroft, would sometimes take them right past the capitol building itself to one of a number of slave markets throughout the city. 2 1 See Figure 5 3 for t he site of the Yellow House, now 7 th Street and Maryland Avenue, N.W. 2 Trading in the Old South,1921, p. 44.

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101 There they would be held in a number of Pens dotted throughout the prominent structures of the capital. As to the c ondition of these holding pens, one and Tavern was referred to as an infernal hell. (See Figs. 5 4 and 5 5, p age 99 ). Walter C. Cephane, writing in the Records of the Columbia Historical Society describes in his essay The Local Aspects of Slavery in the District of Columbia, the reference made to this place by an English writer in 1835 ( Cephane 1900 ) : One day I went to see the slave pen a wretched hovel right against the Capitol, from which it is distant surrounded by a wooden paling fourteen or fifteen feet in height, with the posts outside to prevent escape and separated from the building by a space too narrow to permit of a free circulation of air. At a small window above, which was unglazed and exposed alike to the heat of summer and the cold of winter, so trying to the constitution, two or three sable faces appeared looking out wistfully to while away the time and catch a refreshing breeze, the weathe r being extremely hot. In this wretched hovel all colors except white, both sexes, and all ages are confined, exposed indiscriminately to the contamination which may be expected in such society and under such seclusion. (p.237) Apidta lists some such pen s as they existed throughout the area. Since this is a visual anthropological study, I have taken th e time to locate and to situate some of the se place s to bring them into being and to make them and the events associated with them real within this hi storical contextualization ( Barthes 1981 ; Collier 1986 ; Dra ke 1990 ; Freire 2010 (1970) ; Jackson 1996 ; Loewen 2009 ) The metaphysical realities of the historical record become re enacted and painted within the i mages presented and the words in the historical accounts stated above are aided by the images so that a two fold understanding is accessed. A s Edward T. Hall shows in his

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102 Foreword to Collier and Collier (1986), The auditory and the visual worlds are different. The former is more linear and the latter more holistic (p. xiv) 3 We must realize that it is the realities of the former events at these sites that formulate the experience and the very psychology of African American people today (See Aziza Gibson alter sign Figure 9 40, page 492 ). This past defines the social and cultural boundaries that still exist within the American society (though some curtailed) and therefore, the past be comes as real today for the people, as they were in the their real time occurrence. The effervescent and revealing value of natural history research combined with the visual anthropological approach is quickly revealed here, when we look at these sites to day (Loewen, 2010). Figures 5 3 to 5 11 depicting some of the sites, reveal nothing of their past. I photographed t hese sites between 7.28 and 8.47 am on Saturday, November 20th, 2010, the final day of my long sojourn in the field over periods spanning abo ut five years. The city was waking up gradually to a temperature of forty two degrees I made a random selection from the sites listed by Apidta. Among the sites he lists are: Franklin & Armfield, located at the west end of Duke Street, in Alexandria. Robe Th Street, SW, between B Street, SW and Maryland Avenue. Williams Private Jail (The Yellow House), between 7 th and 8 th Streets and south of B Street SW, just south of the Smithsonian grounds, opposite Robey 3 Photographing the sites in forty two degree weather (a mild fall to date November 20 th in Washington, D.C.) with a light coat but no gloves, I soon got a feeling of what it would have felt like for the scantily clad out of such miserable states as are de scribed here.

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103 Volta Place at the address 3410 used as slave quarters. Thirteenth and F Streets NW. The southeast corner of Seventh Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. lock at the 3200 block of O street (NW) as it is said, He set up his stone auction block a short distance away on the west side of High Street (now Wisconsin Avenue). Montgomery Tavern, located at The 1300 block of Wisconsin Avenue. n Georgetown located At or near the southwest corner of what are now called Wisconsin Avenue (32d Street) and M Street (Pennsylvania Avenue). Lafayette Tavern was at F Street between Thirteenth and Fourteenth, NW. stood Caroll Row was located at the Corner of First and A Street, NE. specific address). Many of these places were notorious for their treatment of the enslaved people who were listed and treated as goods. The psychological trauma of such conditions being held in winter and in summer without proper ventilation and surely l ittle clothing must have taken a physical toll on many not to mention the loss of their dignity and self worth conditions forced upon them in these public pens with no privacy. There are many repugnant reports of events happening within these sites that d ramatize the us to envision these events as having really happened but much more dramatic vents

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104 than these are on the record including those that are so graphic t hat they sicken the human sensibilities. Figure 4 3. Above, 7 th Street and Maryland Avenue, N.W. looking west. This location The Yellow House as described. The Hirshhorn Museum is to t he right edge of the picture and nestled behind the tree and the suspended sculpture, one can make out the spire of the Smithsonian Institution. The records are consulted here, and the situation revisited to create a realistic picture of the context towa rd which I work to present this Howard School Philosophy and to establ ish the nobility of these artists for crafting such an astute human and intellectual response to this past of which they are very much aware and which residual effects they see k to comb at. Apidta recites the recounting of one such account : A Black woman slave named Anna who was awaiting sale to the South attempted suicide by jumping through an attic window to the ground three stories below. Though both of her arms were broken and her bac k was injured, she survived. Her White master, seeing Anna to be of no further value, left her to languish and (p. 18) It is reported that on another occasion, the psychic pre ssure of returning to the condition from which some had been relieved, caused them such psychologically

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105 intense feelings that they acted against themselves and to their own d etriment. Perhaps Figure 4 4. From 7 th Street and Maryland Avenue N.W. looking n orth along 7 th Street. Figure 4 5. Detail, 7 th Street and Ma ryland Avenue; northeast corner looking north along 7 th Avenue where now stands the Department of Transportation. This the ultimate and greatest tragedy o f thi s wave of experience at such scenes of endless tragedies and gruesome horrors in th e name of profit... (Apidta, p. 15), was the kind reported in one incident at one of these sites. In the Christmas season of 1837, a free Black woman and her four yo ung children were torn from their husband and father and locked in the District jail to be

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106 held for shipment to the South. Distraught and afraid, she resolved that her babies would not grow up as slaves and proceeded to kill them with her bare hands. Two o f her children died before she could be restrained. She was tried for murder and acquitted on grounds of insanity. Her master, seeing the deep travail of an anguished mother, searched his soul for a trace of humanity. Finding it empty, he then returned her to her previous owner for breach of warranty she had been warranted s ound of mind and body. (p. 16) Figure 4 6. Corner of 7 th and C Streets, SW looking east toward Capitol Hill, 7.38 am, November 20th, 2010, forty two degrees Fahrenheit. Within all of this, it was the enslaved Africans who provided the workforce to build the city the Capitol building, the White House, and the civil infrastructure and provided all domestic and manual labor around the homes and businesses. At the same time, there were continuously revised laws designed out of the fear of the enslaved that was hidden in the heart of the European American enslavers, intended to strike fear into the hearts of the people. Rebellion was always a possibility, and so a series of noxious laws c alled the Black Codes was enforced. These varied from levying large demands for

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107 Figure 4 7 The southeast corner of 7 th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW at 7.26 am on November 20 th 2010; temperature 42 degrees Fahrenheit. In place of this building, a b Figure 4 8. At left, detail of 7 th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, former site of ight, the notorious Frank lin & Armfield holding pen located in Virginia This was the largest of the trading establi shments in the entire area and served both Maryland and Virginia. Image (b) photo pp,

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108 a b Figure 4 9. Images of 13 th and F Streets, N.W. looking west toward the White House of this intersection. establishing a business of any kind to a 10.00 P. M. curfew, to being disqualified days if found guilty of perjury (Apidta, p. 25). My greatest surprise of th e project was the discovery I made for myself (though I vaguely recall that Professor Edward Love had once tried to have his sculpture ReMan (Figure 9 49 ) displayed it the entrance to a Washington, D C. courthouse, and now wonder if this fact I was about to discover was already known to him as it very likely would have been given his intensity and the depth of his scholarship). H aving finished photographing what I thought was an adequate sampling of sites and realizing it was still too early for my next photogr a phy appointment. 4 To pass the time, I decided to consult my list of addresses and pursue one more site. I decided on the site called Caroll Row and set out to locate it as it promised to be the next closest to my present 4 I had made arrangements to photograph artist Akili Ron Anderson at the site of his public art at the Columbia Heights Subway Station, but would need to rent a strobe from a downtown camera shop, which would not be opened until 10.00 am. I w as in the downtown vicinity of the store and wished to avoid going back and forth.

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109 location. Caroll Row was re ported to have been situated at A Street and First Streets, N.E. I had little problem locating 1 st Street a route I had taken many a time in the past in order to get around the east side of the Capitol complex as I travelled from the western to the eastern sector of the city But A Street, NE was less visible. Asking civilians and eventually Capitol Hill policemen, I finally located the street further away and traced it back to the intersection of 2 nd S treet, NE, where it ended into the rear of an imposing building shown here in Figure 4 10. Then I realized the reason A Street had not come to intersect with 1 st Street, NE. This imposing building had been erected over the site that would have been the intersection of the two streets enclosing the entire bloc k. Taking the route back to 1 st Street with the intent of locating the front of the building (as its faade would pinpoint the intersection of 1 st Street and A Street ) o n appr o ach, the front of the building seemed familiar. To be sure, I asked the first p erson who happened by a lady taking her early morning walk. Trying to sound like a tou rist, I asked, am, but which building is that? That is The Supreme Court, she replied as she continued her stroll. I then recalled that one account I had recently reviewed had indicated that slave holding pens had existed in the shadow of the Capitol Building. This had been no metaphor for at sometime between 4.30 in the afternoon and sunset, on such a fall day, the shadows of the Capitol Building would have surely lengthened across 1 st Street to overshadow the former site of Caroll Row now the Supreme Court Thereupon, I decided to muster my photographic skills to create a one hundred and eighty degree panoramic view to connect the Supreme Court former Caroll Row to the seat of the United States Government, the capitol

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110 theory and method for my visual anthropological theoretical approach was being given life by the real ity of my practice in the field). I have visually documented the spatial tangent of the Carol Row reality relative to the seat of power of the democratic United States government Figure 4 10. The rear of the imposing bui lding into which A Street, N.E. entering the picture at left, ends. Running into the plane of the picture from bottom right, is 2 nd Street, NE (The street sign is visible against the tree, close to the right edge of t he picture). A Street, NE entering from the bottom, left, would have co ntinued at an angle to enter the rear of the building and emerge on the opposite side into 1st Street, NE. which runs parallel to 2 nd S treet, N.E. Figure 4 11. The Supreme Court (from the front) at 1 st Street, NE faces the Capitol building on the r ight as shown in this 180 degree panoramic image stitched

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111 together from four separate images. The rail in front of the Supreme Court building runs parallel to the stone wall on the right, separated by 1 st Street, NE on which the white van is parked. Inward from the stone wall, some one hundred or so yards, sits the Capitol Building. The emancipation proclamation actually occurring in early 1863 did not put an end to the trading of enslaved Africans. Even free people were being sold into re enslavement. It seemed that European Americans could never get used to the idea of losing their free labor. 5 It is said that this proclamation actually did not get a single slave his/her freedom (Apidta, p. 33). The real concern to most of the ruling population would the n become finding a way of dealing with the impending free African American population. Repatriating them to Africa was one idea considered but this was never fully undertaken, and so of 800,000 residents in the District in 1850 people of African descent a mounted to forty percent Still, there was not much change in their condition. The development of the infrastructure had indeed given rise to a social structure that relied on the continued free labor of the African immigrants, and the continued developmen t of the infrastructure required to support the emerging social structure, necessitated lots of fre e labor as the Human Materialism paradigm predicts. (Magnarella 1993). Social Cultural Context nfrastructure in Washington had played a major role in informing and shaping the constitution of the population and the social relationships between the different ethnicities. The enslaved 5 When the French nobleman Lafayette implored him to free the enslaved people, Washington is recorded to have asked the Marquis de Lafayette, who would then do the work, sh ould he free them.

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112 worked to make the life of the enslavers easy, built up their wealt h and created the civil infrastructure to raise standards and support the reification of the European American self concept. As told by Theodore D. Weld in Slavery and the Internal Slave Trade in the United States ( Weld 1969 ) : gin had tripled the value of slaves and re energized American agriculture. Not many were willing to give up the subsequent profits. Even the Northerners had their greedy hands in the pot. The cotton mills in Massachusetts, the banks in New York, and the s hippers in Rhode Island all realized fabulous profits from Black African slavery. In the year 1837, New York merchants held not less than ten million dollars of property in so uthern estates and slaves ( p. 204). The social order that emerged held no room f or the development of the enslaved population. They still were separated from a decent way of life, in fact socially separated from the enslaver and with little seeming hope for surmounting the social and political obstacles that surrounded them. Slaves w ere essential for the conduct of family life and social activities particularly among the elite. They provided the labor for every federal project and staffed every unwanted vocation (Apidta, pp. 35 36). A series of groups of laws were passed and constan tly renewed, intended to rush the will of the African American. These were called the black codes and were devised both to discourage ownership of anything of worth by the people as well as to hold them in fear. Patrol companies wreaked fear and awe upon the oppressed people. As one patrol volunteer stated, Should we be attacked, there will be great danger of the blacks rising, and to prevent this, patrols are very necessary to keep them in awe, (Apidta, p. 23). With the existence of the Black codes, social congregating was discouraged, and any meetings or gatherings for any purpose were to be approved first by the authorities. Flogging and imprisonment were meted out for any seeming flaunting of these laws.

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113 The consumption of alcohol was forbidden les t the African American should become intoxicated and unruly or he should look at a European American woman with an amorous intent. ( Snethen 1848 ) Yet, the drunken European American carousers in gangs freely roamed the back alleyways at night, and in their drunken stupor, violate the African American female household at their whim. This demoralizing and base tre atment, left black women without any sense of protection since their very husbands, fathers, or brothers, by law, were rendered incapable of defending them. E. A. Andrews tells us of the social structure that existed and of the physical and psychological i mpact this stratification bequeathed upon the dominant and the subservient populations ( Andrew s 1836 ) To be complete in our evaluation, we must note not just the horrific treatment meted out to the enslaved populace but also the effect that the freedom to inflict this will upon others cultivated within the oppressor. Consider an eyewitness accou nt of one day to day occurrence. Andrews tells us: Often have I known a company of licentious and inebriated young men sally their round of domiciliary visits to the quarters of the negroes, while their distance from his own home without a pass he is often whipped upon the spot, without judge or jury and with no other limit to the severity of the sband and father is dragged out and flogged before his terrified wife and children while the females fear every indignity that such ruffians may please to perpetuate. Thus they proceed, until exhausted by fatigue and dizziness with the fumes of their deb auch, and terror, where they found peace and repose, (pp. 101 2) It is not necessary to explain the implications of such treatment to the psyche of members of household s violated by these men who the law allowed to masquerade as them in awe. ( Myers 1944 ) On the other hand, what such freedom achieves for the perpetrator is the sense of an arrogant entitlement to dominate and consume, even violate anything Black. and

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114 this was inclusive of any property, ideology, or the very personhoo d of the people. It becomes a very empowering function indeed. In some respects, it gives the European American man the right not to have to feel restraint at any cost to his ego. He never has to reconcile himself to have to feel bored or melancholic for a n adventure was always at at the expense of the oppressed man or woman should he be so inclined. The African American family goes to sleep in a state of paranoia knowing that an unsettled and roving band of drunks may at any time invade their homes and inflict physical and demoralizing treatments. This sets up a social stance of psychological enslavement since in any interaction with the European American class, regardless of the level of operation or the quality of knowledge or training of the European American, the person of African descent must be on guard at all times not to venture close to upsetting in any way the demeanor of the other Suffice it also to say should the Euro pean American already be in a foul mood as a result of his/her own doing, the African American must then become available and ready to cater to that mood and appease the anger. He/she, therefore, becomes the carrier and absorber of all European American discontent; both the object and the therapist in this psycho cultura l exchange. As Robert Bee points out, the immigrant, in this process of acculturation, must draw upon his own inner strength and resources to accommodate this exchange. To do so, necessitates the formulation of tools for coping and the creation of such def ense mechanisms as the European American is deprived of. It is in this way that survival through cultural diffusion is achieved and with enough of the psyche remaining intact to urvival

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115 has been said to be a lesson from the oyster the conversion of the irritating grain of sand to a shiny pearl of value. This lesson has continued with African Americans till today as we see in the vast repertoire of their creative endeavors especi ally in their visual art forms as we are about to explore. They have continued to draw upon the experiences of their ancestors as well as their own to convert negative and devastating events throughout their generations into images of resist ance, survival beauty and hope This has been the occupation of The Howard School of Art philosophy. But there is still more to discover on Washington, D. C. in this context. From the infrastructure, a social structure has developed, at which we now take a glimpse. As it were, there were two Washingtons separated by a deep social divide. This social structure was one of total segregation in any form of interaction except wherein the African American was giving labor to the comforts of the European American. The gaps tha t existed have been documented amply in the language of the very servants in such cases. This demeaning hierarchy would have been the dominant structure of the social order then. European Americans and politicians requiring the services of large s taffs for their everyday needs soon developed. But where even the poorest or most lowly European American worker desired not to labor, it was the African American who had to fill the ro le. People of color were expected to fall in their place at the bottom of the pi le performing the menial, most dangerous and undesirable jobs. As Apidta points out, Where Whites chose to seek jobs Blacks were required to yield, (p. 23). Special struct ures existed to keep African Americans out of useful jobs. (Lynch, 1993).

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116 This social order perpetuated itself automatically, held in place by laws and trained expectations. After more than one hundred years after the emancipation act had been declared, th e will of freedom still evaded the African in America. The District was no further along in turning around this dilemma. In fact, participation in the use of the very civil infrastructure that they had built was denied them. Facilities were closed to them and that which they could participate in was of the lowest standard. This is what we are told ( Indritz 1953 ) : For Negro Americans, Washington is not ju point at which all public transportation into the South becomes Jim Crow. If he stops in Washington, a Negro may dine like other men in the Union Station, but as soon as he steps out into the capital, he leaves such dem ocratic practices behind. With very few exceptions, he is refused service at downtown restaurants, he may not attend a downtown movie or lodging. The Negro who decides to settle i n the District must often find a home in an overcrowded, substandard area. He must often take a job below the level of his ability. He must send his children to the inferior public ag encies which give inferior services. In addition, he must endure the countless daily humiliations that the system of segregation imposes upon the one third of Washington that is Negro (p. 298) A social structure denying the African American populace of pa rticipation at such an incongruently debased level with the dominant structure left them as the disavowed and unsettled architects of the building of the city and the facilities now closed to them. Their preoccupation now becomes one of a daily struggle fo r survival and making amends to themselves. How do they continue in this process of cultural survival in a society within which there seems no possibility of acceptance? They are denied all amenities of worth including the chance of becoming educated. They are unable to assimilate and cannot pass, that is to say to disappear or become less discernible and less graphically represented and conveyed within the dominant culture for their skin

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117 easily identifies them. They must invest in themselves and develo p a means of survival. If they cannot participate fully socially, so will their participation at the superstructural or ideological level be restricted. They would then be confined to a state of perpetual servitude and miserly cognitive development and par ticipation within spheres of the higher humanly developed tastes and skills. Superstructural Context of Development I shall assign to this stage of the examination the attempts of the African in America to achieve ideals within the new culture forced upon them. I limit the inclusion of ideological forms to education, religion, and artistic expression. It is interesting to see how an ideological cultural advancement is developed and sustained within this context. So far we have seen how the nature of the lan d in the New World of the Americas invited the European Colonialists to take advantage of the more favorable environment for producing crop s essential to their survival and ambition s But as they realized the potentials of the land to provide far beyond their needs, they developed a taste for great wealth. We are also aware of how this led to the presence of the African in this drama. From this infrastructural context, we come to see how a social structure has been developed with the enslaved African plac ed at the bottom of the hierarchy. We recall that in the human materialist paradigm it is from this social structure that the ideology of the culture develops and becomes heightened in the re circulating of the process. But those dwelling within the low ru ngs of the system are denied participation at the higher social level, so logically that rung would remain static in social development and remain in a state of servitude within the infrastructure. To assume our innocence, then, the question becom es, will it be possible for the oppressed in such a system having had no full participation in the social structure, develop a ny cultural pattern of ascendency ? We

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118 must seek to inform ourselves of the experiences that the African in America and the Diaspora encoun tered as they strove to achieve higher goals and to self actualize. Education was an ideal held outside the reach of the oppressed people. This single route capable of securing their participation at the superstructural level was wantonly denied them. This was deemed necessary to keep them subdued and functioning in the same confined lower rungs of the social structural level. At this level, where they were denied access to decency and self dependency, their preoccupation could never actually come to surpas s a very basic existence defined by an everyday struggle to exist by providing themselves food, shelter, and clothing and doing so by the continued state of subordination and adherence to European American rules and principles and evaluation of them. There seemed to be no further cultural development possible for this people. Figure 4 1 2 It was considered a felony for anyone to teach enslaved people to read. Nevertheless some African Diasporans, enslaved as well as freed, learned to read and write and b ecame scholars in their own right. One such was Frederick Douglas who was enslaved at birth. Photo pp.

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119 Since we are situating the development of this school within, the psycho cultural and the existentialist paradigms, it becomes helpful to pause to do a c loser examination of the meaning of a system in which a group is considered unilaterally inferior and of being automatically relegated to a subservient place on the basis of having more melanin in the skin and on this basis only. The real meanings of this complex of issues easily escape the imagination if it is simply seen as being one color of people being made subservient to the other. In actuality, the existentialist approach to analyzing the effects of this system reveal s the totality of the debilitatin g effect this brought to bear upon the psyche of the oppressed. 6 We tend to imagine, in this situation, the more aristocratic and probably learned (in Western ways) of the social elites and their relationship to the enslaved. But such a view of these relat ionship s is limited relegated to one potential sphere of the contact. Even today most of us would soften our response if a person of high social standing acted c ondescendingly with a person of a lower social ranking. People, the world over, acquiesce to no bles heads of states, ambassadors politicians, popular stars and the like. We tend to accept this and in fact we endorse it throughout our societies though it be carried out with a higher level of civility. But if we imagine the skillful or talented or more educated person of African descent in contact with the European American of lesser skills, manners and abilities and more unlearned even formally, and if we imagine the African American having to assume a need to exist within the strictures described here, subduing him/herself to the whims of the other of low accomplishments and skills, then we come to appreciate more fully the depth of the 6 Paulo Freire is an essential discussant of the complexities of the realities and defining structures of the oppressive state. See Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 2000 edition.

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120 impact of this system upon the human conditioning of the subservient society. 7 The knowledge that even the most i gnorant lowly and frivolous European American character could, at their own whim, instigate and fashion schemes to subjugate the psyche and undermine the efforts of the African offspring, generates an inescapable aura of wonder, disgust and paranoia. Such it was that whatever activity the African American engaged in, he/she did so at his/her peril. Such conditioning has been aptly discussed by Franz Fanon in several discourses set out in texts. 8 If the lowly European American needed to have some fun at the expense of someone, the African Diasporan was fair game. If he wanted to justify his lack in any arena, he could blame it on the Black ; if he was feeling miserable and stressed, he could take this out on the Blacks ; if he made costly errors, he could s hift the blame; and if he simply wanted to be affirmed even within his own stupidity, he could solicit acceptance, reassurance, and affirmation from the Black who was only too happy to act in anyway necessary to save himself and his family from trouble. 9 Hence, a psychological dependence upon the reassurance of their self worth developed among many European Americans with Blacks acting as the therapists. Blacks, therefore, learned to, or were expected to absorb all of the hurts and pains of the aristocrat ic European American and the European American commoner even the vagrant. This 7 The understanding of the actual trauma that is derived from th is association is not easily accessible to many and especially so not those who have not shared the experience. It is an easily evasive cons ciousne ss which I had the enlightening and educational opportunity to experience during a period lasting just over a 8 Wretched of the Earth (1961) and Black Skins, White Masks (1952). 9

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121 coupled with his dehumanization when the same European American vagrant can have random access to his every whim meted out against both man and the females of his family exerts one of the most annihilating forces against self worth and self perpetuation that one can imagine. This system was meant to subdue the very concept of self of the Negro for the perpetual subjugation of European American rule. Franz Fanon, one of the mos t erudite analyzers of the psychological results of this experience on the Black psyche, has untangled for us a meandering ribbon of traceable patterns still existent in African American behaviors and conception of the self an accommodating disposition t oward European American behavior, styles, and authority. This form of acceptance has continued to exist within the complex of attitudes that African Americans still encounter today, and it has followed some African Americans into succeeding stages and gene rations and often stunted their reaching out for the ideals that seem to them untenable. These are privileges tha t have being withheld or denied to the line of their predecessors for so long that descendants have little or no foundation on which to rest a disposition to reach out and grasp in order to move forward. Having participated so scantily in pursuit of human ideals, there is little vision in the scope of what they perceive to be in the range of their attainment. Their attempts to self actualize and to bring themselves into the ideological zones that help to define the quality and the spirituality of life have continued to remain an elusive phantasm. Perhaps nowhere is this more visible today than in the paltry response of so many African Americans to available educational opportunities. This is a legacy which I explore yet more in the epilogue that follows the recording of this research process.

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122 The route out of the rut of debilitation and non participation within the social structure at a higher lev el actually would have to begin by the African American participating at a higher level within the infrastructural arenas. Instead of being engaged only with menial jobs and giving their labor freely, they would need to learn more about the system and the ways up the social ladder. Much of this would have to begin with an education. They must enter into business and become providers of services that were consumed by African Americans and European Americans and to command a more equitable reward for their se rvices and labor. But this was not to be attained without some degree of assimilation into the culture at least by assuming a place in the educational systems to prepare themselves not only for a better understanding of how the systems worked, but also to help them acquire skills particular to valued trades and areas offering the potential for development of entrepreneurial skills. What access would they be afforded under the present social system? This would remain an illusion they would reach out for over years; things coming to them slowly in incremental stages. Even when they had adopted the European religion, they were still held in an inferior way. But efforts to have the freedmen participate in the practice of the new religion, was not as controvers ial, even though they were not to be fully accepted as allies of the Christian fellowship. In the cleansing of the religious beliefs that the enslaved Africans had brought with them across the Atlantic, the status quo was eager to instill the new Christi an ideologies of their own culture. Whereas the general idea exists that, for the most part, the European Americans were eager to save the souls of the heathen people of the world, there were two other vital reasons for European American

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123 tolerance to the attempts of the Blacks to become followers of their Chris t The first was that being a Christian also meant being a good slave. Good slaves perform exactly as the master would have them behave. Submission, according to the laws of the religion, relegates the slave to a treasured place in the household of the master and assures him/her a place in heaven. This was, therefore, a very useful tool of control in the perpetuation of the subjugation of the people. 10 Yet, there was another reason to encourage Christ ianity upon the African and clamorous reaction to the African Diasporan attempting any retention of his/her traditional African religions. We must also observe that this res ponse was exhibited in the fact that European Americans forbade the enslaved from any form of assembly of any kind. The idea was to prevent the thriving of any instrument that had the ability to forge a common bond among the people. Unity signaled strength and abject fear already existed among the European Americans from day to day. This was always the fear of insurrection and rioting by the enslaved people. One of the most effective weapons was, therefore, for the ruling class to set out to restrict mass communication and to redirect their own fear to place it upon the o ther The rules were designed to prevent any gatherings that may, by feelings of strength in numbers, give the Negro the impetus to resist. For example, a meeting could be held among them if it were a religious meeting, and this meeting would have to 10 Professor Haile Gerima which depicts an era in the life of enslaved people on the sugar plantation. D eveloped among his characters is the mulatto male, Joe, won over by the affection of the European priest to be used as the instrument of the further conversion of his half kin the black laborers on the plantation. In an interview with Gerima at the Sankofa Caf, he catego rized his depiction of Joe.

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124 be led by a European American male. Such a law has to be seen as resulting not only from the fear of physical resistance, but also from fear of them developing spiritual and psychological inde pendence. It seems that no adequate term has yet been coined to describe the complexities of the mechanisms used by the status quo to devalue and dehumanize the Negro people. When it was necessary to be in denial, it was done. When it was required that the mortal become judge of the God and the one determining the fate of man, it was done. The oppressor made his God to suit his will to support his cruel ways, and he succeeded in perpetuating lying and concealing truths that gave the African American any jus tification to value the self. ( Hall 1986 ) In this way, he created a reality that suited his ethnocentric beliefs, in the process, lying to himself and degrading his own moral self and corroded the life of the other B ut b etter education would perhaps be the only way to provide the direction out of the dilemma. The first attempts to include African Americans in the educational system met with harsh rebuttals. There was more concern with containing the new problem f acing the new society of European Americans in the District. That problem was a large number of lawfully freed people of African descendant with little education or preparedness to participate in the system. Ideas continued to differ on this new dilemma, but none was more likely to spark a volatile debate than the idea of opening the way for educational opportunities for the Negro population. Of course, it was out of a very existentialist response that the fearful European Americans determined that to ope n opportunities for the Blacks to be educated would place them, at a place where they may be challenged; where they would no longer be able to lie and trick and steal, at random, the labor or

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125 goods of the working man. Besides, it had already been establish ed within the society that the more knowledge one amassed, the more one became placed into the recognition of areas of specialization in participating in the workforce. Such areas of specialization would attract levels of dependency (from the consumer) and with it, further levels of recognition and respect. Most European Americans were adamantly opposed to this. The response US Representative Charlie of Virginia is well reflective of the general attitude of the status quo at the time. It is said that he cou ld not see any good reason why the government of the United States should enter upon the scheme of educating negroes. 11 Apidta also tells us that: Educational opportunities for Blacks in the District were restricted or controlled from the start. Laws on t he books from Virginia and Maryland expressly forbade the education of Blacks, and such sentiments carried place to place in the city in her attempt to establish a Black school. Official might give Blacks an education far beyond what their political and social conditions would justify. (pp. 44 5). Even when insistent efforts had won over the right of African Americans t o some access to an educational system, the schools were poor and inferior and the curriculum, for the most part, prepared students for a basic education meant to retain them in menial occupations and manual trades. The different ethnicities were separated and a wide gulf separated the facilities and the quality of education provided to the African Americans and the European Americans. 11 As reported in Apidta, p. 45.

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126 Clement A. Price addresses this issue in his essay, The Foundation of Contemporary African American Life and History tellin g us ( Price 2010 ) : 12 No longer enslaved, African Americans occupied the racialized bottom of American society for many years. Not all blacks, of course, were at or even near the bottom, but staggering numbers of them those whose progeny would mount the Civil Rights Movement three generations later, seemed hardly free. They continued to work the l and as an impoverished class of agricultural laborers. In mines, forests, fields and factories and at docksides they were customarily found in the most unenviable pursuits that were tedious, often dangerous and always unrewarding. Over the two generations that followed the Great Emancipation, freedom was severely challenged, complicated by the new dangers that freedom of mobility and individuality placed upon black men and women, and made incomplete by a racial caste system colloquially known and remembered as Jim Crow. It was at once an elaborate social system that imposed racial indignities free at all. Indeed, a century after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamatio n, Martin Luther King, Jr., in his famous I Have a Dream Speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, would exclaim, The Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the m One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself a n exile in his own land. (p. 8) The struggle for educational facilities continued amidst the realization that came to the ruling class that the idea of returning the freed African descendants to their ancestral homeland was not a viable solution. They were now part of the American system and liberals clamored for more favorable treatment star ting with education for these bereft people. According to Apidta, Blacks were taxed to pay for white schools. Some who had developed resources strived to establish a school system f or their own. (p. 44). Also, Between 1807 and the beginning of the C ivil War, more than fifteen 12 Price is ultimately qualified to address these issues, being the distinguished professor of history that he is, as well as being the Director of the Institute on Ethnicity, Cultu re and the Modern Experience on the Newark campus of Rutgers University. The essay appears in the accompanying catalogue of the Bank of America art exhibit, Mixing Metaphors: The Aesthetic, the Social and the Political in African American Art Works from t to December 17, 2010.

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127 academies for Black education were operated in Georgetown and Washington, (p. 44).Two White women, Mary Billings and Myrtle Miller and one black Marie Becraft, as well as Father Vanlomen, who set up s chools received oppositio n from Washington Mayor Walter Lennox. Slowly however, educational institutions dedicated to the training of these gradually freed people began to be created. This came about as it became imminent that the social need was urgent that the freedmen needed to become self sufficient. The ongoing civil war had continued to see an influx of runaway or abandoned enslaved people seeking refuge within the ranks of the Northern army. W. E. B. Du Bois establishes a detailed account of the emergence of larger system s and institutions for the education of the freedmen. There was a specific system or strategy involved in the process and this resulted in the nature of the series of educational institutions that came to be established now known as Historically Black Co lleges and Universities In his paper, The Freedmen Bureau, Du Bois outlines how the system became established much to the credit of the army man put in charge of the entire operation to see to the welfare of the Freedmen, General Oliver Howard. ( Du Bois 1903 ) The role Howard University came to play in the progress and development of the people did not come about by chance. One could say that the institution was given a particular mission as one of the earliest established Black Co established, the major concern at first was simply to organize structures to manage the large influx of people who were turning up amo ng the Union soldiers either as persons

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128 who had gained their freedom, had been abandoned by confederate owners in the melee of the civil war, or had taken advantage of the distractions created by the war to escape. The Union soldiers and the Federal G overn ment did not turn them away. In fact they welcomed them. They built up numbers of able bo died men and women and became a source of strength to the Confederacy, as they became a useful source of labor and of produce (Du Bois, 1903: 17). The most immediate provisions that had to be made were for taking care of their basic means of existence. But later with the emancipation act passed in 1863 the numbers swelled even more. Hundreds of thousands of people now required care. It became necessary that this major undertaking be confronted as an organized system and there was need for sustainable programs to address the transitioning of the newly emancipated people. The first organized effort was established as the Port Royal experiment under a Bostonian army offic er called Pierce. It was designed with the intent of making free working men out of slaves. ( p.18). Starting out at first as a fractioned effort, always supported by churches and benevolent societies as well as by kindly individuals who had from long ago quietly assisted and protected the enslaved people, a system developed. Long existing clandestine efforts to educate the people could now be brought to the forefront and new systems emerged, supported by many benevolent organizations that sprung up. To co ntinue to accomplish this goal of this massive project, the Federal government created what came to be referred to as a, A government within a government. Plantations were leased and those seized from the defeated Confederates were put in charge of the g overnment for the occupation of the Freedmen.

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129 It was said that the undertaking of the project was possible only if undertaken with the experience of an army officer. It necessitated a large system of organization and streamlining. Smaller workable systems within the larger system developed under army men. General Banks of Louisiana and Colonel Eaton of Tennessee and Arkansas managed modeled systems. More notable was the system managed by General Saxton who was intent on encouraging the establishment of scho ols as a n integral part of his program. In 1864 a Secretary Fessenden suggested a system that was to become the later model of operation. In July of that year the Hou se passed a bill to establish a Bureau for Freedmen in the War Department (Dubois, 1903: 22). So it was that a Northern army man, General Oliver Otis Howard, in May of 1865 was appointed Commissioner in Treasurer Department. The Bur eau was charged with the task to gr apple with vast problems of race and social condition ( p. 17). And there were several essential tasks that it had to ful fill. These included the task to establish regulations, protect them, lease them lands, control wages, represent [them] in civ il and m ilitary court ( p. 22). The system inaugurated the crusade of the New England School according to Du Bois (p. 24). As he continues to show the New England schoolhouses were established even in the South and some 100,000 persons were taught during t he first year of operation. Du Bois refers to Genera l Howard as an honest man with great faith in human nature. he says. lay in the (p. 29).

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130 Floyd Coleman, in t he catalog accompanying the exhibition An Inside View: Highlight from the Howard University Collection at the Rockford Art Museum, February 7 April 19, 2003), provides a compressed glimpse at a series of developments useful in mission to contemporary times and to the intent of this research program. In an essay he states ( Coleman 2003 ) : The Unites States was abruptly and radically transformed by the civil war. The Bureau and the beginnings of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Howard, Atlanta University, Fisk University and Talladega College became principal sites of formation of African American cultural identity. The role of these institutio ns in quickly developing a relatively large literate Black population in the South is no less than legendary. The campuses became the primary spaces for hosting and presenting Black artistic talent. (p. 12). Coleman continues to draw attention to Howard U niversity and the particularity of its prominent place among the HBCUs. He does not mention Tuskegee Institute at this point in his discussion (although it was an integral part of the educational process) Tuskegee was founded by Washington and much like Hampton in its perceived intent. Coleman tells us that: In 1867 two seminal events occurred in response to Emancipation which reflect the development of Black artists and institutions. In Rome, Italy, a young American ex patriate of Native American and Afr ican American ancestry created a marble sculpture. In Washington, D. C. a small group of people, including General Oliver Otis Howard, met to establish an educational institution for newly freed Americans. Subsequently, Forever Free [The sculpture ( Figur e 6 7 p. 256 ) ] created by the young American artist, Edmonia Lewis in Rome] and Howard University have influenced American society for more than one hundred and thirty years (p.12) There were two dominant views on the transitioning of the African America n population into the freed American population. These views are to be seen as separate from the views of the dominant population, visibly in Northern versus Southern views;

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131 Union versus Confederate in the recently completed war; abolitionist and liberal v ersus conservative. The two views we speak of here are those that existed within certain quarters of the leadership among the freed people themselves. These were the views of Frederick Douglas and Booker T. Washington. W. E. B. Du Bois was present during t hese times and provides a useful and informative account of the events. It becomes The model Washington preferred, that the newly freed people be patient and not seek to move to o fast in pursuing equal opportunities with the European American population. He thought that they should be content to start up slowly by building an infrastructure of their own within which they could operate comfortably. Thus he proffered that they shou ld settle for the trades within which domains they were used to performing. Hence that which they needed was a vocational education. Some subjects were, therefore not essential, as these would make the ruling classes uncomfortable since it was deemed tha t if the Blacks were educated, this would result in a dangerous situation for the mainstream population. This, in fact, had been the general view throughout the centuries of their subordination. 13 When institutions of higher learning were being establishe d for the people these two views were to dictate the direction that these systems of education would take. The model to which Washington subscribed was the gradualist view that the newly freed people be patient and not seek to move too fast in pursuing all opportunities open to the European American population. He thought that they should be content to start up 13 Underlying this entire supposition was the assumption that the people descended from Africans were

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132 slowly by building an infrastructure of their own within which they could operate comfortably. As Baber explains it, The idea was to develop bla ck com munity/society from within the black community, to then demonstrate that to the white community the equality of the black people. Thus he proffered that they should settle at least for the time being, for the trades within which domains they were us ed to performing. Hence that which they needed was a vocational education system Some subjects were, therefore not immediately essential for laying this foundation as these would make the ruling classes uncomfortable since it was deemed that if the Bl acks were educated, this would result in a dangerous situation for the mainstream population. This, in fact, had been the general view throughout the centuries of their subordination. Frederic Douglas was opposed to this idea, believing that the Negro w as capable of achieving in all spheres of life and therefore needed all opportunities open to him. This more progressive view was that the people needed to be exposed to the full range of learning that existed for others and that they were no more to be co nsidered or treated other than full human beings. This was the view of Frederick Douglas, a man who had been born as an enslaved person and taught to read by his mistress. He became a proficient scholar and was a prominent leader and orator for the cause of social justice. of such institutions as Tuskegee Institute which he himself founded, and Hampton Institute. 14 But others adhered to or were developed into the model such insti tutions as 14 The Americans the native people.

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133 Howard followed. It is timely to return to the exhibition catalog in which Coleman wrote his essay. In the exhibition is included a seminal work from the Howard University art collection. The journey of the African American as well as a referenc e to this period in Negro history is depicted for us by the prominent African American mur alist, Charles White. The painting was Commissioned by the Works Project Administration (W.P.A.) and done between 1939 and 1940, the scale of this mural along with its depiction was influenced by the great Mexican muralists who also worked in the U.S. for the W.P.A. It was meant to be a work of/for agency. The work is titled Progress of the American Negro or Five Great American Negroes Figure 5 2. Moving across the plane of the mural we see the kinetic figure of Sojourner Truth leading a group of her people 15 The philosophical debate of which we speak takes center place with the uniting of the two spokesmen, Frederick Douglas and Booker T. Washington in exchanges wit h the people in oratorical and comforting stances. On the other side of the journey is the discovered potential of the Negro represented in the symbolic artistry of Marian Anderson at the microphone and the scientific prowess of Everett R. Just in his laboratory. The depiction of the three major segments in the work is of great interest to the issue un der discussion here. The work presents the sojourn of the Negro in progressive form. One cannot be sure what the artist may be suggesting by juxtaposi ng Washington and Douglas together but since both men were of divergent opinions, one can hardly help but see a potential representation of the 15 I find this to be a most controversial depiction as though White has stated th at the woman is Sojourner discussion on this matter. See Andrea American Art, 1999.

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134 dichotomous views here. The scene uniting the figures of Douglas and Washington is centrally placed and occupie s much more than a third of the physical space suggesting tic stage of the N egro progress It is most fitting that this work is today, one of the jewels of the Howard University Collection as it so dir ectly and charismatically allude s to the story of the institution. Figure 4 13 Progress of the Ameri can Negro (Five great American N egroes) 1939 1940. So it was that the creation of a set of educational institutions headed by Howard University atop one of the few hills in Washington, D.C. and alongside the home of the institution became named for him and from his home (now a museum) which still stands a djacent to the Administration Building of the University he supervised the expansive system of the emancipation transition. It is clear that Howard University was charted as the flagship of these educational institutions under the immediate eyes of Genera l Howard. It was eventually given a full curriculum for educating the Freedmen. It had studies in the Classics, in philosophy, and a medical and law school. (Footnote this after drop in)Of course it was necessary for doctors and other healthcare workers to be

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135 trained among the people themselves. The ori ginal hospital was housed in this building and was called It continued at this site until as recently as 1971 when the new hospital was built and dedicated. Figure 4 14 Detail o show ing actual inscription at top; f ormer location of the Howard University Hospital. It is said that Alain Locke played a major role in insisting that Howard University was given its curriculum to provide the opportunity for a full education to the people. The gradual development of an art program out of the courses instituted for supporting the more vocational programs of study, falls in line with this system of thought and designated Howard, quite early, as the premier inst itution for higher learning for Freedmen. I have had much discussion on this matter with Willie Baber, who as an applied anthropologist places himself close to the side of advocacy and policy on such issues. Our latest conversations took the place of a sh ort interview for the purpose of tracing and connecting the pieces that led to the special character of Howard University and the

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136 curriculum which he insightfully perceives and articulates as being tied much to the influence of Alain Locke. I asked him to provide an overview and profile of this phenomenon as it came about. Edward Shaw (ES). Dr. Baber, I have reviewed the account of Dr. Du Bois in the essay, Of the Dawn of Freedom as you have suggested. So I have a pretty clear picture of how the H.B.C.Us came about. Yet on this aspect of the industrial arts institutions and the other like Howard University, I want to give my readers a clearer picture of how the difference was established. Willie Baber (WB). The Direct tie to what Howard became is publi shed in The New Negro, which was published in 1925, the which came after the death of Booker T. Washington hence, The New Negro [measured against the old negro approach of Booker T.] My re ference to Du Bois was in how Du Bois explains the origin of Howard no limits on education. Locke graduated from Harvard, and then was hired as a faculty member at Howard and he was there virtually his entire career, and the new Negro was a break with Bo wearing of the mask to use black achievement, which was limited by southern white racism, Howard University projected an explicit political role in the develo pment of Black identity. I see this as an extension of the very origin of Howard, as noted by Du Bois no limitations on the soul. This produced Thurgood Marshall, for example. He was a unique combination of African American heritage and U.S. civil rights l aw. The same can be said of other significant persons associated with Howard, like Ralph Bunche or E. Franklin ES WB activist all of his life attended Hampton and by comparison he clashed with his professors at Hampton, and their more cautious approach in dealing with white racism. Remember, Hampton

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137 produced Booker T. Washington, yet none of what I say strategy! Wash evolutionism during the peak of which was from 1840 to 1920. This is some of what I talk about in the paper I ju st Policy and the Past: Unilineal Evolutionism and Booker T. Washington. ES Du Bois was quite upset with Booker T. though. I can hear it things in the history of the people. WB One must keep in mind that Howard emer ged as the basis of white and black education moving forward education without limits for anyone regardless of race or class or origin. Indeed, this was the beginning of public education in the United States. ES I see. But the South was kind of different. This is what I was looking for! Du Bois said that (reading from The Souls of Black Folk ), ogramme of industrial education conciliation of the South, and submission and silence as to civil and political rights, was not wholly origina l; the Free Negroes from 1830 up to wartime had striven to build industrial schools, and the American Missionary Association had from the first taught various trades Mr. Washington first indissolubly linked these things; he put enthusiasm, unlimited e nergy, and perfect faith into this programme and changed it from a by path into a veritable interested and won the admiration of the North; and after a confused murmur of protest, it silenced if it did not convert the Negroes themselves. So Howard was a kind of anomaly to this then, you are saying!? WB Yes! With the failure of reconstruction, and the rise of evolutionism, southern legislatures were not about to have Howard Universities withi n their states. Washington understood this politically, and Hampton and Tuskegee were did seek to prepare students for graduate training. ES I see. So Jeff Donaldson is really a fresh spark in th e Howard Art Department with what he did!

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138 WB With the birth of the NAACP and the death of Washington, a new optimism occurred known as the Harlem Renaissance The New Negro which was associated with Howard through Locke. ES Yes, I have seen how he connec ted Howard with Harlem through his visits and exhibitions which he arranged. He saw art as a means of educating the people and restoring them psychically, culturally and spiritually. WB This is why Howard has a very, very special history and should do all it can to remain a comprehensive university. ES You are very right about that. You have pulled this all together for me in a very straightforward way. I always held Howard as special particularly after experiencing the policies and the bearing of the art program under Jeff Donaldson. And I guess The Howard School of Artists is continuing this legacy of the institution whether they know it WB Yes. They are holding on to a connection overtly or otherwise. This interview was conducted with Willie Baber in order to clarify this enduring legacy of Howard University and adds much to the contextualization of the topic under study. It came about in the most i nteresting way as he advocates for the stance of Booker T Washington, historically as seen in his recent paper, yet he believes in and advocates for the Du Boisian and Howard stance. He has a clarifying point in this. e long run, was not that which it seemed at first glance. In the end, his approach served to create a set of institutions that served the

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139 people better. 16 This leads us to many discussions and he has helped me to appreciate, through this stance, the taking Out of this milieu, then, emerged both the institution of Howard University and the different divisions of learning within it. More specialization began to be incorporated into the curriculum. A s courses became added, it would come to be realized that supporting training was needed for some disciplines. In this existentialist way certain disciplines worked their way into the classrooms Some disciplines were to develop into their own areas of tra ining after first serving to supplement other more immediately sought after skills. For the African American population, these skills were, of course, calculated to be foremost in the trades. The courses that were to develop into delivering an art program and an art department to Howard University were introduced in this way, being first introduced as part of the manual arts program. Howard University was chartered in 1866 and classes began in 1867. But even at this primary institution created for the educa tion of adult African Americans in Washington, D.C., the report shows that when the institution opened, the first instructional courses were offered in teaching so that their own teachers could be trained to teach the black population. This teaching cu rriculum shared classrooms with the Industrial and Manual Arts Department, so that in essence, African Americans were being trained to teach their own people in the areas of the manual arts (trades). 17 16 This apparent turn around in the appreciation of the Washington approach has to be understood from the deeply analytical view of Willie Baber and other scholars who hav e revisited Washington. 17 A Proud Continuum: Eight Decades of Art at Howard University Catalogue to the exhibition edited by Carolyn E. Shuttlesworth.

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140 Art historian and Howard Assistant Gallery Director, Sc ott Baker tells us (p. 2) that ev entually drawing was retained as a requirement for the industrial and manual occupational trade courses. ( Baker 2005 ) Reporting on an ensuing debate amo ng curriculum officers at the university over the application of courses in drawing within the curriculum, Scott points out that the introduction of the studio art courses were hard earned as officials had to be convinced that it was necessary for the manu al arts student to learn to render so that they could proceed better in their chosen trades. Such manual arts courses are said to have included tailoring, carpentry, tinning, sewing, and bookbinding. But it was architecture that most required the drafting skills. With this social system in place there was little room for Blacks to develop any early participation in artistic training and development. The primary level at which they participated in the cultural system had them cast into a place where they cou ld ill afford much time or resources to pursue artistic development on any large scale or organized level. To be sure, they were most creative, but only and more so, as creativity related to their day to day activities to make the ordeals of life more bear able. Artistic development, then, as a pure means of expression, which would have been already, quite unfamiliar to them, would not have been sought after. Nevertheless, it would only be a matter of time before individual exposure to the forms and structur es of engagement in this field would be developed and matured to the highest levels of attainment. Some Freedmen were quite entrepreneurial and set out to establish themselves in the trades that they knew. They offered services to other Freedmen as well as to European Americans who were content with seeing some of them achieve their freedom

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141 and try to improve their lot by offering skilled services for low wages. As their material wealth grew, so the freed people would avail themselves of any amenities withi n which the social system would allow them to participate. They started Funds and set about to create some educational facilities and social and civic organizations. This, of course, meant more exposure to developing some of the skills that mainstream Amer ica thought they were incapable of accomplishing. For example, they could acquire old er musical instruments, more books, and probably training for their children in various fields of endeavor and certainly within The Arts one of the fields reserved for the white elite. Thus by a greater and more autonom ous means of participation, Freedmen gradually began to create systems of support and developed aspirations for higher goals and higher orders of living. With this background now established, we can proceed w ith more insight into the processes and intents that engendered the birthin g of the Howard University Department of Art

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142 CHAPTER 5 METHODS AND PROCESSE S OF EXAMINATION The first step in overcoming problem s is to understand their causes. Rollo May .lear ning more accurate history gives students tools with which they can change our culture to make it more just and more factual James W. Loewen In this chapter I o utline the methods and processes by which I engage this research. The methods of engagement ha ve been constructed and selected from the complete repertoire of resources and techniques that we as anthropologists have used over the years. I have adhered to Stanley Barrett call for a reduction and compression of the gap between methods and technique s in research. Thus, in compressing this space, I have merged method and proc ess so that as I present the methods of engagement, I simultaneously present data collected in the process. I have been creative, in some respects, in admitting differing ways of accessing data into the mold of the enquiry. Both my topic and my population of study have thrown me into the employment of some of the strategies used. Others I have selected because they are promising and proven ways of carrying out anthropological work. In actuality, the nature of this study is an investigation of the entire human being and h is or h er society. It has taken a wide circle in its approach and often enters into areas of ethereal exploration. It is philosophical and aesthetic, at once spiritu al and passionate and considers the dynamic aspects of cultural development as well as the function of the human factor in a study of its kind. While en gaged in this study, I have faced the challenges of objectivity, but I have reveled in being positione d to access and to fairly assess findings for an emic yield. The process has been more revealing than yielding as the research proved to be, for the most part, a confirmation of the hypotheses and a n exposition and documenting

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143 of the consolidating of the e xperience of being a part of the community This revelation and affirmation, however, constitute the nexus of praxis in the research proces s and its value in situating my findings within the spheres of knowledge generation, and the addition of new delibera tions within our academic disciplines. This reward has been the immense joy and value of undertaking this project. We now look at the actual strategies that I engaged in the field and expound on each for its worth and its contributions to this research pro cess. The methodological route taken, as indicated, has allowed room for the major dictates and the nature of the discipline in the study as well as the necessary inclusion of a consideration of the human factor The entire array of techniques used, falls under the large umbrella of the ethnographic research. I have push ed the category to the safety of its borders. But because I have created a struc ture of enquiry, commensurate with the nature of the s tudy, I have deemed the routes taken such as the retrie val of data accumulated through oral histories and the examination of archival material and visual forms as an insertion into the field of material culture investigation and fully applicable to this discourse In this way I have blurred bor ders and compar tmentalization in both technique and definitions of them in this cross disciplinary compositional design of a pedagogy meant to achieve rather than to formulate and maintain existing categorizations. Representations of Diaspora Peoples and their Cultures T he historical and literary records indicate that in most cases, people of the Diasporas, have always been spoken for. Dispersed people tend to be sojourners', replanted people, and often have less of a power base, existing amidst dominant cultures. As suc h, they have, historically, had, at best, a seconda ry voice. Those in

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144 power who are in charge of media, and other technological forces, and those in educational institutions in so called developed countries, have most often considered indigenous population s and people of the Diasporas as easy subjects for study. This is true particularly of the people of the African, Jewish, and Latin American, and Oceanic Diasporas. This phenomenon is a recurrentl y challenged theme in Diaspora S tudies in more recent times. It is closely tied to the issue of power, as the transient state of a displaced people often places them at odds with stability and self determination. A new trend began. New ideologies and the deconstruction of power relations after the mass independ ence and decolonization drives among co lonized nations during the 1950s and 1960 s were developing. Schools of thought in academia were taking a new look at power relations between the imperial powers on the one hand and the nations of the p eripheral world on the other. The n ew ideologies were being formulated along with phenomenological understandings of the self and the other and the experiences such understandings were unfolding. Existentialist scholarship was merging across disciplines and presenting a rea listic challenge to established constru ctions of identity and of being. Yet it remains that most of the work done by Diaspora scholars on the studies of their own people, remain little known and are marginalized relative to the mainstream of consulted and recognized sources. In the last several decades, as Diaspora scholars have developed their insights into the structures and processes of power and domination, they have started to make their voices known and D i as pora peoples have demanded to be heard and t o speak for themselves. They request to play a part in the i nterpretation of data collected about them as well as to share in the decisions of the application of the knowledge they

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145 provide the researcher. 1 At the same time the anthropologica l researcher, h as been trying to listen more and to include more the voice of their study colleagues (the researched); often, also making sure to refer some benefits accruing from the re search study back to the people providing the basis for the stud y. This shift in the methods and ethics of the discipline has started a small fissure in the armor of exclusion. This slight shift of power has sent little shock waves into the body of the canons of acceptance of the stream of sources legitimized. As studied societies make t heir voices known and make claims on their material culture and the handling of it, they simultaneously legitimize and empower their native scholars. The academy has begun to turn just a bit of attention to the need to authenticate the studies of those who are of the people; as insider researchers The discipline has responded to this new development in the post colonial era and in the era of post modernity by incorporating new and modified strategies of study reviving the work of scholars who have been marginalized while researchers have become as cross disciplinary as is necessary to accomplish the goals of their respective studies. Among these concerns is an interest in dialogue where there is a two way communication process in which the voice of the subject is heard. There are also cooperative decisions in interpretations and applications of data. New field practices and techniques have been developed. Visual Anthropolog y, for example, possesses the 1 The issue of power also re sides at the core of the feminist desire to speak for the self. According to Barrett, "The discipline, nevertheless, has been dominated by a male interpretation of the world, one which has privileged male activity. Just as post modernists challenge the cap acity and right of western anthropologists to represent or interpret the lives of people in other cultures, feminists reject a scholarly bias that devalues women's activities. The assumption is that women have been to men what natives have been to anthropo logy: dominated, oppressed, and misrepresented."

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146 unique technique of auto photography (Collier and C ollier 1986), in which the study colleague is allowed to present the self through h is /h er own vision of reality using visual techniques. Anthropology is continuing to expose and explore bodies of knowledge which are not yet considered central within the do minant Western education system. Scholars who have generated certain paradigms and bodies of knowledge and who are, for the most part summarily dismissed from the canons of mainstream academic literature are being revisited and presented as alternative so urces and bases f or discourse in the same vein that cultural practices can be seen as being culturally relativistic. As a result, we have had to begin to see the contributions that scholars formerly not considered as anthropologists have made to the field. As I have shown, a cross disciplinary approach has the potential to provide a holistic set of data which provides a more complete picture of a phenomena as complex as art, for example. For the purpose of this study, we may look at two examples of scholars whose work I will rely on in this study ; Alain Locke and W.E.B. Du Bois. Since I will discuss much on Locke in many aspects later for the moment I pause to take a brief look at the work of Du Bois, not considered an anthropologist, but whose work, on cl oser examination, has formed the basis for larger anthropological paradig ms attributed to other scholars ( Harrison 1992 ) We see this example in Faye Harrison (1992) discourse, The Du Boi sian Legacy in Anthropology in which she has already done well to isolate a convincing set of references fo r us. I recount this example here for the purpose of emphasizing the viability of my insistence on an anthropological approach to this study, to clarify the

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147 values of the interdisciplinary approach and to foster an awareness of the need for expansions in o of models in adopting entrances into the canons. I seek to amplify the potential of applying the intersecti ons of the various disciplines in research, while at the same time hoping to show that an anthropological study is at once dyna mic in its considera tion of both relativism and inter or multi disciplinary discourse Epistemology, after all, is culturally determined and culturally specific, and since there is truly no cultural or disciplinary monopoly of epistemology, excepting in th e face of cultural domination and issues of power, diverse sources of epistemologies on ontologies and the interpretations of the metaphysical order, ought to be admitted into the equation of the studies of peoples of the Diaspora. Harrison has outlined f or us a detailed mapping of the work of Du Bois from his direct engagements in actual ethnographic field work among South/North African American sojourners, to his forward of paradigms of examination and his philosophies and ideologies or paradigms of stud y. This consideration is important as understanding the Du Boisian contribution to the field of anthropology is as valuable and as nuanced as appreciating the agency in the work of The Howard School artist s. As the artist s have played the roles of educator s, social and cultural workers, activists, historians, social workers, philosophers in this study, Harrison has opened our eyes to the duplicity of the disciplines within which Du Bois has worked. Looking at how he has been represented by those who have ex amined his work, Harrison declares that his occupation in writings, discourse and field research ranges from historiography, philosophy, and political analysis to soc iology, ethnography and fiction (p. 239). There was one dominant theme ork as a researcher and scholar: the existential condition of the imported

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148 peoples of African descent upon their emancipation from a system of chattel enslavement to some degree of autonomy. Employing the mask of his own terminology, Harrison refers to his app roach in the e fforts he made on this front. approach to the problem of the twentieth century namely race or the color line and to the study of the Black segment of humanity can also be seen as being anthropological in many important res pects. (p. 241). ement in anthropological endeavors. He was recognized in Europe as a prominent scholar, though not so at home in America. 2 According to Harrison, he published in a jou rnal edited by Max Weber who recognized and accredited him as a prominent scholar. He also presented a paper in London for which he got much acclaim. In America in preparation for his publication, The Philadelphia Negro he engaged in some fifteen months o f grounded fieldwork and he took a multidisciplinary approach which has brought much value to better understandings of people of African descent in America Take for example a single work, The Souls of Black Folk where he presents as a historiographer ( Of t he Dawn of Freedom ); a social analyst ( Of our Spiritual Strivings ); a prosaic writer ( Of the Passing of the First B orn ) ; a philosopher ( Of the Sons of Master and Man ); a political analyst ( Of the quest of the Golden Fleece and Of the Black Bel t ); A Religio us and Social Critic ( Of the Faith of the Fathers ) all of these among other things. Farah Jasmine Griffin, in the introduction to The Souls of Black Folk (2 003, ed.) 2 Europe, Paris especially, to study and to gain some kind of support and recognition. If for no other re ason, they would at least be welcomed to equal training in unsegregated conditions.

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149 points out that, Du Bois turns to academic fields of knowledge such as history, sociology and philosophy to assist in his interpretation of the complexity of black liv es ( Griffin 2003 ) ( The Souls of Black Folk xvii). She adds that he also turns to elegy, poetry, religion, and song. And as Harrison tells us that he employ ed all of the methodologies of the anthropological discipline and that he put attention on, the (p. 243 ) Du Bois, she says, believed that direct and prolonged observation and historical depth were integral to research on Black problems. Social descriptions and explanations had to be grounded on an accurate and adequate historical base, because present conditions are not understandable without some reference to the pa s t (p. 243). This t hought process, is inherently the Sankofa system to which Locke later drew attention and which became the central philosophy of The Howard School of Artist s. It is also the human materialism of which Paul Magnarella speaks, and the cultural relativism ascr ibed to Boas Any call for the notation of context and time in the attempt to understand cultures, will usually undoubtedly r eveal ethno variable understand ings and appreciation for variables in the present. Harrison also refers to two other scholars ( Gree n and Driver, 1978, p. 35), claiming that, Du Bois [possesse d] an inductive methodology an d concern for social This being so, then, he was the fore runner for that field within which so many and increasing numbers of people are workin g today applied anthropology. It has been argued that Boas pproac h to

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150 understanding the cultural and social issues facing one Diaspora group of people, in particular. 3 The discourse continues to list several scholars of anthropolog y on whom Dubois had a direct influence I except to mention, in the case of the most notable of them all, S t Clair Drake to whom I refer consistently throughout this study and to whose paradigm of historical human materialism which incorporates historical and cultural particularism at both the metaphysical and ph ilosophical levels. Drake 4 work and stated the influence that Du Bois had on him, an eminent and acclaimed anthropologist, yet though not given his own full credit in the canons of main stream 3 Bois needs to be more closely examined in order to assess the extent to which he may been influenced by Du Bois and other African now know more about the ongoing dialogue that Melville Herskovits had with African American scholars, who challenged him to transcend the assimilationism that informed and limited his early research on unadulterated examination of the historiographic record, and all of these examinations and revisions are necessary especially for the reasons that James Loewen has shown in his series of texts and other publications. Re examinations are necessary to set the records straight as well as to understand the systems and behavior s of today. For more on this topic see Loewen (1997 and 2009 and others). 4 Conversations were held throughout the Spring and Fall semesters of 2010 with Willie Baber with whom I served as a teaching assistant in the spring semester of the same year. Baber was also a student of behavior (See Baber, 1990; A tribute to St Clair Drake: Activist and Scholar in Transforming Anthropology 1(2):18 24. Harrison say racial and multi

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151 American anthropology. St Clair Drake often took to considering himself more of an activist than a scholar as conversations with his student Willie Baber reveals. He performed to the total credit of his clients of study and to the mission of the d rive for equal rights and recognition for dispossessed peoples. Harrison tells us that in an in terview with George Bond when asked about major influences upon his intellectual development, in par t Drake replied, ( Bond 1988 ) I also read T he Crisis and was shaped by Dr. Du B ois. Harrison continues to tell us that, Later in the interview he amplified this point when discussing his contact with several Black intellectuals at the Du Bois, through The C risis was of course (p. 251). It is clear that, in spite of these influences being overlooked by the lack of scrutiny given him by the bulk of scholars i n the field, D u Bois is to be recognized as a fore runner and foundation for the work and many of the research methods developed in anthropological studies over the years and that, he is solidly grounded as an anthropologist evidenced by his scholarship an d research and the methods of his study as well as the concerns and topics of his engagement. He has called for a level playing field in the examination of the socia l and cultural studies of the 20 th century dilemma; the issue of race especially in America He was way ahead of his time in his analyses and in his philosophies and insights. Farah Jasmine Griffin regards him as an anthropologist because, in fact, he did exactly what anthropologists do. The Souls of Black Folk she says, is based upon interdis ciplinary understanding of black life, on historically grounded and philosophically sound analysis, on the scholars role as advocate and activist [applied anthropology and sustainable scholarship], and on close

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152 study of the cultural products of the object (xv). He played the role of an inside investigator. She states in her introduction to the 2003 edition of The Souls of Black Folk that : Du Bois promises readers that he has stepped within the veil and raised it to expose deeper recess es. While he elsewhere claims to have lived behind the Veil throughout his life, here he positions himself as someone who dwells both within and outside its cover and most important, as the investigator, the communicator, the native informant who can rend er the mysteries behind the Veil known (p. xvii) Du Bois, it would seem, nods his approval on this point of view in The Forethought (pp. 3 4). His last statement seems to serve as a reminder. And, finally, need I add that I who speak here am bone of the bone and flesh of the flesh of them that live within the Veil? (p. 4). It is actually graphically clear, when we give his work the attention that it deserves tha t the major and underlying aspect of his scholarship is indeed anthropology. The fact is tha t had he been from the dominant culture, his work would have been lauded, scholars would have scrambled over each other to analyze all possible aspects of his person a nd his scholarship on their way to theses and dissertations to canonize him as one of the greatest thinkers of the Western world. It is my view that even though he has become known largely for his double consciousness and ( one time) talented tenth theories there are ideas of his, more pertinent to the condition of the African American tod ay, than these may be. I have in mind, fo r example, in the light of continued reversals of affirmative action laws in some states today and the obliterating of ethnic studies programs in some educational systems, his idea that the deprivations placed upon African American s for such a long and intense period of time, of consequence, places them in a handicapped position with respect to participating fully in the systems into which they found themselves placed after

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153 emancipation and continue today There were many negative burdens that they had to get rid of. The weight and intensity of these burdens are taken at face value by the dominant society. The ability to combat the 400 year long period of dehumanization would have necessitated several steps most of th ese the reversal of deep psychological scars, fear, lack of confidence and conditioned feelings of subservience before even the ability to begin to advance could take place. This is all relevant and extremely important in contextualizing the work of The Howard School of Artist s. What I seek to accomplish with these seeming diversions, is, in fact, twofold. On the one hand I seek to prepare myself for the study by inserting myself into the community (through archival historiography the eyes of Du Bois, an erudite scholar and eminent philosopher, anthropologist and historian) in a contextual way seeing the precedent factors that created the phenomena I study. On the second hand, I seek to inform and direct the reader into understanding my field of inquiry an thropology, as a holistic discipline which seeks to be as culturally relativistic as methods of examination can allow regardless of and despite dominant and popular views and opinions. This is the redeeming characteristic that attracted me to the field in the first place and to deny myself of taking advantage on this potential of the field would be giving up the opportunity to get to understand and to know. Referr ing to Du Bois again I see his role as fore runner in his work. James Loewen today perhaps dr aws from him who, in 1898, said, At such a time true lovers of humanity can only hold higher the pure ideals of science, and continue to insist that if we would solve a problem we must study it, and that there is but one coward on earth, and that is the c oward that dare not know ( Dubois 1898: 27 ) This is not unlike James

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154 present trend of thought as exhibited, for example, in Teaching What Really Happened: How to Avoid the Tyranny of Textbooks and get Students Excited About Doing History (2009). As Griffin points out, Du Bois hoped that reason, the social scien ces, and academic research would clarify things and that they might play a part in the eradication of racial ignorance and prejudice. 5 Situating Established and Emergent Ideas on the Study of African and African American Art Forms Before moving on to my methods and techniques in the field, I think it useful and the correct time, after having examined Du Bois and having placed his approach to his scholarship as anthropologist, that we pause to discuss the application of the discipline of anthropology to this research. When in the 1990s, I first thought of pursuing further studies in art, I began to explore the art history programs of several universities. After teaching the studio arts in a liberal arts setting for some seven years, I wanted to study asp ects of art that I was convinced the art historical approach, as I knew it, might not allow me to. I realized that an anthropological approach would offer the structures in which I had come to find interest. Most early art historical model s of examination took the old route of formal analysis of works of art and objects were considered art within certain canons of the process of evaluation. But resulting from the de colonialized domination of all forms of tastes and aesthetics, disciplines of examination su ch as anthropology and to some degree, art history, began taking a new, more pluralistic approach to the study of art forms. The lines between some art historical approaches and the anthropological 5 Farah J, Griffin, in the in troduction to Souls of Black Folk, p. xx.

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155 methods became somewhat blurred as the art historian began to appreciate the function and need of placing art objects within the contexts of the societies in which they were produced. Historical, technological and sociological factors generating the art forms, began to become as important as the works themselves and widened the discussions on both context and philosophy The mode of inquiry in some art historical circles over the last sixty or so years under study in order to gene rate a fuller comprehension of the society in which or for which the work of art is produced. In art history this has been especially so for scholars undertaking studies of Non Western societies. Prominent among such scholars, over the past few decades, as reported by Ben Amos and Moni Adams, are Roy Seib er, Robert Farris Thompson and Herbert Cole as leaders and their students following right after. I argue for an anthropological approach to this study based on two primary identifiable reasons. The first i s the need of the subject itself, since I focus on the aspect of agency in the Howard School of Artists work I must establish a historical background and present the context within which the work is produced The second is in response to the history of th eoretical approaches that have been attached to the study of art objects in the West over the years. I gravitate to the new scholarship in art historical studies which has emerged over the period of the decades particularly since the 1950s. Because of th e complexities of the nature of this syncretic, hybrid cultural form under examination, it must be examined within its own context since it belongs to a culture that has been very often misrepresented and/o r over looked and marginalized. O ften not

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1 56 enough i s known about its sources, its message and its intent. E specially in the case of T he Howard School of Artists who adhere closely to the traditional African cultural concepts of art as an integrated aspect of life, this anthropological approach to the study of their work is essential to understanding the uniqueness of the products of this school of thought. Yet, by the very nature of their emergence from a syncretistic background, the works on their own account, are not at all exempt from the Western tradit ional art historical examination. I will briefly present an examination of the established mode of artistic examination and the new developments within the art historical field which examines art more so within its ethno relative cultural context, as do anthropologists and some art historians ( Abiodun, 1994; Ani, 10980, 1994; Benjamin, 1977 ; Boas 1955 ; Cole 19 70, Coleman 2003 ; Drewal, 1994; Gaither 1989; 2001 ; Harris 1970, 2001; Harrison 1992 ; Hatcher 1999 ; Lynch, 1993 ; Otten 1971 ; Ortiz 1982; Pemb erton, 1994; Poynor 1974, 1995 ; Price 2010 ; Sieber 1962,1967 ; Thompson 1971, 1974,1983 ; Vison 1987; Wardlaw 1989 ). I will undertake t his direct address of this issue through the work of two scholars who ha one fr om a socio/cultural approach, and the other from t he art historical perspective. In a series of papers published at the height of the academic discourse on methods, theory and practice in the field of academic research Paula Ben Amos ( Ben Amos 1989 ) and Moni Adams ( Adams 1989 ) engage a close scrutiny of African Art studies over the years. I will focus on these two papers since they have been found to be the more concise and direct ly related to the subject. In fact the papers interact in the role that one author has taken in addressing the issues raised by the other. Both

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157 papers were published in the Journal African Studies Review in 1989 and provide a useful review of a topic tha t is central to the study of the creative visual works of colonized and indigenous peoples. I will narrow this review even more by centralizing it scholarly activity that cha s, when research The problem that arises in the emic discourse of intercultural co ntact and communication and interpretations is tied up in the every existential nature of being and understanding (Barthes 1967, 1981; Hall 1959, 1966, 1977; Jackson 1966 ). While the real root of the problem lies within the definitions an d insertions of the dominant upon the objects and practices of another, and I am eager that we redefine and expound on the term art used to address creative visual forms of all cultures with varying ontologies and views of the cosmological order, it is a large topic which we refrain from entering here. Perhaps the unraveling of this issue will begin with the refining of the Western notions of that which defines art and a re examination of the West's own history of the origin and role of the creative visu al form w i thin its culture. Paula Ben Amos in her essay refers to The social perspective [which] depend [s] not so much on disciplinary affiliation as on the kind of stands taken on the nature of art and on the relative importance of culture as an explan atory principle in un derstanding its meaning. ( p. 1). She sets out to the task of articulating the main models that have been utilized in social research on African art and with tracing their impact on the development of art studies. (p. 1). As such, sh e approaches the discourse from the

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158 perspective of cultural particularism and discusses three dominant paradigms which she says, have shaped the research in African art from a social perspective. These models are the ...particularist, functionalist, a nd structural symbolic approaches, and they are rel ated to theories developed by Emile Durkheim, Marcel Maus, A.R. Radcliffe Brown, Bronislaw Malinowski and Franz Boas. Ben Amos makes reference to an important concept which I strive to underline throughou t this study. This she explains as general issues related to the Western perspective, which profoundly affect research in the arts. (p.1). Quoting V. Y. Mudimbe in a reference he made in 1986, what is called African art covers a wide range of objects in troduced into historicizing perspective of European values since the eighteenth century. .. she then sums up that, Western understandings, definitions, and classifications have provided the framework for conceptualizing African [and world] art. (p. 3). A central distinction that she makes is the need to explore a complete understanding of the cultural factors that generate an art form. This is preferred to other traditional paradigms of art studies. The functionalist' understanding of art, she says, is a direct result of their position on the relative significance of society as opposed to culture as a major explanatory variable. In this they stand in direct contrast with the historical particularist school...For the historical particularists, culture is the f ocus of study. The functionalist notion was that art as part of culture is secondary because it give them artistic shape. (p.4). All in all, the functionali sts saw function in art, but that cording to Firth, says Adams, to produce an

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159 Firth, 1951:179. (p.4). But as she continues, Although they [ the three models]do not define culture in exactly the same way, all include the beliefs, customs and values that are passed on from generation to generation by individuals through the process of socialization. Art is part and parcel of cultural tradition, and hence potentially as valuable and int eresting to study as any other aspect of this tradition (p.4). It is this approach that I employ in this study of these part African and part American. It is applicable and useful for they hold strongly to their African ancestry and subscribe to African cosmologies and ontological sources in their intent. While hybridized, the culture of their art subscribes to the African conce pt of being, still somewhat enmes hed in the fabric of daily life (p. 4). I approach its examination from all of the mentioned perspectives rialist paradigm. I completely circumvent the within pictorial analytical strategies. So then, with Ben Amos, I assume the Boas ian stance of opposition to cultural evo lution ism, adopting his view that there could not be one form ula applicable to all cultures. Boaz, instead, argued that to be gin to understand phenomena it is necessary to carefully build upon knowledge of particular cultures in terms of their environme nts and individual histories and that intensive fieldwork was essential to understand these ( Adams, p. 23). Ben Amos continues to disc uss the issue concluding that, Several studies suggest that there are ways to deal with creativity that do not involve im posing one's own definitions on other people's work. This entails shifting the focus away from

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160 the romantic views of the lone creative individual accepting the limitations imposed by his society or fighting against them and looking at the process of creati on and the indigenous conc epts of what innovation entails (p. 30). Indeed a clear understanding of what creativity is and involves is essential to the study of the product of creativity. In fact in the community participant forum that is conducted later in this research) this is exactly where we started our discussion. Additionally, since we cannot escape some impositions of our cultural norms on another when we examine and discuss the other, I suggest that we be alert and pay full attention at all times to minimizing, to the ultimate extent that we can, clouding the meanings of the other and assuming to speak for them from outside of their culture. To begin, I would suggest an earnest attention to misplaced linguistic applications as the basis of this re visionist agenda. Now knowing what we know, I call for a full re examination of the use of the term art in the examination of traditional and early forms of creative visual expression not only from non Western traditions, but also within the Western wor ld itself. I believe that a full discourse of this matter is necessary for scholarly consumption and for establishing clarities that will remove some clouds which have been ignored within the disciplines. Moni Adams, in her essay, African Visual Arts from an Art Historical Perspective, enga ges what she refers to as a complement to the earlier examination by Paula Ben Amos of art studies from an anthropological perspective (p. 55). In tracing and outlining the route that art historical studies of (most) no n Western art has taken, we are able to see that across both disciplines, a social/cultural approach has become the more holistic or more organic and yie lding approach. First, I review her development of the topic and then present her suggestions or resolu tion on the matter.

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161 Sub Saharan African sculpture began to enter the Art Historical discipline in America in the 1950s. This was quite late, but it was in keeping with the climate of the segregated culture that existed which would have been self defeating were it to acknowledge art worthy of academic study developed by the ancestors of the people the s ociety regarded as chattel and incapable of the sensibil ities of 'civilized' societies. When it did begin, it drew a lot from the fields of the people who f irst occupied themselves with the subjec t. Adams refers to them as a miscellaneous group of people, neither trained nor identifyi ng themselves as art historians (p. 55) These persons have included, Ethnologists and ethnology museum curators, colonial a dministrators and teachers, anth ropologists and missionaries... (p. 55). This interest in the topic came about because of the revival shown in African art in the 1920s and thi s was so, as she points out, p rimarily because of the role attributed to it in the rise of modern art style (p.55). The ethnocentric agenda that resu lted was further compounded by the fact that, as she says: Saharan western and central regions of the continent, where the larger wood and metal sculptures originated. Following categories established in Europe, only sc ulptural form in wood mainly figures and masks ...the great differences in cultural practices meant that simple questions such as What is it? How is it made? What is it for? had to be addressed, and this information had to come initially from ethnographic accounts, most of it derived from European publications. Thus sub Saharan art studies came into being in the United States inextricably bound up with a double heritage of art and an thropological concerns' (p. 55) Adams then surmises that, The principal reason for the marginal status of sub Saharan art studies that emerged from this review is its failure to satisfy the demands of either of the two disciplines. (p. 55). But I would argue that even here, thought and language, as well as the perspective from which one writes, affect the interpretations. A

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162 more accurate rendition of this response, I belie ve, would be to say that it is the failure of either of the two disc iplines to satisfy its demands. In the 50s and 60s there were few courses on art historical studies of sub Saharan creative form s of art. On this Adams says: ...it seems to have been a condition that grew out of the methods and un derlying philosophies of traditional art his tory as an academic discipline. It is worth noting that an a rt historian is not anyone who studies art but a scholar who has been educated in certain, very sp ecific techniques and beliefs. Art historians are wont to enga ge in their cardinal technique ...analyzing style. Style is the manner in which a work is articulated, including both conventional and unique features [and] this ...has long been an approved means of classification of works of art, based on the assumption that style is unique to a specific place or period (Schapiro, 1953). (p. 56) The problem is as Adams informs us, Ethnological mus eums in Europe [which held and studied most of these forms] possessed.. .insufficient documentation to es tabl ish provenience. (p. 56). She tells us of the subsequent logical developments In the US, emphasis on stylistic analysis (Wingert, 1950) was encouraged by the popularity of formalism in studies in modern art, the field m ost sympathetic to African art... We can understand how scholars of a marginal subject such as sub Saharan sculpture might choose to work within the dominant intellectual paradigm of style as a strategy to bring their subject into respected status in art history. Style also afforded a unified approach to the diverse sculptural forms confronting them. (p. 56) Several other factors are worth pointing out here. A conundrum was literally developed in the exercise to incorporate examination of the African traditional symbols and artifacts into the Western canons of art. Adams tells us that William Fagg, the curator and keeper of African collections at the British Museum was the most influential authority for th e US public ... and that he promoted the view that each tribe was a closed cultural universe, expressing itself in a dis tinct recognizable and unitary (p. 57 ).

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163 And th ere were still other problems! The language of analysis was another distancing element. The terminology of stylistic analysis in art history was shaped by qualiti es particular to painting, as Adams tells us (p.57). Of course, painting, as existed in the Western culture and language hardly, if ever, existed within these African societies. So the language of thick description was already loaded probably inappro priate. At another level language was still a problem! Creative form is integrally link ed to the other communicative modes within which it ( Hall 1986 ) The platform used by the early discussants was flawed in its r elation and application to the art of Africa Thus to begin to discuss the tangible creative form (art) of one culture and cosmological order created and made intact as a reality an element of the existential order which defines and gives meaning to its creator and super imposes on set of realities upon another ( Hall 1977 ) But in the 1950s and the 1960s, as Adams says art historians in the United States began to give more attention to the content of a work of art because of the influence of Erwin Panofsky (1892 1968), a German ar t historian teaching in the US. (p. 58). Pa nofs ky is said to have proposed a three stage method of analyzing content through car eful identification of imagery. In practice, the documents that Panofsky and his colleagues drew on for the interpretations were limited to higher level philosophical id eas (linked to the Gr e co Roman or Biblical traditions). There were obvious difficulties in applying this art historical method to sub Saharan sculpture...With so little knowledge of the culture of origin, iconology could not be attempted. (p. 58)

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164 So then, by freely contrasting African art to European art as other, the objects could be valued and enjoyed for precisely these qualities of otherness. Otherness was indicated by th a term applied in the 50s and 6 0s to all arts produced outside literate cultures. For many art historians, this special ca tegory of art had a low status. (p. 59). In addition, two prominent scholars, Herbert Read and Ernest Gombrich further ingrained this stereotype of African art The y projected the view of it as being, inspired by emotions, mainly fear...the widespread, negative notion of sub Saharan African art as superstitious practices, lacking the higher values intrinsic to European civilizations. Africans had customs, not cult ur e (p. 59). 6 Welcome a new generation of art historians who sought to develop a new study approach. These were the core group of students of three professors, Roy Sieber, Robert Farris Thompson and Douglas Frazer from Indiana, Yale and Columbia universiti es who trained them into their vision for the revised study paradigms for the genre. They emerged on the scene in the following decades the 60s and 70s. They were inspired by a tacit mission to counter the perceived negat ive opinions of African culture p. 59). It was Roy Sieber who set the pace on this new mission which began to define the new approach. Adams elaborates on this saying t hat: 6 T he very idea of art from the lower region of the continent being designated African art while the art of the northern regions, in particular Egypt with its long history of great civilizations, become dissected a way from its sore point for Howard school artists and art historians. In many of the art history surveys, African art of Egypt is placed in its own category and given no association with the continent. Such realizations have prompted Howard School artists to create many works with iconography and euphemistic me ssages that speak to this some with titles such as The Last Time I Saw Egypt it was in Africa and from Thebes to Memphis and Back.

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165 Progress toward something more than accommodation began in the 60s with the engagement of three professional art historians at major American universities ...this advance came about as a result of changes during the decade in the larger political an d social scene; the rising public interest in the newly independent sub Saharan African nations and the civil rights movement, the response to the rising assertion of publi c identity by black Americans [of which Howard University and Howard School artists pl ayed a pivotal role] (p. 59) These three scholar/professors were to form the basis of the new African art scholarship and they required that their students at the doctoral level engage in periods of research living among the people whose work they we re ex amining. Adams says they were aware of stretching the boundaries of the discipline by adopting some aspects of anthropological theory and methods. These professors soon produced a new generation of art historians occupied with the field of African Art. A mong these were Arnold Rubin, Robin Poynor, Rene Bravmann and Herbert Cole, whose work is consulted herein. Through my professors at Howard University in the 1980s, I was made very aware of the work of these scholars Thompson and Sieber in particular. Thei r work was admired because the Howard faculty lov ed their revision of the old colonialist approach to African art. They were often quoted in class, papers, and discourse I was especially te advisor and one of my premier academic mentor s and friend, Malkia Roberts, happened to be a docent at the National Museum of African Art and developed an extensive library of exhibition catalogs she used for her own enrichment as well as to prepare hers elf for highlighting the various exhibitions to the audience; something she did with boundless energy and enthusiasm. As I spent much time either in her office, in her classes or in her studio, I was privy to examining these books. Malkia often forwarded s ome of her

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166 book s to me as she replaced them with updated versions or found that she had duplicated her purchases. One of the sources, her own marked study copy which she had given to me which I now find usefully related to this discussion is the catalog to the inaugural exhibition at National Museum of African Art at its new site on the Mall in Washington, D.C. The exhibition was curated and essayed u pon by no ne other than Roy Sieber (jointly with Roslyn Adele Walker). The exhibition, African Art in the Cyc le of Life being the exhibition that marking the opening of the ne Art an extension of the Smithsoni an Institution chain of museums was a landmark event, with works borrowed from every corner of the globe. In the introduction, Sieber sets out aspects of the new ideologies behind the revised approach to the study of African a rt. I re emphasized that these ideas were being ensconced within the Howard Art Department and had taken root as a source of pride. In the introduction to the catalog, Sieber briefly outlines the development in the study of African culture objects. It is t his plumbed approach of understanding that endeared him to Howard faculty. 7 7 clearly expressed in this discourse. E xcerpts extracted from this discussion compress this vision that seen as curiosities made by exotic peoples, the sculptures were not considered by outs iders as art. Christian and Islamic missionaries, in their attempts to convert Africans from their traditional religions, dismissed the sculpture as evidence of benighted heathen savagery. Only in the early years of the twentieth century did artists and cr i forms to break away from what they considered an aesthetically bankrupt past, Western artists turned to the forms of non Western and non It was this open hones ty and directness of etails as the way he uses the term which he places the discourse. m of history that cannot be judged by the same rules as our Western sense of his tory. After discussing the traditional African view of human eventuality as being the vie w of an as suggested by John Mbiti in Afr ican R eligions and Philosophy (1969 ), Sieber continues to

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167 I use this archival research here, to connect Howard art ideology to that of the new African Art history scholars as well as position myself relative to this approach and technique of studying the art of displaced Africans. As Howar d students, the message Sieber was sending was considered a good addition to the intent and goals of pursuing a Howard Education. Some faculty members began to forge relationships with these take the cultural particularist view, emphasizing the need to discourse on the African forms from within the culture, and points to changes that have occurred within the disciplinary studies of oth er cultures over recent years.He says, Western societies began to change with the development of anthropol o gy, yet with this change the works of the African artist were relegated to the anthropological sections of natural hist ory museums Sieber allocates some of this change to the development of the discipline of anthropology The most enduring point that is made however, which exposes the gap in the entire program of the definition and attributions of standardization that the culture of empowerment has place on the genre of the culture, is sculptures of figure and masks. They are made to play a part in the cycles of life as Mbiti pointed out. They are ofte n left to the elements and may be recalled to join the ancestors often, to whom they belonged in the first place. Sieber makes the extremely important point that shows the dangers of cultural superimpositions in cases of such asymmetrical relationships as exits between colonizer and colonized, ethnocentrism and power against the oppressed and unassertive. He says that, exhibition has had its life cycle interrupted. Made to be used and then used up or perhaps accidentally such objects. As one scholar suggests, perhaps the term is improperly applied and the name for traditional African expressions of this kind should be named from within the cultures themselves possibly ure of incubation. Especially since these forms were used to the extent that they were in societies with informal recorded means of communication, I suggest a revival of the insertion of the mores and processes of the societies in these works, and from a c ultural relativist point of view, suggest that we combine elements from both cultures in In the final analysis, he een particularly since about 1950 that many art historians have concentrated on the study of African a 12). Later, 2001, his student Robin Poynor would join with others of the new study approach, Monica Blackmun Vison, Herbe rt Cole, Michael Harris, Susan Preston Blier and Rowland Abiodun, to produce A History of Art in Africa

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168 mainstream ar t historians. 8 Flash of the Spirit became one of the premier references of art studies at Howard and he was quoted often. The text was invaluable to me during research and writing for my Master of Fine Arts degree. Many years later, leading up to this research project, as I took a class with Robin Poynor at the University of Florida, I had the opportunity to meet Roy Sieber and to be engaged more directly with his work as he resided at the university as an honored scholar for a year During this time he conducted a seminar and curated the notable exhibition, African Art: Permutations of Power at the Harn Museum This decision for an anthropological approach of study, therefore, inclusive of the modern Af rican Art Historical methods is necessary, as we have seen, because the group I study claims a hybrid existence. Like the later African Art historians, inserting themselves into the culture and learning something of the etiologies and language of the culture, one comes closer to an emic interpreta tion of the values, symbols and objects of the society. I consider this step absolutely necessary for any study that would be other than an egocentric account that at the best can be a representation of the reality without regard for cultural underpinnings nuances and heuristic elements of a foreign ecology and cosmological order. I re emphasize that I have proposed and adhere to a similar approach in this study and value my insertion into this community by my indigenaiety having been a part and product of the community. A work of creative expression ( art ) comes from a place that is osmotic, absorbing and filtering sensibilities and reactions that are complexly engrained in and intertwined

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169 with the fabric of the culture and its systems. In addition, it carries with it the psycho cultural dynamics of the individual(s) producing it. Thus, that the individual address such a complex mix, he/she must be initiated into the role of alchemist, mixing environment and ecology, cosmology, religion, history, cultur e, social systems, technology, human relationships, power relationships, politics to fashion a philosophy and form that is a symbol of a reality and the processes of being. So, as Hans Bettin g (1987) has said there is, a need for models of sociological re search, functional analysis, and reception aesthetics as ways of relating the special qualities of a given work or art back to its world. As this dissertation is in the final stages of its revision, committee m ember Robin Poynor who as one of the pioneeri ng students of Roy Sieber, did his field research living among the Yoruba speaking peoples of Nigeria, and who has published extensively on the arts of Africa, (see bibliography for partial list of works), is in the final stages of publishing a co edited t ext on his present research. He has brought the ethnographic methods and techniques Sieber required of him for his studies in Nigeria, home to a local application. This research, in his own words, traces the impact of African thought and African example o n populations in Florid a. Poynor who is a professor of Art History Studies for over thirty years. He expands further on the nature of his present research saying t hat the work he did in Nigeria at the dawn of the era when art historians began to do ethnographic field studies among their population s of examination, has formed t he basis for my explorations into the arts and visual environments created in the United States (and

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170 especially Florida) by those who have converted to Yoruba orisha veneration. (From The Center for African Studies Report, 2010; University of Florida, Spring 2011 issue, p. approximates, on some levels, the stance of the Howard School artists, yet in a more ritualistic and probably more ecclesiastical manner. Poynor has employed the same technique of cultural immersion used in this study Still, as Poynor points out, in an interview in April 2011, a new trend has been seen in the work of several scholars recently, such as Sharon Patton, Michael Harris, Maude Wahlman, John Vlach, and others, who began as students of African art history have carried these approaches of conte xtual studies to African America art. ( Poynor 2011 ) In some cases, like Robert Thompson did, they have engaged this approach in their scholarship, tracing continuities between traditional African cultures and African American displays. In strategizing to do an anthropological investigation in the study of the visual creative form within this context, I have considered all of the foregone approaches, both philosophical and applied, to the study of art objects and art movements I have regarded the creative visual forms as material culture or otherwise artifacts, in order to transfer them into the sphere of narratives rather than retaining them as mere aesthetic entities I tend to overlook the formal elements of the work, as indicated before, leaving that aspect to the absorptio n of the reader. The reader therefore, is not treated to a work for work analy sis of material culture objects discusse d in this section of the study.

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171 Gearing for the Field Ascertaining the role that on e is about to play in entering ethnographic research includes giving thought to oneself relative to the community one intends to study. In former times and still in many circum stances, anthropological work was carried out in situations which provide for qu ite info rmal entry into the community. Now, w here I nstitutional R eview B oard approval may or may not be of great importance, admissi on to the community is comprises often a kind of sojourn, where interaction is mostly at an informal level in keeping with l ocal customs and habits. One might get inserted into the society live the day to day experiences alongside the members of the community and, make the choices necessary to achieve the intended goal. In most such situations the direction of power flow is st ill conceived as being uni directional. The power flows downward from the anthropologi s t 9 In all cases, however, the researcher needs to be aware of the need of beginning with the se lf. Knowledge of oneself is the defining factor in navigating the course o f the the gravity of the situation wi thin which he/she has become placed; that h is /h er very presence within the community has the potential to change the dynamics and that h i s /h er research design, process of inserting the self in the community, and means by 9 Much of this is due to the fact that still, throughout all quarters of the globe, the anthropological effort remains tainted with the idea of the being attached to Western civilization in any way, from being photographed, to bei ng rewarded for enacting a ceremony, or for being cooperative, still places the community as subjective to the researcher. We are aware also that the nature of this phenomena, that of who in the community is seen as being closest to the potentially generat ive force of gain and exposure to new things the researcher, has impacted research processes and responses.

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172 which the didactics of the inquiry is carried out, can significantly promote or hinder the process as well as interpretations and lastly, the welfare of the studied societ y In studying up, in my case, I had little to worry about with affecting the responses of my colleagues. Their characteristics as ed ucators and scholars themselves was a great advantage as they were wont to be clarifiers of aspects of the study as well as due to the fact that, to begin with, their role as a s chool of philosophy was built upon the intent to clarify and to correct misinterpretations of their people and their ancestry. Studying as Indigenous and Native Anthropologist In the wake of new method s of study approach, other responses have been the emergenc e of native anthropology, and indigenous anthropology. Native anthropology is considered to be the relationship between researcher and the research population when the former returns to h is or h er native culture to engage in fieldwork. In addition, both researcher and the research population are considered to have to be situated as an ethnic minority So in this case the researcher is working among h is /h er own people within a culturally hegem onic state This provides a useful situation where the researcher is both subject and object To the extent of the limits of human factors, such research should produce high yield ing emic understandings. Indigenous anthropologists, referred to as Third World or peripheri zed culture anthropologists, now do their research within their own societies. Delmos Jones, an Afri can A merican anthropologist defines native anthropology as more than mere technique. H e refers to it as, a set of theories based on no n Western precepts and assumptions in the same sense that modern anthropology is based on and has suppo rted Western beliefs and values ( Jones 1982 : 472 478 ) This would suggest the admission of Afrocentric Oceanic, Eastern, M iddle eastern and other native ontological

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173 and epistemological ideologies to the discourse and would therefore envelop ideologies of both i ndigenous and Diaspora peoples. There are many benefits to being a native or inside investigator in the field. Having inside knowledge of the culture one can circumvent admission problems, shorten time and process allotments, clarify situations, and gain the invisibility or blending useful to acces s some areas and functions. With experience, the native ethnographer learns to apply objectivity to the degree that it informs the study under consideration and to be flexible in designing and executing strategies to accomplish their goals. In Culture and Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis Renato, Rosaldo shows the values of investigators applying their skills to their own cultures. He prefaces this by showing how the gap between objectivity and truth analysis and emic involvement can be cl osed in et hnographic research: To follow the meandering course of ethnographic inquiry, field workers require wide ranging theoretical capacities and finely tuned sensibilities. After all, one cannot predict beforehand what one will encounter in the field Clyde Klu ckholn, even went so far as to recommend a double initiation: first, the ordeal of psychoanalysis, an d then that of fieldwork (p 7) Rosaldo shows that the local voice is now valued because : The truth of objectiv ism absolute, universal, and timeless ha s lost its monopoly status. It now competes on more nearly equal terms, with the truths of case studies that are embedded in local contexts shaped by local interests, and colored by local perceptions. The agenda for social analysis has shifted to include not only eternal verities and lawlike generalizations but also political processes, social changes, and human differences Such terms as objectivity, neutrality, and impartiality refer to subject positions once endow ed with great inst itutional authority, but the y are arguably neither more nor less valid than those of more engaged, yet equally perceptive, knowledgeable social actors Social analysis must now grapple with the realization that its objects of analysis are also analyzing subjects, who criticall y interrogate ethnographers their writings, their ethics, and their politics (p. 21)

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174 This new anthropology, he refers to as subaltern social analysis and notes the point that, The term participant observation reflects even as it shapes the field work double persona and that the optimal field worker would then, be prepared to, dance on the edge of a paradox by simultaneously becoming one of the people and remaining an academic. After examining the case of Dorinne Kondo, which reflects a work ing case of the required balance addressed here, he concludes that, The discipline only stands to lose by ignoring how the oppressed analyze their own condition. Indeed, the dominated usually understand the dominant better than the reverse, (p. 189). 10 In the sense that I am of African descent, dispersed in the same fashion as the community of Howard Artist s (though native to Jamaica), I am part of the African Diaspora and in the sense of the philosophy and i ntent as a uniting factor, I am a native and ad opted member of the community ; hence I am pursuing native anthropology As a student of the Department of Art at Howard University, I also came to be a part of the particular community in that I developed the skills and intents of this School as a student as well as from the lived experience gain ed from social interactions on communal and personal levels. In this way I become an inside researcher. During this time, and for another te n or eleven years after this, I continued to live closely to the community interacted through conference attendance, participation in and attendance at art exhibition s and social functions, maintained personal relationships with fellow alumni 10 Kondo, who is a Japanese American who had returned to her native country to undertake research, was able to theorize her experience of negotiating observer, native and academician.

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175 and former teachers, and curated exhibiti ons of the works of the Howard Art F aculty an d other community artist s. This research is being undertaken some twenty years since having left the institution and some twe lve years after being removed from the close living proximity to the community. Though some contact has continually been maintaine d with the institution and with a few individuals, a physical relocation as well as enrollment in a new institutional culture and discipline, placed me on return to the community as an external investigator. Identifying with the population under study as a person of African descent dispersed, as well as by being of The Howard School of Art I consider my self as being engaged in both indigenous and native anthropology in this researc h. In this position I am poised to undertak e insider and outsider research as I have already indicate d I consider my self able to realize the benefits of being situated in this posture in the research process while remaining alert to the potential constraints that may accompany such a placement. I have been alerted to these pot entialities and have fumbled to redesign and restructure aspects of this program of inqui ry which might have compromised findings in the process. In addition, having disclosed the potential subjectivity of my own experience relative to this inquiry, the au dience is given the opportunity to adjudicate on any potential mode of subjectivity that may be placed upon any aspect of the inquiry or on interpretations. Power Reversal: Studying Up The idea of studying up is the attempt to arrive at a leveling out or a reversal of power structures. It is a new didactic to the mode of generally studying or working with people of third world countries and indigenous people who exist within marginal

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176 societies, somewhat in a subservient relationship relative to the re searcher and his/her society and resources Studying upward is the willingness to take on the challenges of trying to access the modes and efforts necessary to procure information of the kind necessary to be validated as ethnographic research, while workin g with people who are situated in social, academic, and even cultural seats of prominence; people who are in hierarchies above that of the researcher and who can be intellectual challeng ers to the very formulation of paradigms of examination, processes of inquiry, and methods and means of engagement. In this new approach one seeks out research projects in places not traditionally looked at by anthropologists and coming to grips with the fact that all ethnographic studies a re not to be comprised of a uni di rectional tangent. This new post modernist notion, synchronized with all of the other movements of re examination in knowledge bases, came about for the purpose of admitting new approaches to reducing ethnocentric designs within our systems of operation. L aura Nader proposed a somewhat radical approach to power reversal in ethnographic studies. She suggested the idea that we consider what would happen if the researcher were placed in the position of powerlessness traditionally occupied by the subject of r esearch. Simultaneously, what if the subject were now positioned as to be in control of time factors, limitations of access, monopoly on discursive agendas and intellectual frames of reference? What if the researched were in such high positions of power that they could manipulate the researcher for their own ideals? ( Nader 1993 ) Th is new awareness, once considered, has served to show us in quite an existential way, how to view the world through spectacles with wider lenses. It has forced us to take a second look at all of the things we think we know and especially at how we view

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177 oth ers especially peoples of other cultures and societies. Finally, this helps us to appreciate the role of the human factor in research and forces us to accept the limitations of interpreting the experience and the world of another to both ourselves and the other ( Hall 1977 ; Stocking 1983 ) Stanley Barrett presents useful commentary on this subject too. He begins: Almost all anthropological research in the past, and the vast bulk of it even today, has focused on the poor, the research might well be subversive, providing information and explanation and explanation which enhance the control of societal elites over the rest of the popul ation. If that indeed is the case, an ethical anthropology ha s no option but to study up It has been a quarter of a century since Laura Nader in 1972 urged us to do just that, but few of us have responded, partly because it is much more difficult to con duct research with powe rful studying up...provides a counterbalance to the conventional practice of studying down, thus enriching our stock of by studying up we are able to penetrate the sources of power and privilege in soc iety. If we merely study down, focusing in isolation on the poor and oppressed, we ignore the wider institutions that generate their conditions, which may be t antamount to blaming the victim ( 1996: 24 30) One of the earliest cases, and a pivotal exam ple of studying up was performed by Elizabeth Sheehan in her work among Irish intellectuals within a dominant Irish university. Her study throws enlightening information on what happens when the power relationship in ethnographic investigation is completely re versed. She recounts her experiences in the essay, The Student of Culture and the Ethnography of Irish Intellectuals ( Sheehan 1993a ) 11 11 The issues she uncovers have become ongoing observation and discourse concerns. How do ideologies and perceptions of cultural superiority affect studies and research of other people? How do the actual or perceived relationship of social and economic status between the two units of the research, affect not only what direction the power flows, but also what form and format the entire formulation of the research design and structure follow? She mentions, among many offsets to the traditional ethnographic inquiry, the necessary inclusions of various barometers of assessment and control that had to be instituted methods of gaining access; means of time synchronicity; feelings personal insufficiency and fear of retributions; subdued construction of queries and, anticipation of rejection and rebuttal.

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178 I n the case of this study, having actually been envisioned prior to engaging in formal anthropological studies, there was no c onscious attempt to study up. In a sense, it was from the intent of mere interest followed by the identified need for an applied approach to en gagement with this subject and this community of artist s, that I became committed to the topic. As research ensued, I came to realize that there was an obvious void in the approach to the study of African Diaspora creative expression (Afri can A merican Art) Simultaneously, there existed a void in the stu dy of the Afri can A merican (Diaspora ) experience within Afri can A merican Studies programs in our colleges and univers ities. This topic, then, seemed worthy of a focused examination, and to become engaged wit h it, came to mean studying upward. The challenge seemed established and was unhesitatingly undertaken as a necessary route to placing on record an institution of v alue in the history o f a people and the world There were no extremes in encounters with the community of Howard School artist s. There were no constraints of any potentially dangerous or serious repercussions. However, there were certain roles to be played and cautionary factors to avoid. The process of getting eventually to the point of bringing former professors, deans, and acutely informed and sensitive artist s together former students with former professors, administrators with their staff, and persons who are very informed and who might have varying views on some and perhaps a range of agend a s seemed worthy of being considered a challenge and due some anticipation We proceed, nevertheless, by reporting on the issues as they occurred while I worked my way through the processes of the research.

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179 One who has been a student of an institution is al ready familiar with the syndrome of stude nt identity This is the characterization placed upon a former student of an institution upon his/her return to that institution to engage in an undertaking of almost any kind especially while still in the capacit y of being a student els ewhere. This former student interact s with staff, administrators, and former professors who tend to see him/her as the student of f ormer years probably as an undergraduate with all of the same foibles and weaknesses, going through t he same struggles as in years before. It often takes a period of representation of oneself, before one comes to be seen in a new light. At the same time, in some circumstances, it is necessary to be aware that one must be very sensitive to modes of approac h and processes of re quests being in recognition of institutional integrity where the alma mater may be seen as a personal form of turf and seen to exist above the present agenda of the one time student. Often, it seems no more than a protective response on the part of the community, and probably subconscious, but the former student must somehow navigate these avenues until he/she has succeeded in convincing alma mater of his/her purpose and intent. Navigating to such a point may be a bit trying and requi re patience in some instances This becom es one example of a drawback in studying as an insider in a situation such as this It takes additional effort and some degree of skill in negotiating, in reversing previous perceptions, and in presenting oneself wi th confidence and in a new light. This route however, bore no confounding problems for this researcher. I had been in the habit of being a repeat visitor to the campus; I had curated two exhibitions of Howard Faculty and Caribbean Artist s while serving as an assistant profess or at a

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180 neighbo ring College; an d I attended the Porter Colloquia f ro m time to time. I had also attended memorial functions for some of the artist s who had died and had had occasion to share thoughts with several members of the community and to discuss the activities that I was undertaking It was, therefore, not difficult to present myself as a serious inquirer into the phenomena under study. However, it did take some attention to negotiate through human factors in some cases until eve ryone had returned to a comfort zone in seeing me continuously and sensing sincerity in the plans I had disclosed. I believe that based on this, and having moved on from Howard to engage in studies from a significantly different institution, culturally, it seemed that there was an unspoken period of seasoning in that was necessary for my re insertion into the bosom of the community. ( DuToit 1975 ) Over one or two years on visits to Washington, D.C. I visited th e site and declared my intent i n this study. This was well accepted, though it seemed clear, at times, that there were tenta tive, unspoken, reservations sometimes in some places. This reservation could hardly be said to be assignable to any single or numbe r of individuals. It is even possible that this was perceived based on my previous experience and knowledge of the culture within and outside of the community. I am alluding to the general cultural attitude in approaches to the discipline of Art and the pl ace it holds in the society at large. Often the discipline of A rt is seen as being of a diminished value, w here it is most often the least funded and least appreciated in the academic institution. I ts practitioners are oft en not viewed as professionals an d their labor and time are often sought gratis and their s kills and knowledge exploited; w here, given the nature of the creative process in deliberation, exploration, and exhaustion of ideas and processes, it

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181 i s deemed that the artist works and lives on in formal time, and therefore can be at the dispo sal of every inquiring effort. P ersons of little understanding and without engagement in proper in quiries have proceeded to critique and make assessments of the artist and his/her work, misreprese nting his/her intent or being insensitive, especially ethnocentrically, to the cul tural elements representing lived experience s 12 So these intellectuals are rightfully wary and do well to take the stance of seeking to know the intent of the inquirer. This can only be done by testing him/her and this test can only be accomplished over time, though in the African Diasporan community, people have been known to employ the Elders tools from Eshu in assessing the intent and sincerity of the one from outside, the newcomer who seeks to be informed on the ways of the people. 13 There was a renewed call that Afri can A merican Artist s African Diasporans on a whole are best represented by their own scholars; by people who have had some similar experiences or at least who have some understanding of the cultural marginality of the Afri can A merican experience in America. The agenda of this research represe ntative and interpreter of the Afr ican A merican experience must be relevant to 12 During the years of my time within the community, but particularly during the eighties and early years of the nineties, there we made blunders in misrepresenting them to the public through popular media. What is probably the most outstanding of these occurred about 1983, when the Washington Post arts an d culture reviewer Paul Richards, known to have had little training for the role he was playing, yet widely read and appreciated by Washington, DC metropolitan area readers, reviewed the Annual Faculty Show at Howard. In reference to the work of particular artists he was both insensitive and perhaps ethnocentric. In reference to the general ideology of the department, he was distant and somewhat unappreciative if not misleading. An intellectual 13 Eshu, the trickste r deity in some traditional African societies, is not dangerous and not willfully and may seek to expose the intent of the one who does not come op enly. Sometimes, he uses tricks to open our eyes to the philosophies and higher meanings of life.

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182 the intent of the people and must be ve rifiable of philosophically and intellectually sound meaning. There is little room for cultural and int ellectual blunder especially as it relates to addressing the need for their posture in seeking Africanisms in their sojourn in the American society. As i ntellectuals themselves, their lives living alongside the blunders of the present society have reduced their patience when it comes to any examination of their work. It is, to make an assumption, as if they (we) had become wary of errors of misrepresentati on. The culturally conscious Afri ca Di asporan society is particularly attentive to some issues. To be clear, one such issue is the mainstream tendency to refer to the works of artist s using imageries from their history and inter pretations of injustices met ed o u t to their people as being angry art or to the artist as being an angry Black. Another is the debate, still unse ttled, as to whether ther e is or ought to be a recognition of a category or philosophy in Afri can A merican Art called Black art and furthermore, if there is, how is it defined who are its proponents a nd who are not. Based upon such experiences, the community has developed an acute awareness to the need to have a full participation in any interpretation of i t s work. Members have constr ued that the role they are playing is already fra ught with stru ggles. They struggle to persist, to declare their identities with acceptance; and they struggle to be accepted as artist s of major worth and influence (as others from the dominant societies com paratively easily become ). Wit h the knowledge of the system in which they see the too often exploration and exploitation of those outside of the power structure these scholars have become, most times, content with creating for their people and employi ng the syntax of the community to speak to the community, learning not to rely

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183 much on external forces or powers for support or for appreciat ing their contributions 14 They are, therefore, justifiably wary guardians of their cultural artifacts, and set abou t to assess the intents and goals of persons delving into any assessment of them or an y interpretation of their work. In my case engaged in this study this becomes a very useful tool, since it automatically in serts a system of check s and balances that the anthropologist should strive for. With this keenness of representation and this clarity of intent, the members of the community are very likely to filter out the expectancy factor recently emerging in the previous work of Margaret Meade among Samoans. The other factor worthy of note in getting admission into the community is the discipline under which the st udy was being undertaken. Anthropology has not, in the past, been a great friend of non Westerners. As I have previously pointed out, most studies o f Afri can A merican Art have been pursued from the art historical point of view. These studies have offered varying degrees of reach ing back into the context of the development of the ideologies and concepts surrounding the work of such mem bers of the Afric an Diaspora as they must, more often than not, attribute more of their time to formal analysis. Various scholars have discussed contextual aspects form time to time but a developmental anthropological study has not been attempted on this topic. 15 14 For some clarifying discussions on the study of race and ethnicity, see DuToit, 1975 and Hutchinson and Smith, 1966. 15 It is worthy of note that when a class mate of mine from the 1980s at Howard University discovered that e question was that, the role I had undertaken was a brave one. One of the central tenets of a Howard education was to challenge the suppressed ways of getting to know other cultures and peoples from their point of view. Anthropology, had established itsel f as a tool of colonization and hence there was the task of making people aware that the discipline had indeed for the most part, re invented itself and had become a friend of the people.

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184 One of the issues that will remain less clear to the reader who has not lived the standard Afri can A merican experience, is the psychic energy that is necessary to combat the pressures of living day to day in most arenas within the hegemonic society such as is Americ a The most erudite and tactful of scholars have had a difficult time communicating this experience in writing. Perhaps the most extant and recognizable attempt was that made by W.E.B. Du Bois decades ago. Du Bois in his explanation, which is confounding t o most non Afri can A merican s, referred to this condition as a double consciousness This is a worthy attempt yet still somewhat, I believe, not adequately tactile for it remains somewhat abstract. 16 This mysterious issue has been referred to as a dilemma because the damages from it do not seem amendable. 17 In the research field with The Howard School of Artist s, among scholars men and women of great pride and dignity in their identities and with the issues with which they have engaged themselves, the sugge stion of an anthropological study, has the potential to spark immediate resistance overtly or by a dislocation from the project. It was feared that at any time a response grounded in the knowledge of the past sins committed in the name of the discipline, m ight come forward and that this could create dissenting views. But t his great fea r never materialized. Perhaps I had been adequately prepared for the 16 The best source of reference the writer can offer to the understand ing of this phenomenon is the film; Black is... Black 'Aint 1995 produced by Marlon T. Riggs et.al and directed by Marlon T. Riggs and Christiane Bodgely. 17 I do not think it possible for the American of European descent to fully grasp the meaning and im plications meant here. It is as much as it is impossible for a person of African descent to fully comprehend the station of privilege and ease that the European American experiences in American society and most of the world. And because the effects are irr eversible for those who would adhere to some aspect of their heritage, as all people are wont to and encouraged to do, and the status quo does not want to be reminded of it for their own discomforts, then the Black person must continue to exist with this d iscomfort or give up their allusion to their heritage in other words, become acculturated. In this case, again, the victim would have become victimized.

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185 entry I had made many special efforts in packaging the vocabulary, the research design, and the process o f executing it. I also feel assured that being an ins ide researcher, native and indigenous anthropologist may have assisted in the response to t reasons for playing music alongside h is Mayan colleagues of study, I give cred it to the fact that I also played in the same b and as the Howard community. 18 I had been attending confere nces, exhibition openings, hono ring cerem onies, memorials, studio visits, site visits, informal discussions and functions, and asked about and debate d on issues relating to the School. I made my philosophical stance known in a short description of the study circulated early in the process; exhibited at the Annual Alumni Exhibit; and declared the need for the work of these scholars to be recognized and perpetuated Undoubtedly, the greatest boost in my readmission to the community came about when in 200 5, on a visit to the Howard campus I visited Floyd Coleman in his office as I always did to keep him updated on my progress in the study. Floyd Coleman ha d founded the Porter Colloquium Lecture Series in 1990. Upo n outlining to him the development of the research and the intent being undertaken, he who was always encouraging, unhesitatingly issued an invitation to present the work at the soon upcoming Porte r C olloquium series. This opportunity opened the way for a wider acceptance and for more insight into the agenda being undertaken. At that conference I was able to become re ac quainted with scholars such as K eith Morrison, a fellow 18

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186 Jamaican who had written an enlightening work on the Washington, D C art community and had also written a preface to on e of my earlier exhibitions. Morrison's discourse at the conference strengthened my resolve in the realization o f the validity of the study. I would continue in several more encounters with scholars at succeeding meetings to continue to present the notion of a Howard School of Artist s, but this encounter was crucial in the introduction of the concept to a large group of former faculty and professors who had atten ded the conference. It seemed the way was paved then for acceptance into the field, but there were still some lines that had to be trudged. It would be necessary to communicate with these scholars for arranging programs and interviews, and given their sche dules as educators and working artist s, the anticipation was that this would become a challenge. While t his undertaking might seem a standard procedure when we think of interviewing in the usual anthropological context where usually native people with whom most anthropologists tend to work, function on their own informal time schedules. They tend to be somewhat amenable. The anthropologist schedules time s to meet with them and often at the whim of either party they may make changes. Finally, the study pres ented certain challenges in which it was necessary to maintain constant awareness of other issues. I found it necessary to be careful in presenting the jargon of anthropology beside art history and the acute ethnic and political awareness of the communit y. It was necessary to credit the art historical approach of s tudy while at the same time making it clear that an anthropological approach stood to yield additional informa tion by its emphasis on context social and cultural factors. Surely, again, being an insider helped. Special effort was made to

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187 always make clear that the investigator was a colleague; was studying with or observing as oppo sed to studying; I also made a special effort to avoid some veiled terminology such as scholars and artist s using instead scholar/ artist s with reference to artist s who are often den ied the respect due them as scholars scholarship being erroneously ascribed to an occupation with only books. In this respect I made clear references to the narrativ e in the work of the artist I made it clear that I was very aware that I was reversing the power base in studying up and that I wanted to use the outcome of the study to benefit the community as wel l. I asked for the voice of the Community I also attached an intended applied component to the study, making sure to show more than the usual degree of respe ct for the time of the artist s I tried, within the lim itations of resources available to create a struct ure for rewarding the community both as direct participants in t he research process and in a general way. To my great relief, neither the nervously anticipated potential response to an anthropologica lly based inquiry nor any other surfaced and by the time we had progressed to holding the forum of community participants there was total cohesion and rapport. Research Goals Barnes (1990) suggests that anthropology as a social science falls about midway between the natural sciences and the humanities and diff ers from both in that it inquir es of explanation and prediction, and seeks to combine the interpretation and empathy of the humanities with the search for pure objectivity, hard physical proof, and replica bility of the natural sciences. Diaspora issues require culturally relativistic strategies, empathetic involvement, and qualitative discourse fashioned within a historicist structure, and dynamism relative to the context and the particularities of the research agenda. This is a crucial step in the development of methodology in ethnograp hic work,

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188 I believe. The actual ou tcome needs to be a process of generating knowledge out of which an equitably enriching experience and education al facilitation occurs (Du Bois 1903; Loewen 2009; Barrett 1996; Hastrup and Hervik 1994). Research Techniques In keeping with the triangulation techniques elucidated earlier I have engaged a series of research methods within this ethnographic sojourn. While many of these are no more than variations of aspects of participant observation, others are outside of this realm or may be indirectly relat ed to the category Yet all are informative in yielding information on the philosophies and the breadth and scope of the agency developed within this School. I refer to these as techniques or approaches While it can be said that some of these means h appened most were designed and pursued for their potential as means of inf ormation gathering. For example, The Porter Colloquium is an annual conference series that has been put on by the Howard Unive rsity Department (Division) of A rt for the past two de cades. These bec ame direct sources of research as if designed for this project. Attendance at these conferences yielded much information through papers deliv ered by a variety of scholars on the subject of Afr ican A merican Art as well as through my meeting with these scholars, including Howard Alumni attendees from the foundatio nal years in the Department. My fi rst hand interactions with the members of the co mmunity were invaluable in produc ing a feel f or the department of the times. The community participan t forum arranged on the other hand, was painstakingly assessed and designed to problematize certain aspects of the research agenda and in so doing t o clarify the entire project. I now proceed to address the various techniques applied to the study of The H oward School of Artist s. I present t he techniques more

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189 directly rel ated to participant observation fir s t The non people d techniques follow, and I return to peopled sources by end ing with the community forum and the individual interviews with some of the artist s I begin the observation method with a general discussion on participant observation followed by accounts of observational recall or personal historio graphy; campus visits which include campus walks, class attendance, and peripheral community enco unters; general audience conversations at exhibition openings, conferences, and functions; conference attendance and participation (presentation); exhibitions attended and in which I participated; artist studio visits and site visits; dis courses and honori ng functions; casual conversations; archival archaeology; material culture discovery in museums, galleries and private collections; narratives in architectural sites; structured community participant forum; structured interviews; Participant Observation Pa rticipant observation, as a method of approach in anthropological study is an age old technique, common to the discipline It suggests the idea that the researcher both lives as closely as possible, to or within the culture of the people und er examinatio n by inserting him /h er self as part of the community. The researcher, at some announced time relative to his/h er insertion and cultural conversion eventually feeling adequately capable, represents the culture to the outside world to which she/he belongs. This seat of participation places the researc her in a very powerful position, a position of assertion and interpretatio n. In the process, we may often overlook such issues as the influence the researcher may bear upo n the people of the community. But

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190 we a lso must consider how the people of the community bea r influence upon the researcher. 19 While this method of reporting may be a close match to the emic attempt of the ethnographic researcher, it does leave open several areas to questioning. As the examples noted earlier have shown, there may be twists to both the ways and means used to gather information as well as the intent and influence exerted by one entity upon the other. We must consider how the researcher interprets the observations based on his/her p revious experiences, int ent, and institutional agenda. Preconceived notions and expected outcomes reside in insidious ways within all observers. They are no less present within the researcher. Perceptions of time, cultural values, dominant cosmological i deologies, personal experiences, personality and psychological bearing, and admittedly social and now corporate dogma all contribute to the interpretation of one reality to the other. 20 Special techniques are necessary for one to accomplish a successful ent ry into the community, collection of information and interpretation of it. The potentia l to lose intent in the process is present at each step of the way. The challenges are great and room for error is sometimes subtle and undefined. Russell Bernard has pr ovided a good road map for pursuing participant observation in ethnographic rese arch His text, Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and 19 Recent emergence on the work performed by Margaret Meade among the Samoans is probably reminiscent of the potential of the innate reacti on of one colleague to the other in the most existential of ways. Barthes is most correct. When Mead tried to obtain an interpretation of the meanings from the teenagers in the Samoan community, they made compromises based on an inbuilt sense of modificati on to the social and power structures within which they were living. These compromises are never ending and affect all of our intentions since all of our perceptions are filtered by culture, time, and social structures. There are also instances where the r esearcher has difficulties adjusting to the new culture within which he/she finds him or herself. The response of the researcher, in such cases, can impact the research process and the interpretations derived therefrom. 20 Roland Barthes, a close ex aminer o f the meanings of visual form and its symbolisms and a semiologist along with others such as Edward T. Hall address these issues in insightful ways.

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191 Quant it ative Approaches (1995 ) already mentioned, is an excellent handbook. But the reader relying on this te xt would do well to precede it with a reading of Stanley Barrett's (1996) also previously mentioned, which provides a n insightful and explicit discourse of a critical look at the discipline and a level consideration of the theory/practice dichotomy. My activities in observing as a participator in this research is multifaceted and my role has to be siphoned from my participation in all aspects of the research throughout it course. Participating Observer Recall I have named observer recall as a unit of the participant observation technique. Observer recall takes into consideration and admits data and experiences obtained in exchanges prior to the compartmentalization and structuring of a research agenda It presents and admits itself into the research agenda as a pristine resource in the intent of the aware and focused observer. It precedes the trappings of institutional agen da and time specific formulated discourse and intent. In some respects it may be likened to the innocent eye of the child in observation as it has no agenda or preconceived agenda. It is purely existential and emergent and is to be valued ahead of narrative reports in literary or oral form as it is primary source. In observer recall we come face to face with the issue of linearity in the process of uncovering information or in the principles of our educational syste m We are positing that in the fi eld of inquiry into the behavio r of humans, we may, at times be able to ga ther more unadu lterated behavio r observations from recall th at predates the research agenda provided that the researcher has adequately cir cumscribed the parameters of the observation and given that h e/ she was adequate ly informed or prepared for noting the nuances and e soteria annexed to the experiences under observation while they

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192 were being lived. In this project I present valid observations made among this group when the processes of acculturation and cu ltural adjustments were also active in the cultural adjustment e xperience of this researcher, and when the observation of the similar processes were being observed as defining factor in the life of The Howard School of Artist s. During my senior years of pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, I observed The Howard Sch ool of Art in its flourishing re birthing. Exhibitions were many and there was a group of older, more experienced students who having witnesse d the social events of the 1960 s in Washington, D.C. and throughout the country, were vigorous practitioners of t he Sankofa ideology. They had tentacles spread throughout the local Shaw community and into t he metropolitan District of Colu mbia region. These mature students provided additional structures for us to learn and develop our skills. As we continued into the early years of graduate school, more mature students carried out their own efforts in exporting the Howard aesthetic organizing exhibitions at galleries, libraries, private homes, and on the Howard campus. These were in addition to the annual student exhib ition at Howard and larger, more institutionalized exhibitions at public facilities through private sponsor ship at municipal or even federal levels. Another fashioning tool which allowed for the opportunity to wo rk alongside The Howard School Faculty was o ffered by Professor Alfred Smith who eventually was to become the Chair my M F A thesis c ommittee. This professor, who at the ti me was centering his work on the social relatio nships between peoples (of colo r) perhaps as a simultaneous exploration of physi cal s pace, which was one of his favo rite subjects, had closed the gap between faculty and students by inviting a select group into a unit he

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193 called The Geomonic Band The original group was short lived but the professor continued his search for a commu nity flavored production of the artist ic element and had a less formal group work with him on his paintings in a collaborative wa y. As a member of this group, I sometimes got to work in the professor's studio, to learn from him, and simply observe his spac e, his motivations and his processes. On recall, these experiences were invaluable in laying the foundation for the scholarship and purpose at hand. Be tween the years 1986 and 1988 I actually shared studios with P rofessor Skunder B oghossian, who often wo rked alongside his graduate students whenever there w as ample room given the student to space ratio. This was an extremely useful experience. Coupled with the regular visits to Pr ofessor Robert s studio where I saw and photographed her works in progress, held discussion of the works, noted the observation of her sources of inspiration her visual resources, libraries, and the habits with which she worked have remained clearly registered in my memory The experience s that they were recording in their researc h work, emanated from a parallel place in my experience a s an immigrant to America. It was by the legitimizing of this immigrant experience and its synchronicity with the larger experience as having become one, ethnically, with The Howard School Artist s, a nd then becoming, at once, marginal as African Diaspora people in America, that I b ecame particularly suited for engaging in this study. 21 21 The resulting master's thesis which necessitated a return to his native Jamaica for a period of six months own Roots: Fibre Ritual Assemblages as Visual Expressions of an Afrocentric Aesthetic

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194 When a work of art is created primarily as art for art sake, there is little to be observed about its production save for the technique of the manipulation of the material. Its context and intent are preset and predetermi ned. There is little variation. But as we have already shown, this work of examining The Howard School presupposes the existence of an aesthetic of high order deployed with the technical ski lls of a mastery of the craft. So technical skill in The Howard School of Art is not inviting since it is not the end of the process and not a topic to be pursued in this work However, when the work is in the genre of The Howard School has agency and is highly contextual and when there is a strong social aspect to its message, and when it seeks to direct ly take on the narrative of addressing social, cultural, and political injustices and the continuing struggles of a people, the re is great beauty in the work and its ability to make things happen At that point, a depth of engagement becomes aroused until the feelings of cultural regeneration abound within the person. In this way, then, function is aesthetic and fo rm is synthetic. The potency of the message is elevated commensurately with the level of the sha red experience addressed within the message of the work is consumed t o arrive at a full understanding of that work. My insertion within the community as its mem bers responded to socio cultural and political issue and emblazone d their response overtly or subliminally within the narrative of their work allowed me to understand process and cognition in intent. Through this sojourn within the community I became quali fied as a better candidate for this study. Campus Visits In the begi nning of the study I did not consider some of these avenues as sources o f data collection. However, as I have proceeded over the years, some of them happened they became thin gs I took to doing when I had changes in appointment s on

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195 the campus or when I had time between meetings Others happened when I was moved to take a nostalgic walk to different sites on campus or came upon someone I had not seen for a long time Sometimes I stopped b y the office of someone I had known as a student and occasionally, s ittin g in on a class turned out to be a way of passing time At other times walks to document sites were planned. In any case, being in the research site as I navigated my way through the process over the years, automatically opened the way for me to experience and explore novel forms and sources fo r observation and data collection. I took sporadic walks across the campus sometimes to remind myself of what it used to be like as a student th ere some years go. It was a nostalgic feeling to revisit the site where students from the Caribbean region played cricket or soccer. These activities provided a setting for a community to get together within the larger campus climate. The shared experien ce of these games, little or not known to our African American classmates and fellow students, was the galvanizing factor for bringing together students from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana The Cayman Island and others. The male st udents played while the female students provided the audience. We often had the further experience of having the need to explain the games cricket especially, to inquiring American students. Recalling these occasions helped me to place into a useful conte xt, the idea of identity, community, and shared experience which underwrites the Community of the Howard Art experience we are about to discuss. Other walks took me to sites of works of art around the campus or down the valley to the College of Dentistry where I worked as Senior Dent/ Med Photographer from

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196 1988 to 1991. In these walks, I was almost always sure to meet someone who m I had known years ago and who might have updates on other mutual acquaintances. One site that I visited with some trepidation w as the site of the former Sculpture Annex. This building had been erected during my time as a student in the undergraduate program. The outspoken and fearless Edward Love was then the primary professor in charge of sculpture. It was in this place that he p resented his critiques employing the technique of inquiry he called, the second why. It was here that I first learned to use the chain saw, to weld, to make molds and to carve plaster and wood. It was here that he inspired his students into high level cr itical analyses and how to expound their ideas. But the building had now been removed as the sculpture program has been relocated The site is now an empty lot used for temporary construction trailers. 22 I attended or stopped into several classes over the y ears, sometimes being introduced to the class and participating in the cla ss. Such classes have included Professor Ofori Ansa esign class, Professor James Phillips painting class, ing class, graduate sculpture critique and several classes in the computer d esign studios. 22 The sculpture program is now housed in an annex to the we st of the main campus on Sherman Avenue, and has been well enhanced as a sculpture facility.

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197 Fig ure 5 1 Professor Ofori Ansa seen teaching a class in 2005. Students get to observe a variety of s African Art Collection, inclu ding the original collection of Alain Locke. There was a need for many off ice visits. Out of these visits invariably emanated discussions of art, the clarification of material, learning new material and getting new contact information. Among the offices I mos t ofte n visited were those of Tritobia Hayes Benjamin, Associate Dean of the (now) Division of Fine Arts and Director of th e Howard University Gallery; Scott Baker, Assis tant Director of the Gallery; Eileen Johnsto n, Registrar of the gallery; Gwendolyn Everett, Chair of th e Department of Art; Floyd Coleman, Professor of Art History and former Chair of the Art Department and the f ounder and organizer of t he Porter Colloquium Series; Ofori Ansa professor of African Art History and scholar of papers and pamphlets o n the Adinkra Cloth Symbols; Roberta McLeod, Director of the Armour J. Blackburn University Center an d the Blackburn Art Gallery, and colleagues in the Office of International Student Affairs. One of the enriching experiences of the Howard Community is its environs. It is an urban campus situated in what is known as the Shaw Co mmunity of Washington,

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198 D.C. The community is contained in the Nort h West quadrant of the city and its culture is dominated by the presence of Howard University and the University H ospital, the U S treet Corridor, The Lincoln Theatre, the former Howard Inn (now a complex of offices) Howard former teac hing hotel for the Hospitality P rogram, now converted to office buildings, the Bannekar Playing F ield and the Georgia Avenue corridor This Shaw Community is usually thought to be bordered roughly by Rhode Island Avenue to the south; North Capitol Ave on the east; about 15 th Street N. W. on the west and Columbia Road on the north. One of my longtime friends James Hill an art collector and former university administrator, live s on the fringes of the campus and only four houses from where Jeff Donaldson once lived 23 Then there is the Georgia Avenue Corridor which is as much a part of Howard University as is the campus. This section of the Avenue from U Street, N.W. by the Howard University Hospital on the south side, to about as far as New Hampshire Avenue to the north dissects the campus and, for the most part, is generally considered a part of the campus. It is her e that the commercial support for the campus abounds. Bookstores and cafes, art and artifact stores, textiles and clothing stores and ethnic restaurants and eateries a many abound. Many informal classes take place within these spheres daily as intellectuals academic and vern acular, debate and discuss or as more formal functions and lectures, films, readings and signings go on even of the weekends. 24 23 24 During my times in the District when recording field notes and carrying out communication at the Sankofa Caf, I had regular discourses with these intellectuals. Two frequent visitor from each category were, Acklyn Lynch, former professor at several Metropolitan Universities and author of the very quoted text her

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199 One cannot speak about the Howard experience in Washington, D.C. without mentioning the role of Pacifica Radio, W.P.F.W. This rad io station from National Public Radio has become an enviable institution of the Washington, D.C. area. It can be construed as a virtual university of Africa Diaspora Studies. This station broadcasts the rich texture of the African Diaspora experience over the years presenting the lectures, discussions, and work of the brightest and most travelled and experienced of the culture It provides a diary of all useful events taking place within the D.C. Metropolitan Area, and with its specialization of eth nic programs Caribbean, Haitian, Latin American, Jazz in its many segments, era music, community spotlights, history segments and so on, in listening to this station one often gets the feeling of sitting in a Howard classroom. These are the indirect reserv oirs that add to the Howard Community experience and connect with the Howard ideology based on a commonality of purpose and intent. Conference Attendance and Participation During the process of collecting data for this inquiry, I have attended several conf erences at Howard University over the years. We can also consider conferences attended which bear directly on the topic of discussion, prior to the final years of the research as enriching sources of information. All told, conferences attended amount to ab out seven. The most valuable and revealing of these were undoubtedly, the annual Porter Colloquium conferences held at Howard University itself, organized by the Art the centuries of the Diasporan experience, the Harlem Renai ssance, the life and philosophies of Marcus Garvey, and less so the more current events. Elder Tarik carries with him almost at all times, a burdensome bag of notebooks and jottings, much as a turtle carries its shell around. But he rarely consults its con tents or needs to, and he is present at most scholarly events at the campus forums, just across the road from the caf.

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200 Department and bringing notable national and international scholars to a discussion platfo rm over two days. The agenda of the c onference is African American A rt. The foundin g organizer of the conference, Professor Floyd Coleman, has listed the purpose of the conf erence ser ies as being: cholarsh ip an d open artist s, and cultural critics will examine the ideas that influence how works of African American Artist s are viewed, interpreted and valued. The Colloquium will offer competing theore tical claims, critique and analyze critical terms challenging Eurocentric hegemonies, and chart the course for revisions in African American art historical discourse. The Colloquium also aims to expand the analysis of art production by artist s of color, ac knowledging the complexity of artist ic construction, and the necessity to carefully examine these works throughout the African Diaspora. 25 Figure 5 2 Covers of Porter Colloquium programs; 2005 (left) and 2010 (right) 25 From the program of the 2005 James Porter Colloquium on African American Art p. 1).

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201 Artist Studio Visits and Site Vis its Over the many years since I became a part of this artist ic community I have come to see how some artist s are i nspired, how they connect to the communities, how they replenish or create thei r storehouses of fodder for their nourishment as artist Malk ia Roberts, Edgar Sorrells Adewale, Skunder Boghossian, Ed ward Love, Alfred Smith, Michael Brown, Ayokunle Odele, Jeff Donaldson Winnie Owens, Bernard Brooks in the past and more recently, Akili Ron Anderson, Michael Platt, Aziza Gibson Hunter James Brown Cynthia Sands and many others, professors and especially fellow students with whom I have worked over the years. The values of such studio visits are discussed elsewhere. Structured Individual Artist Interviewing This t echnique is quite useful in this s tudy in ascertaining the intent of the individual creators of the art object and of its intended function within the society. Used along with community participation and observation, this method provides immediate and direct responses to particular inquiri es. It provides first hand access to the intent of the producer. As such it gets at a cognitive (as well as intuitive) purpose and is very useful where ver intent for more than mere aesthetic functioning is intended. The method posse s s es the potential to el icit (from the maker) responses that may indicate the effectiveness of the role played by objects in serving a particular social function. I recognize that i n some cases it might be advantageous for unstructured individual interv iews to precede more struc tured interviews so that a familiarity with the individual and his/her personal background prepare s the researcher in the formulation of th e entry into the more structured inter view. In this case study, the fact that I had the stage previously set with a b ackground in having known the members of the community

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202 made it possible to proceed on an even keel with both informal conversations as well as formal interviews. Discourses and Hono ring Functions The distinguished fa culty that exist on the campus has drawn recurring occasions affording opportunities for hono r to be bestowed upon them either at their retirement, at the time of highly notable achievements, or even more regularly in their discourses and organized conferences attracting other notable scholars t o the campus. Not only do notable scholars visit the campus for conferences, but also upon the retirement of Howard's own notable scholars, their colleagues from all over the nation congregate to pay them honor. Often the keynote speaker wa s a notable scho lar who brought to the campus an historical and oral historical account of the sojour n of the retiree centered upon the Howard experience. The connections that are made upon such discourses and sharing of information can be extremely useful to the discerni ng investigator, for the social bonds of the Howard community, amidst the incidents of the human factor, ca n be quite strongly intertwined making for enriching opportunities. In 200 5 I was present at the hon o ring function that took us from the Howa rd Univ ersity campus and the sixteenth annual Porter Colloquium Series to the University of Maryland ca mpus in College P ark There, Howard alumnus and Faculty member David Driskell who had chaired the Art Department at t he University of Maryland for many years wa s being honored at the lecture series established in his name. The feature speaker was Sharon Patton, then Director of the Smi thsonian Museum of African Art. Driskell was being hono red upon his retirement This was an inter institutional event of much sign ificance and brought scholars, students and communities from both universities together in a collaborative way. There were many visiting or

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203 returning scholars for the occasion and m any useful exchanges were made and continued. Fig ure 5 3. At the 2005 ho noring function for David Driskell (second from right), a large community of scholars, students and community supporters, came together to hear the keyn ote address, the Fourth Annual David C. Driskell Lecture by Sharon Patton then Director of the Smithson ian National Museum of African Art. Seen above ar e Floyd Colem an, J uliette Bette a and me with the Hon oree ( Field p hoto ). Often even functions that d o not originate within the Art D epartment offer enriching opportunities for learning and for exchange. Arch ival material is often found to connect departments as the histories are revisited. Let us take as an example a discovery mention ed elsewhere in this discourse. John Hope Franklin, one of the country's most recognized historians who had lectured on America n history and the Afri can A merican experienc e in America in over thirty countries. A look at this case revealed much useful information for this study.

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204 Franklin was a distinguished member of the Howard faculty for some ten years, appointed at age thirty tw o as Professor of History in 1947 and who eventually became a ppointed to President Bill Clinton ory Committee on Race Relations was honored in a function on The Howard campus April 8 10, 2010. Figure 5 4. At left, p ublication for the program honoring Franklin and cover of his celebrated text, From Slavery to Freedom over the years. Fig ure 5 5. John Hope Franklin representing the Afri ca Diaspora voice at a conference in Trinidad. A notable publication was produced in accompani ment of the occasion. I happened upon a copy randomly given to me at an honoring function at the Howard Galleries for

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205 three notable artist s and art educators and an extremely loyal art benefactor of the department. 26 The publications were being handed out b ecause apparently they had remained o ver from the former honoring of Hope Franklin and unknown to me at the time, contained a v aluable article a reprint of a f or ward written by Franklin for an exhibition on James Porter in 1992 27 As the investigation into the article revealed, both men were great friends; in fact Porter's wife Dorothy, then Director of the Moorland Spingarn Research Center was influen tial in encouraging or coaxing Franklin's wife, Aurelia into the librarian field so that both came to work under the same institution thus further cementing the family bonds. Franklin tells us of the cross fertilization that often occurred between departments and between disciplines on the campus. It would have been in the formative years of i n the art department when this occurred. In similar fashion, Franklin te lls us of Howard's role in the B rown vs Board of Education landmark trial spearheaded by Howard alumnus and future Supreme Court Justice Thurgoo d Marshall. In Mirror t o America : the A utobiography of John Hope Franklin ( Franklin 2005 ) he tells us that: ived a telephone call from Thurgood Marshall, with whom I had been in the Legal Defense Fund, since he was preparing to reargue the case of Brown 26 As it turned out, the publication had been desi gned by Professor Mark Bartley, an alumnus of the Art Department a fellow Jamaican student who had been an undergraduate student while I was in graduate school. He was recently able to receive tenure based on this and other such high quality work he produc ed for the university. 27 I was to realize months later, as I conducted the participant forum, that the publication had been created by a member of the Howard Art Faculty, my junior in the college years at Howard, who was progressing toward tenure, which he had accomplished at this writing. Our discourse on this work, from his point of view, in producing such a beautiful bit of material and, from mine, the essay that tied Franklin and Porter together in such an existentialist way, was heightened with exciteme nt and spirit.

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206 v. Board of Education. He expres sed serious doubt that I would survive his Supreme Court had ordered that the case be reargued in the fall term, 1953, to answer the questions propounded by the court following the i nitial hearing of the case on December 9, 1952. The inherent inequality of the separate but equal precedent might finally be established; the stakes could not have been higher. t to the possibility that this would be a historic day in t he life of the nation. Aurelia [his wife] called me from her office at Spingarn High school. She wondered if I had heard the news. I had no idea what she was talking about. Then she told me that th e decision in Brown had just been handed down and that it was unanimous in favor of Brown. I am certain that I let out a shriek, the beginning victory and we savored and celebrated un til the wee hour of the morning ( p p .156 158 ). Fig ure 5 6. can A merican experience is without parallel. Its alumnus and future Supreme Court Judge, Thurgood Marshall, is seen here addressing of honorary degrees This ruling had repercussions all over the world and could easily be traced, along with other such events to the eventual destabilizing of apartheid in South Africa albeit some years removed. So that in several ways, the crossing of pa ths of the notable scholars of Afri can A merican scholarship or the social and cultural workers, most often intersected on the or about the Howard campus or around the Howard experience and helped in no uncertain way, to unify the Howard message and strengt hen i ts impact on the society.

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207 Even a s I was in the final stages of the process of writing this dissertation, yet another major cross fertilization process is underway as noted Howard University Professor and film maker Haile Teza wa s being re premier ed in celebration of the fortie th anniversary of the Film School in the College of Communication and after it continues to receive more than thirteen awards around the Fig ure 5 7 Haile G erima, Danny Glover, and Mbye Cham discuss film and aspect s of symposium prior to the film screening world. Professor Gerima is a culture worker 28 with the same mission as Howard School artist s that is the perpetuation of the knowledge of African history and th e 28 The term has emerged among the members of the Howard community as I have engaged in conversations with them. They hold scholars, community workers, activists and protagonists for the cause of cultural perpetuation of the community and the African Diaspora, as being workers for the benefit of the people and hence for the culture. They, therefore, become workers for the (perpetuation of the) culture.

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208 legacies of is people. Join ing him at the symposium were Mbye Cham, Chair of the Department of African Studies, Janette L. Dates, Dean of the School of Communications, and Danny Glover, actor and activis t now turned culture worker. Glover is in the proce the ex slave General of the Haitian Revolution who routed the Frenchman Napoleon Bonaparte and created the first free republic of displaced African peoples in the We t I see their work as very important to the current discourse and the re discoveries of the facts surrounding much of the experience of Afri c a Diaspora peoples which either have not been told or been misrepresented ( Loewen, 2010) These two film makers are, in my view, newly r ecognized adoptees into the community of The Howard School p hilosophy of perpetuating the legacy of the African Diaspora inasmuch as they are visual creators. We talked about this matter in formal (in symposium) and informal conversations and in a short in terview which I was able to arrange with Professor Gerima to revisit one of his earlier films, Sankofa I am without doubt that with their medium a s film, by recognizing the function of the visual in assessing the existential nature of the experience, they can be seen as adopted sons of Howard School philosophy. I am excited by the prospect of the dynamism created within the concept of this Howard art community philosophy fomented by its own organic nature, and suggesting a Becker like admission of the wi dened and collaborative genius of the concept, in recruiting into itself by means of leaving itself open to a flexible mold of conformity.

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209 a b Fig ure 5 8. I am i n the field with Professor Haile Ge rima at the Sankofa Caf and wit h act or/activist/cultur e worker Danny Glover after Howard University Division of F ilm symposium discussion (Field p hoto). Casual Conversations I found very valuable res earch data even at times when I was engaged in casual conversations with members of the Howard community. This came in the form of encounte rs with personnel known from my days as a student at the institution. One series of useful sources came from persons who were in tune with the cultural climate of the campus, collected the work of the artist s, or were directly i nvolved with the arts in one way or another. For example it was on a casual visit t o a colleague who happens to be the director of a general campus gal lery space that I came to learn of the potential of obtaining an image of a site that was construed as be ing essential to the explicatio n of concept in the work of one of these artist s. On other occasions, it was through such visits to old friends and a cquaintances that I was directed to some mean ingful sources of information. James Hill a collector who l ives on the periphery of the campus, and who is usually present at th e opening s of most exhibitions and other art related functions on campus, i ncluding the Porter Colloquium S eries hono ring functions,

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210 lectures and demonstrations, is a replete source of i nformation. He has been connected to the university for some thirty three years most of these as an academic long range planning officer in the office of the President He was often able to direct me to many sources in and around Washington, D C on anyth ing to do with art. He has seen the entire progress of the s ocial movements of the sixties and, from the inside the developments of the seventies and onward within the Howard Art Department Having been a member of the Washington, D C community for some forty three plus years he has been able to fill gaps on the culturally protected issues and matters that are useful in understandi ng the whole but less meaningful to the specific and are therefore seen as constituting the esoteric understanding of the c ulture These sessions of discourse are not by way of interviews and therefore are not on record or reproducible and become part of what we refer to as casual discoveries of insider privilege to be interpreted and presented for the benefit of the audienc e. Much information was gathered from th e Assistant Gallery Director, Scott Baker as we walked along long corridors, carried out tasks, and as he worked at his various functions while I watched He turned out to be a treasure house of informa tion on the h istory of the Art D epartment and on the centrality of the figure of Jeff Donaldson w ithin the institution as is seen through vario us discussions in this document. Roberta McLeod, the director of the Blackburn Center and its gallery gave me useful informat ion on the role of that Gallery in helping to promote the work of artist s of the Howard Community. She shared insightful information on the Jeff Donaldson years and the times he spent lunching and discoursin g in the Center. The reader benefit s from her nar ratives in the section following on the Community Forum. In these she bring s

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211 tangibility to much of the material that paints the portrait o f both Jeff Donaldson and The Howard School of .A rt community. We did a short interview against the backdrop of the B lackburn G allery. The Gallery has over the years come from beneath the shadow of the College of Fine Arts Galleries. It can no longer be seen as the venue for an overflow of shows that the main ga llery is un able to accommodate. .a. .b Figure 5 9. Ro berta McLeod, Founder and Director of the Blackburn Gallery shares one of he r awards won two years in a row. This award rated the gallery as, Best of Washington Art Galleries and Dealers. This became possible, she notes because the gallery facilitates sh ows that other galleries d o not want to touch. At right (Photo Terri White), I pose with Ms McLeod in front of the mural of the famous Afri can A merican artist Romare Bearden which depicts several stages of the great achievements of African Civilizations. There are several griots that one mee ts at any time at a Howard Art department function, on the campus, or on the periphery of the campus throughout several bookshops, cafes, African clothing stores, or art and artifacts sore s. Some of these persons are professors, retired professors, alumni, present and retired administrators, scholars who may not have complete d degrees but keep close to the higher learning population in the city, travelled persons, act ivists, culture workers, and teachers and

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212 artist s a s well as authors who are in town for book signings or exhibition openings. 29 T o listen to their discourses or to have a conversation with them, always throws light on the condition of the people either historically or presently and one s knowledge is enhan ced by the critical inquiries in which they engage issues pertinent to world culture as well as specific t o the very local Shaw community around Washington, D.C. The Sankofa C af, established by acclaimed Howard University Professor and filmmaker Haile Ger ima whose films include Bush Mama, Sankofa, and now Teza, is undoubtedly the new center of cultural dissemination i n the peripheral Howard community. 30 There, throughout the day and into the late evening, one will find a Fig ure 5 10 The Sankofa Caf which lies almost directly across from the Howard University campus, on Georgia Avenue 29 Acklyn Lynch, whose text was a major artery leading into establishing the inner most vision s of the establishment and are kind to sign and di scuss their books in informal discussions. 30 Ten years or so ago, this place was perhaps occupied by The Pyramid Bookstore, which provided some of the service now given by Sankofa a reservoir of most titles on the experience of the African Diasporan throu gh their own eyes.

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213 Figure 5 11. Lecture and b ook reading a regular part of Sankofa Caf p rogramming. constant flow of students, present and past professors, local people, visitin g scholars and writers, and the griots who drop in to commune and to exercise their scholarly minds through discourse When the authors visit for book signings, many will turn out to appreciat e and share their views with them and, of course, have their boo ks signed. Internet service is available at no cost and helps to bring the local culture workers to this book and social outlet. Because of the cultural sagacity promoted in his films, and his affiliation as a professor of film at the University, Gerima is well known and attracts a number of culturally aware scholars, activists, and authors to the caf, which has become a virtual extension of the Howard campus. Here, not only do the informal cultural classes take place, but students turn up to ask for and c onduct interviews with the Gerima. Films are shown and discussed and students preview their new films

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214 a b Figure 5 1 2. Images from Sankofa Caf. On a Saturday afternoon or a holiday, a DJ may provide music for all on the front lawn of the caf while t he barbecue grill sizzles there or next door at the adjoining business At right, (b), the trademark of the Sankofa Caf. One graphic representation of the Sankofa bird is shown here Figure 5 1 3 Sankofa Caf parking lot. The urban parking lot becomes a billboard for presenting cultural ideology through the images o f prominent icons of the people as represented here in this mural.

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215 with the maestro himself. 31 He commends them for the work well done and gives them feedback on improving the film. I learn film making as I send emails to members of my committee and colleagues. This form has been the basic character of the Howard peripheral community over the years even as I can recall going back to the early 1980 s where there were these peripheral classrooms in which much scholarly engagement took place. Community Participant Forum In order to get a consensus and to feel the pulse of the community it is useful to bring the members together for discussion as a group on certa in issues. The energy created f r o m the group dynamic offers emergent discourse and information. It is particularly useful for editing and filtering the information produced by direct response between the members. In this I mean that issues raised, tend to get immediately verified and edi ted. The value of this technique where it is necessary to assess the views and coherence of ideology and philosophy ( when paramoun t) to the given research agenda, is enormous and I found it i nvaluable in concretizing and supporting the impetus .in this work A full recounting of this technique in this research follows. 31 Often, as I sat and wrote in the atmosphere of this intellectual setting, turning up to sit beside me were scholars of whom I wrote. Upon such realizations I was often able to scroll to the relevant pages and edit the document with the m at my side. On Sunday, October 3 rd the photographer Roy Lewis returning from the memorial service held at the Rankin Chapel for the eminent scholar, the late Ron Walters, stopped in and we chatted about his recent activities and exhibitions. A few days later on October 14 th Acklyn Lynch sojourns through and brings me up to date with his activities. I meet and discourse with authors whose books are on the shelves, as well as fellow research scholars who are there for the salubrious nature of the intellec tual climate. The caf offers a healthy choice of brunches, lunch/dinners, desserts, aperitifs and beverages.

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216 Archival Studies Archival studies an appropriate nomination in the area of document and object research, is usefully applied to any preexisting source in literary or material culture form tha t has to be uncovered discovered, or experienced anew. The terminology artfully borrows from the established concepts of archeology as a form of digging into places to uncover the concealed element. In fact it has been referred to as archival archaeo logy and still is. The operative term here being archival seeks to separate it from the sub discipline from which it borrows. It refers to library document and media research as well as to tracing and locating material objects. Thus museums of natural h istory, historical societies, galleries and art museums and even personal holdings within the common household now come into play as research institutions. The archival approach to the anthropological study of art forms must be undertaken with a careful u nderstanding of its limitations and benefits. There s hould be close attention to that which is construed from this approach as it could very likely place the researcher in the role of the early armchair anthropologists. While there are some useful techniqu es to the use of this method, by itself, it should be reserved more for referencing and formal reconstruction and analysis. Of course there are certain axiomatic techniques for eliciting interpretation and meanings from works of art (mostly Western), but o n their own, these should not be re lied on too much, in anthropological studies. Wherever this archival approach is used, it should be tempered and primar ily used to provide context for the pr oduction of the work of art. This approach becomes useful for as sessing social conditions and the worldview of a particular period; for example what was happening in social and cultural, political and intellectual realms in the epoch of the subject examination? W h at was happening historically? W hat was the

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217 level of tec hnology in a given situation? What cultural forms and dominance existed ? These factors underlie the true meanings of the form studied For specific responses and findings, however, it is usually best, wherever possible, to pursue original contact, observat ion, and interpretation. But archival research may usefully augment any method used in ethnographic research, if properly assessed and applied It may reveal aspects of the historicist concern and therefore is usefully incorporated as a technique in that m ethod of inquiry and is especially useful and worth y when cross referenced with secondary sources and sometimes within living scholars. On occasion archival work becomes necessary to access secondary sources and may be of e qual value to available living so urces. This is so when archival sources have to be consulted and primal secondary sources such as past interviews and fil mic resources exist on the topic. On occasion erudite scholarship has recorded aspects of past culture and discourses with scholars and great repositories of memory within our aged citizens. These sources become very useful for peering into established structures of past times. While these sources are useful and reputable, t he greatest shortcoming of this technique, for the anthropologi st is that the primary source through first hand con tact so highly valued by the dis cipline would not render it a popular choice for a st udy in its entirety Yet some seminal work has been accomplished from a historicist perspective relying almost wholly on archival methods such as films and interviews. In this study, I have utilize d archival sources first to establish the context of Washington, D.C. as a center of development as well as the rise of Howard University as an institution of higher learning le ading into the introduction of a curriculum in art

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218 and the eventual em ergence of a department of art. Where possible, the information gained from the sources consulted have been cross referenced and confirmed with living sources. I also rely on archival da ta for the situating of Howard University as a premier center for the development of Afri c an A merican education and scholarship and a center of cultural genesis and development for the welfare of people of African descent not only regionally and nationally but globally. It can be safely said that in many respects the entire history of the liberation of the peoples of African descent worldwide, over the years came to be written on the campus of this institution. I hav e shown, in earlier chapters, my relianc e on archi val sources for establishing a context. I relied heavily on the work of Apidta one of the few direct and verifiable sources presented from the point of view of an observer outside of the power structure. As I have continue d to write on this topic I have come to learn of a means of enriching this discourse by participating in a tour of the Georgetown area of Washington, D.C. given by The United States Park Service that highlights the past history of th e area as related to this study. I have referr ed continuously to the richness of the essays that have accompanied art exhibitions throughout the Afri can A merican communities throughout the years. The several texts on the topic have been general all seeking to cover the entire range of the development of the process. I have been fortunate to have found such an enormous range of material already presented from first stage research, that I have been spare the necessary task of going to primary sources. However, the Moorland Spingarn Research Center on the Howard University campus has offered the riches t source of material especially visual resources, avai lable on the Howard University exp erience.

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219 Much of th e other material is general and is to be discovered at such places a s the Library of Congress. The Hi storical Societies of the states of Virginia and Maryland as well as the numer ous archival institution s on the history of Washington have offered more than overwhelming resources for such a study as this. The Sc homberg Research Center for Black Cult ure in Harlem has also offered much material to scholars over the years and I have borrowed from them. I have studied extensively, over the years, the catalogues of Faculty Exhibitions of the Howard Art D epartment O n one occasion of my visit to Associate Dean T ritobia Hayes Benjamin to finalize the pl ans for the community forum I requested to view the entire archive of Faculty exhi bition catalogues. On returning the catalogues I discussed with Hayes Benjamin the benefits of having viewed them. She started to per use them herself and getting to one catalogue she became very quiet and then said, I remember that day and continuing to study the page she continued: Yes, it was 65 degrees and we thought we should do something different for the photograph. 32 And Jeff su ggested a tree, but we could not find a tree that could hold all of us one that all of the men could climb up into and the women too. The only one we could find was that one by that building where the African Studies Center used to be. So we crossed the ya rd and we had these ladders and the men went up first and they pushed each other up who is that up t here? Yes! That was Frank Smith. H e went up first and then the others. And the women went up as far as they could on the ladders and we put Jeff at th e bo ttom to stand on the ground, to anchor us H e was the only one that touched the ground 33 ( Hayes Benjamin 2010a ) This was the 1975 Faculty exhibition catalogue, and despite the quality of the photographs, here I was finding a rich source of oral history. In f act, it began to appear 32 This reference is to a group photograph of the faculty that would be included in the catalogue. 33 From a d iscussion with Tritobia Hayes Benjami Fine Arts, Howard University.

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220 surreal that she was reporting the episode of the idea of the tree as image and a metaphor of rooting; Jeff Donaldson as the anchor, just as he had in the past referred to the role AfriCOBRA was intended to play in the society. It is further surreal that the usable tree they could find was the one adjoining the annex that housed the African Studies Program 34 The recounting of this single event became symbolic for me and reinforced the great values of oral histori es. It paints a picture of a community with oneness in vision and to some degree, in intent a playful but spiritual drama. a b Figure 5 1 4 The 1975 Faculty catalogue photograph. At left, Lois Jones in the foreground anticipates the fun. At right, t hey are all in place with Jeff Donaldson anchoring. On the ladders are Lila Asher at left and Chi Chong Lee Lau at right; above her is Lois Jones. Tritobia Hayes Benjamin is directly behind Jeff Donaldson. Topmost right is Frank Smith, with Winston Kenne dy at center in white sweater A total of fourteen people appear in this picture 34 When I arrived on the campus in 1980, this annex still existed in the same place. It was later removed and the African Studies program moved elsewhere. The tree has als o since been removed.

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221 Material Culture Discoveries: Objects are icons. They are symbols some with greater meanings and significance than others. Objects are imp ortant because they live among us and contact with us by their very being. We assign meanings to them constructed from our own awareness and the inherent qualities they possess along with their history. The same goes for works of art. I refer the reader to the photograph of Scott Baker at his desk ( Figure 6 15, p. 262 ). In the foreground sits the bronze form of an owl. Baker treasures this form for it is a piece of material culture that touches the very beginnings of the Art Department at Howard University. He reports that when he first came upon this object, he was intent on knowing what it was His training as an art historian sent him in search. After digging through archives of images and reproductions he was fortunate enough to find the item in its cont ext of use. It was an ink well which belonged to James Herring who founded the department. Baker tells the story of his discovery of this material object and the function it has played for him in con necting the past to the present. Indeed, this was the kin d of discovery that a gallery director hopes to uncover. His was an actual archaeological undertaking and a very rewarding one which places right in front of our eyes an object which assumes the role of a talisman in peeling away the years between the conc eption of this Art Department and the present. As I touched the object myself, I felt transported backward from ball point ed pens and computer s, to the time when writing the Howard University Department report from which I have quoted, was quite likely wri tten from this inkwell The cross sectioning s of events in this experience are valuable discoveries for the existentialist. For me, it generated a well spring of eclectic and ephemeral sensibilities upon the re inforcing of the existence of that relation ship between memory

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222 and reality The ink well, as I have discussed earlier, now becomes iconographic and could easily be elevated to the perception of an invaluable symbol for the community. In a similar way, we artist s as material culture which melt away the time element and connect us to the past. T he time space becomes compressed when we look at the works of artist s as early as Johnston, Duncanson, Tanner and Bannister and see them in the era in which they wer e produced. These are the times to which we allude in these pages; times when these artist s dwelt in a place wher e they were just beginning to demonstrate that peo ple of colo r had the skills to create at high levels of performance. So that to face a painti ng of one of these artist s is to have a conversation with the antagonists of the system which disavowed them of their place. These objects, then, become vehicles of psychic transportation on which we can hitch a ride into the pa s t Contact physical contact becomes transporting mentally and psychically and heighten s cognitive awareness. 35 The worth of the image, as discussed, may easily be transferred to historic sites and other memorabilia. The architectural sites on the Howard campus which bear the names of notable African American pioneers are monuments and reminders of their role generations. They are icons and by their presence, allow these past leaders to continue to live as ancestors among the people. In presenting these historic sites on the Howard 35 Haile Gerima has long ago used this recognition in his work as a cultural griot in his film making. In his film, Sankofa, it is at the point that the African American woman model, Mona, in a photographic shoot at the Gory Island for t on the Ivory Coast, takes a break and wonders aimlessly into a corridor a route which was walked by her enslaved ancestors hundreds of years before on their way to the ships of the enslavers headed for the trip across the Atlantic, that she becomes psych ically and then dramatically teleported into the past for a real time participation in life on a slave plantation.

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223 campus I project them as monuments and not only reminders, but vehicles of transference into the past and testimonies of the participation of the ancestors in the affairs of t he people. By honoring their names, we keep them alive and they attend to us. The data collected from these sources are set out below. The se references are selected from a wide r range edited for brevity. O n four specific occasions I walked with a notebook and recorded the findings of intere s t I settled on not ing sites that could be tied directly to promoting the natural history of the campus and its legacy within my specific topic. At some other time w ith a still camera on two subsequent sojourn s I retu rned to the sites (monuments) already recorded I photographed these sites or images and sometimes lingered long enough to ask passersby how aware they were of these sites and the meaning s behind their presence within the community. This is my recording of my encountering the monuments the great minds and thinkers among Afri can A merican people over the years. I began my trip on the main campus at the dominant and conspicuous Frederick Douglas Hall, across from the A lain Locke Hall and Founders Library, which houses the Moorland Spingarn Research Center. I continued down hill by some of the dormitory complexes, and then across the valley to the west, and ba ck uphill to the central campus Among the many sites not re corded, are places where notable African American scholars and prominent families once lived now sites of campus buildings but marked as historic sites along such streets as 6 th Street, NW which dissects the main campus.

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224 Figure 5 15 Frederick Douglas Hall, Howard University main campus. I recall that in 1980 a part of the freshman introduction to the University consisted of tours around the city. One of the most memorable stops on one tour was a visit to the former home of Frederick Douglas now in the hands of the National Park Service. This veritable estate, in South East, D.C. represents the high social level that this former enslaved man must have arrived. The estate has been several times marked for an African American Museum, but continues to repre it. By the awe of its mere physical stature, it becomes a testament to his drive and achievements. Frederick Douglas was a prominent spokesman for the African American condition at an early stage during the emerging his tory of the Afri can A merican Freedmen. T he building named for him is large and dominant and of Neo Classical colonial architecture. He is a giant of the African American potential having lifted himself out of enslavement to become an intellectual of world renown and a fearless freedom fighter for the cause

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225 of his people. In my view, he set the standard (on record) for the route that subsequent African American orators, scholars, freedom fighters and visionaries would take. F acing Douglas Hall, is Locke Hall on the m ain quadrangle of the campus, named for the often mentioned Alain Locke who will be remembered in this document as being Fig ure 5 16 Ala in Locke Hall across from Douglas Hall on Howard m ain campus probably the ignitor of art philosophy o f the Howard Art Department He was the first Afri can A merican Rhode Scholar and a philosopher dedicated to promoting the legacies of his culture. Locke is considered to have been the major philosopher and one of the main voices of the New Negro Movement. He was one of the major sources of energy in the Harlem Renaissance and was as closely tied to Harlem as he was to Howard University in Washington, D.C. He became closely associated with the Art Department at Howard and took on the task of educating the Af ri ca Di aspora communities about the vitality of art as a cultural emblem and source of spiritual and psychic retention.

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226 of archival material on the African American experienc e held by a single institution of higher learning. It is housed within the historic Founders Library (and is presently under consideration for a new home). The Center houses the historical and archival documents pertinent to the University and the communit y which it serves, as well as rare pieces of African art from historic collections. University and houses, in addition to the Moorland Spingarn Research Center, the Figure 5 1 7 Carnegie Hall is reputedly the most beautiful building on the campus, with graduate library and a meeting center as well as a display of images and objects that tell the history of the University, including a promi nent portrait of General Oliver Otis Howard. The Rankin Chapel, next to Founders Library and across from the Howard residence, was the site of the very first art gallery created at Howard University

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227 Figure 5 1 8 m ed for the university founders. This clock spiral is the iconographic representation of Howard University. Figure 5 1 9 Rankin Chapel which housed the first Fine Arts Gallery which was situated in its basement. See Figure 6 16, page 263. The Chapel has recently been graced with the stained glass artwork of AfriCOBRA artist and Howard art alumnus Akili Ron Anderson.

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228 Three dominant sculptures by the gifted sculptor Richard Hunt two in bronze and one in steel grace the grounds of the main campus. In a fou ntain at the entrance of the hub of the main campus, the Armour J. Blackburn Center sits the largest piece Across the Bridge and Beyond which speaks to the aspirations of the populace of the university. Another welcomes the community to the most used r oute to the main Figure 5 20 s Column This imposing work stands at twenty five feet with the dignity and grace of The Nike of Samothrace representative of the aspirations for upward mobility and flight. Photo Jarvis Grant.

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229 ca mpus the pathway which passes by the Cramton Auditorium to continue onto the main lawns to the yard of the university the lawns are affectionately known. Of significance is the fact that this work is titled, It was a gift from John S DeBrew, Jr. and w as completed in 1989. The other is a patinaed steel abstraction of a figure, in a solid, chunked style reflecting strength much like the figures of Charles White, and offers welcome to the Carnegie Building. The most historic dormitories of the campus are for the women The new female students are inducted, as it were by their placement in the quadrangle the dormitories nearest the library complex, named for the fearless leader and freedom fighter Harriet Tubman N ow more recent ly, t he impressive structures of the newer dormitories named for the educator Mary McLeod Bethu ne, stand close to the Tubman quadrangle, thus adding the memory of another female giant who brought restorative salve to her people through the cause of education. T he Tubman Quadrangle consists of individual dorms named for other freedom fighters Fig ure 5 21 The Harriet Tubman Quadrangle. This dorm complex for women is comprised of halls named for James Baldwin Ernest Crandall, E. Franklin Fraz ier, Sojourner Truth and Phyllis Wheatley

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230 Figure 5 22 Mary McLeod Bethune Residence Complex, named for the indefatigable educator and founder of the Bethun e Cookman College in Florida She played a vital role in the education of Afri can A merican woman in this country. One of the most notable structures in the val ley of the campus is the large B uilding that once housed the Howard University Hospital and health complex. A sign carved in stone and set in the upper faade of the building, announces it as t he This building was named for the people, who recently freed after emancipation, were referred to as freedmen. Today, it is also known as the C.B. Hosp care for some of the approximately 4,000,000 freed colored people (Du Bois, 1903). It served as the teaching hospital for the Howard University medical school which started in 1868. This complex along with the still standing former residence of General Oliver O. Howard ( now a museum ), as we will see later, most directly connect Howard University

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231 to the history and the social contextualization of the United States as it emerged from the throngs of its struggle to unite its domains and to purge itself from the scourge of the industry enslavement. Fig ure 5 2 3 The Valley down the hill from Douglas and Locke Halls and Founders Library The new hospital whi small museum displaying the tools and settings of the earliest African American pioneers in medicine. Not far away at Thirteenth and R Streets, NW is the original site of the Asylum established in 18 62 and headed by the first African American in charge of a hospital, Alexander Augusta. The College of Dentistry descent, for whom the building is named. On the way back up the hill to the main campus along the main route away from the valley where the Medical and Dental Schools as well as the Hospital lie, is the stimulating bronze relief sculpture that sits against the William K, Downing Hall (of

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232 Elizabeth Catlett whose work we will look at later. Her symbolic use of the tree as metaphor of stability, well established the fore bear for the image painted by Benjamin in her anecdote related to the 1975 Faculty Exhibition catalogue with regard to the choreographing of the photograph placing Jeff Donaldson in his respective position. ( Figure 4 11. p age 128 ). Figure 5 2 4 aspiri ng relief figure of two African Americans adorns the face of Downing Hall. Their united feet are placed above the trunk of a tree with roots which end in, masks most likely representative of the anchoring of the ancestors. whi ch now seems very small against the campus buildings, overlooks the main street, Georgia Avenue, and surveys the entire surrounding area. It is a museum to the founder of the institution and now sits quietly, and somewhat inconspicuously adjacent to the Ad ministration building, named for

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233 Mordecai Wyatt Johnson, the first African American President of the University. Ernest Just Hall is named for a famous African American scientist. Another site of note is Drew Hall, a male dormitory named for Edward Drew a prominent African American physician. Figure 5 2 5 east visible behind the trees, ties Howard directly to that era of the Freedmen and the occupation to educate them. Of course, if one were to thi nk about retracing the steps of the man y leaders and scholars who have visited the campus, one would most likely look at the path tracked in receipt of honorary doctoral degrees that diagonal path that leads from the Cramton Auditorium to the facing side o f Founders Library where the ceremonies are carried out. One would list American Presidents going back to Truman, African American leaders, scholars, entertainers and artist s, entrepreneurs, African and African Diasporan heads of state from V. S Tu bman, th e first Liberian President (1954) and Emperor Haile Selasse of Ethiopia to Opra Winfrey in 2010. One might also look at the stages of the

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234 Ira Aldridge Theatre and Cramton Auditorium where such characters as Paul Robeson to the in house world recognized Howard University Jazz Ensemble performed. These are some of the most notable iconic sites and images that represent the rich history of the African American people and the central role that this institution has played in the history of African peoples A walk around the campus on its Heritage Trail will reveal a long list of notable points to note Sixth Street down from the Mordecai Wyatt Johnson Administration Building, for example, bears several plaques noting sites at which famous past professors/sci entists/discoverers/administrators and notable citizens once lived. Just off the campus in adjoining blocks, the representation of this history continues at such plac es as the Lincoln Theatre, the Bannekar Fi eld, The Malcolm X Park, the Sumner School and m any others. Reading the history of African Diaspora people, one will see apparent or hidden in every chapter of their lives since the founding of institutions of higher learning, Howard University at the center of most socio cultural and artist ic developme nts; debates, scholarship, movements, and the educating of leaders of the community. It is the singular classroom for the freed people that has had the most resonance throughout their historic march into a new era, to a new recognition and place in the Ame rican society. This resonance has reached far enough to affect events in places as far away as the home continent and to address systems like those of apartheid in South Africa.

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235 CHAPTER 6 EMERGENCE AND SUSTENANCE OF THE HOWARD SCHOOL underestimates its power and its influence in American Art. Aziza Gibson Hunter African American art when it has been discussed, has for the most part, been discussed within the art historical context. Not many anthropologically constructed studies have been done on this topic to date. While essays have always alluded to the background against which some artist s have worked over the years a full anthropologica l study has not been attempted either of the e ntire realm of African American Art or of pattern s or movements (schools) within the whole. Th e closest to contextual studies to date have been A History of African American Artist s ( Bearden 1993 ) and Sharon Patton's Afri can A merican Art ( 200 5). Though some art historical studies often allude to some of the motivational forces and functions influencing the produ ction of this ar t form they are unable to divert enough time to the full development of the account of these contextual situation s. 1 An anthropological approach is important to this study because it contains the very issues with which we must wrestle when we talk about art, creati ve expression, and the African American Diaspora. We turn our attention now to establishing an anthropological framing of the context within which the words of Alain Locke came to invoke such a response and evoke such a passion leading to the subsequent emergence of this engaging Howard School of Art. 1 Some notable exceptions to this general rule are the works of Sharon Patton, Alvia Wardlaw, Tritobia Hayes Benjamin, Floyd Coleman, Edmund Gaither, Michael Harris and E. J. Montgomery, Robin Poynor, Roy Sieber and the others discussed previously.

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236 Historical Context of Emergence We have already established the context in which Howard University came about in the city of Washington, D.C. We have placed Washington, D.C. within the context of the American infrastructure during the time of the arrival and residence of the forced African migrants. The emergence of facilities and institutions of training for the new African American populace has been presented in the context of the educational dilemma facing the freedmen with the announcing of the emancipation proclamation. The process of educating this population over the years, being forged in the face of the marginalization of the social, political, and cultural acceptance and p ositioning of this group, became the fuse for much debate and unrest over the next decades. While the dominant society wavers on the idea of the freeing of the once enslaved people, in neither quarter was there an equal place for any freed African American seeking an equal education and social life. As charismatic individuals (now educated upon or against the will of the few European American emancipators who were in their favor), began to speak out against the continued injustices, the plight of the Americ an social structure began to become more public to the entire international community. 2 This image of the new republic which had wrestled itself away from British subjugation, was now m eting out more pejorative treatment to people who were its own citizen s Internationally, t his was a blemish on the face of the new empire 2 A. Phillip Randolph was one of the leaders at the forefront during the 1940's intent on getting federal legislation passed to desegregate the sy stem so that Blacks could obtain skilled work and integrate into the armed forces. For much more on the efforts Randolph and other fighters for these principles, see Nightmare Overhanging Darkly: Essays in 1993

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237 This case of the experience of the North American African was becoming the shame of the new Republic. There were onlookers. Primary among those casting a noticing eye was France. France had been sensitive to the welfare of the underclass maybe especially because of its own history of social revolutions. In fact the country had made its own pitch at this state of affairs in America with its original design of the gift offering of what cam e to be known as the Statue of Liberty, still with us today. The French intent and commentary in this gift was to applaud America for the liber ating of its enslaved citizens. The French general the Marquis de Lafayette after assisting Washington with defe ating the British resistance on American soil, wrote back from France later to Washington with the heartfelt request 3 beseeching him to end enslavement of the African population. The records indicate that a friendship had developed between the two men as a result of the valor that Lafayette had shown in the battlefield in helping allied American troops defeat the English. Lafayette tried to convince Washington. But the massive structures social, cultu ral labo r, economic, educational and even religious reli ed too heavily upon the free labo r of the Africans to suddenly let it go. Regional and ideological struggles ensued among the European American s t hemselves These events helped to define the culture that developed across the nation 3 General Joseph Paul Lafayette after his return to France, having aided Washington turn back the behalf and obtained strategic information enabling Lafayette to get the upper hand of the enemy, Who would then do the work? Lafayette proposed an experiment that they jointly purchase a plantation and people it with freed Negroes. When Washington relinquished, Lafayette proceed, by himself, to buy Aristocracy fe (Apidta, p. 59 and PBS Documentary (date not recorded; source in research).

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238 in the years to come. Ou t of some of t hese struggles emerged spokesperson for the African American cause. Among these Frederick Douglas, a former slave stood up to decry the unpalatable system of oppression met ed out to his people with such convincing re asoning, eloq uence and in sights that European American s stopped to pay more attentio n. Frederick Douglas was to set a stage for subsequent eloquent voices among African American s. By himself he proved that an enslaved African descendant had the will to learn and operate within the new system at a level that surpassed the knowledge and intelligence of the European American himself. Locally, outspoken voices continued to decry the appalling conditions of treatment and denial of basic oppo rtunities that the African American faced. It was to be a monumental task to try to break down a system which had been established by the status quo and supported stil l by the major laws of the land. Moreover as physical attacks and murders and injustices of all kinds were continually inflicted upon A frican American s, new types of resistance strategies had to be constantly developed. Some forms were oratorical and p hysically non confrontational. Some were quietly subvertive. others were dire ctly confrontational, physically re sistive, and threatening to the prejudicial elements and, ideologies and even the law. New leaders emerged often taking diverging approaches to the same problem facing them Among these were Booker T. Washington and W.E. B. Du Bois, who we have mentioned before. Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Dubois had the same intent but did not see eye to eye on the process. Thus they were estranged on some

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239 issues 4 Marcus Mosiah Garvey had his own approach to the problem that of e st ablishing an economic base by building up trade with the motherland. But the most sustained source of attack upon this system of separation was to come from a developing educational and artist ic ideology and achievement that emerged as African Americans be gan to find exposure to sources of education and learning. This emerging wave of the display of creative excellence conjointly with the output of intellectual acuity and talent ed oratory sent a mess age to the oppressive status quo The prodigious display o f talent and knowl edge in music, t he visual arts, drama and literature became accomplished as it was in the other intellectual realms of philosophy and the sciences. These energies culminated in a communal consciousness of ethnic pride and eloquence. It w as also manifest i n entrepreneurial skills and had been long established in the trades. All this helped to show to the European American populations that given the opportunities, African American s could accomplish as much or more than their European Ameri can counterparts an d that, in fact, there was no difference in human characteristics between the two groups This wave of artist ic and intellectual excellence came to be galvanized into what came to be known as the Harlem Renaissance. Harlem, in New York d eveloped as the epicenter of this wave of energy. It was to flourish visibly and vociferously for the next several years and was the incubator for the emergence of the next generation of African American scholars. But it was not to remain only in the city of New York. There were carriers of this energy to other places. In fact, there were other cities whose 4 A similar dichotomy was perceived or created later in history between the oratory and the philosophical approaches of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X as culture workers.

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240 Figure 6 1. Marcus Garvey dressed as army man and in a parade in Harlem, 1922. ambassadors brought energy a nd fervor to Harlem. Among them were Ala in Locke and Zora Neale Hurston from Howard University in Washington, D.C. There is hardly anyone person that had as much influence as Alain Locke in galvanizing these en ergies. He was the fuel and the philosophical drive that brought the energies together He was the spokesman of the Harlem Renaissance. He made regular trips between the two cities, arranged for art exhibitions, for a of discussion, meetings and collaboration between the artist s, entertainers, scholars and educators. He connected the two cit ies and t he energies in such a way that each fed off the other. Locke even arranged for the showing of the African Art collection in H arlem at Howard University. He also arranged an exhibition at the Baltimore M useum situated between the two cities. Locke was very energetic in seeking to unite all of the potential energies of the

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24 1 people. His plan was to establish a mu seum of African Art in Harlem as a center of cultural study for artist s, scholars and the general public according to Alvia Wardlaw ( 1989:222 ) In addition to these activities, Locke also worked with artist s such as Aaron Douglas who was the artist for the publications which supported the movement. Douglas was dubbed as the artist of the Harlem Renaissance. He invited and encouraged other scholars like Zora Neale Hurston, Sterling Brown and others to add their energies to the Harlem endeavor. Then, later, Zora Neale Hurston, another Howard connection p lied the route between Washingt Harlem finally settling there It is as if much of the intelligentsia existed at Howard, but the field in which it all came to play was in Harlem This was quite a natural sequence of events for New York had become more of a breedin g ground for novelty and of course the lively arts. Besides it was positioned between the two hubs of D.C. in the south and Chicago in the north where the Jazz movement was taking root and from where it would feed back to such centers as New York. But stil l the system of racial domination and the marginalization of people of African descent continued. Some African American artist s and scholars felt forced to flee the confines of the prejudicial state in which they were still forced to exi s t There was an exo dus to more civilized places p rimarily Paris, France, where acceptance of people of color, while not replete in most respects, was far more advanced and

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242 admirable than any other European state at the time. 5 America continued to have a double standard fo r its citizenry. Segregation of the races as the bedrock upon which the system was built continued unchanged. Coming out of the 1950 s, the deconstruction of colonialism was well underway as African and other nations were breaking the yoke of oppression. Yet in America, racism was still rampant and the contributions of the African immigrant in this country were unheralded, even denied. Certain socially and politically conscious intellectuals started to galvanize coalitions of prote s t It is noteworthy tha t this protest was to take several for ms. Groups out of the northern cities of Chicago and New York, and across country to Los Angeles were advancing ideologies that exhibited their disgust with the hypocrisy of the social claims in America. All over the country, in spite of their being freedmen African American s were provided few opportunities The African American male, regardless of his stance intellectually or educationally, despite his skills and training, was unable to provide for and take care of his family. He was free but invisible and unacc ounted for. The overt behavio r of private and even federal organizations was unapologetically vindictive and passionately cruel. This was the s tate continuing out of the 1940 s wh ich was a decade of stifling the progress of the African American population. Acklyn Lynch in his well researched text on this history of the newly freed people tells us of what happened then and about the attitude of private and federal employers: 5 Among those scholar/artistes fleeing the social confines of this system were James Baldwin and Josephine Baker. At least another twenty artists from different fields wer e motivated to visit and study in Paris over the succeeding years. These included Lois Jones, Malkia Roberts, Skunder Boghossian,

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243 Blacks who had migrated North fro m the oppressive South, began to demand jobs in the expanding industries, but racial discrimination in the corporate structure and in the labor u denied them entry. Although were begging for workers, Blacks who applied for jobs were inf ormed that the Negro will be considered only as janitors and in other similar capacities. One senior executive stated quite frankly in 1941, while we are in complete sympathy with the Negro, it is against regardless of th eir training. There will be some jobs as janitors for Negroes. While building contractors were begging for construction workers in 1941, 75,000 experienced Negro carpenters, painters, plasterers, cement workers, brick layers and electrici ans, could not get Afri can A merican s were angry with this situation, and having paid their dues during the Depression years, they were no longer pre pared to take it Coupled with employment discrimination, there was widespread discrimination in t he armed forces. By 1940, there were less than 5,000 Blacks in the American army composed of 230, 000 enlisted men and When Blacks be Thurgood Marshall to Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, listin g the services that excluded Blacks. He warned that when conscription was enacted, Blacks who were refused the right to serve in all branches of the service would prefer to go to jail. The tensions mounted throughout the count ry. The war clouds lengthened A. Philip Randolph, Walter White and T. Arnold Hill, among other Black leaders, submitted a seven point program to President Roosevelt outlining minimum essentials for giving Blacks just consideration in defense progra ms. Blacks were incensed and outra ged all over the country and they made known their indignation in the press and on the street corners. Local and national leaders denounced the situation arguing that although Fascism was despised abroad, segregation and discrimination against Blacks persi sted in the United States. Moreover, they were not prepared to serve in a Jim Crow army, fighting and dying to make the world safe for a democracy a democracy that had never been realized at home. The New Negro had developed a political and cultural co nsciousness that would propel Blacks to mass action It was in the air, creatively and instinctively, ready to explode (p. 56 60)

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244 This deprivation and seclusion from access to facilities and the very means by which to sustain life, was thrust upon a g rowi ng number of the population, now educated and better equipped to respond They had been considered worthy of fighting and dying alongside their European American counterparts for the sake of helping in the liberation from Britain, and now for fighting the enemy in World War II. N ow they were being thrust backward, having been used and discarded, still b eing lynched all over the South and at the mercy of any fiendish plot that could be bred at any time to obliterate them T heir condition was like a boiling cauldron being fueled by European American segregationist actions and laws. Soldiers returning from the war in Europe were in a renewed state of awe to be pushed back into the state of invisibility. They had hel ped save nations and defeated a tyranny s imilar to that to which they found themselves returning. It was only logical that they would reason, How dare they expect us to help defeat this system on foreign soil, then return to live under similar tyranny at home? Having limped through the 1950 s af ter the war, still wondering when they would have the rights they were due, t he African American s now would have felt plainly insulted A nd so, with continued stoking of the flame of disgust the cauldron of their discontent boiled and having no more room to accommodate i t s weighty contents, exploded after much warning and constraining. By the decade of the sixties Washington, D.C. was an epicenter of the social and racial explosion in America A new social revolution, this time for the recognition of the rights and p rivileges of people of African d escent without reservations, was underway No more segregation, no Jim Crow aftermath would be the public policy! This was an overt, national, cumulative response to the conditions.

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245 But during all of the time coming into these eras developments had been taking place amo ng the artist s who, with less direct confrontation, had been at the very forefront of the discourse for social change. 6 The y were doing this in a quietly sub versive way by undermining the negati ve pictures that the white supremacist entities had fed to the people, devaluing their image and stereotyping them to the level of being uneducable and incapable of accomplishing the finer levels of attainment. The artists had been proving this claim a l ie and had been presenting positive and sensitive images of their people to the masses. This was a great discovery among the people they saw that they could do the finer things and develop mastery at them. And to see themselves in paintings in fine setting s and to be able to read words and play musical instruments and create their own plays and have their own poets and writers was an uplifting experience. For this study of the visual form, we pause to review what the artists were doing during the times comi ng into the making of the New Negro and up to the social revolutions of the 60s and 70s. This will take us back to the times when African American s first become known as artist s in the society 7 6 Active voices from artists, no matter their calling, came from people like Paul Robeson, Max Roach, Richard Wright, Dizzy G illespie, Billy Holiday, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Langston Hughes, Katherine Dunham, Charles White, Lena Horne, Romare Bearden, and Elisabeth Catlett among many others. 7 We shall keep in mind, here, that the people noted here are among works in the style and for the consumption of the dominant culture. Obviously, these would have been enshrined and given the usual reification that Western art has bestowed upon its artist and their productions. There is little reason to believe that there were not many skilled Blacks who had developed similar skills but whose work either did not support the power structure and might have been confiscated and destroyed, or were never brought to light for their content or intent, or were executed on material that art and view their record as tantamount to the paupacity of African American artists listed today, at any giv en time, among American artists. In fact one recent search of a text on American sculpture (title and

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246 Formal and Aesthetic Context of Emergence As early as the by Western standards. These artists set the foundation for others to follow and helped to lift the image of the people by showing to them their unrecognized potential. They worked quietly and not politically but the mere fact that they were doing what they did, fulfilled a social and political function. It opened the eyes of the people and paved the way for others to follow. A Steady stream of artist continued to produce notable works of art o ver the decades, some travelling to Paris to study and gaining international reputation. Some, like Edmonia Lewis, as early as the time Howard University was founded in 1867, began to address the social ills of the country in their work. Some worked conser vatively, within the norms of the times and more and more, social commentary began to creep into the work they engaged. From the 1920 s onward, the new art movements had begu n to emerge as T he New Negro was coming in to being Tritobia Hayes Benjamin notes t hat, Eager to structure a distinctly different canon, artist s of this generation rejected landscapes and still lifes for the figurative, the ancestral homeland, and vernacular culture Hayes Benjamin adds that later stil l, Alain Locke was to call for an identifiable racial art style ( Hayes Benjamin 1999 ) So a gradual shift came about with the growing confidence of the people and the unifying movement of the Harlem Renaissance movement. author unrecorded) showed not a single sculptor of African descent. Yet they exist in such excellent artists as Richmond Barthe. Richard Hunt, the Edward Love, the Ayokunle Odeleye, Martin Pureyear and others.

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247 To connect us to this era, we engage in a brief examination of the earliest A frican American visual artist s on record Now knowing the context within which they would have worked we look quickly at the content of the work of several of these artist s in chronological order in which their work became known and was recorded Most sou rces on the examination of the history of African American art tend to be unanimous on the chronological tracing of artist s of color as the y became visible on the scene. Joshua Johnston has been documented as the first recorded artist of color working the America. He lived in the Baltimore area and was said to have come from the West Indies. L ike most of the first artist s of color, he served much at the whim of the white gentry, mostly doing portraits W het her Johnston was African American or not, has been debated but a careful examination of the work he has produced and civic records that exist suggest that he was a man of color. over the late 1700s and the early 1800s and consists primarily of portraits of the white gentry. The painting below is characteristic of most of his work

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248 Fig ure 6 2. Family portrait by Joshua Johnston who is known to have advertised his business of doing portraits in Baltimore papers Another early recognized artist of color was Robert S. Duncanso n, a mulatto who was adept at rendering landscape scenes U nderstandably h e w orked as a painter creating for the consumption of the European American gentry and therefore fulfilling the role of providing for their tastes. As an accomplished artist Duncan son seemed to do w hat his consciousness dictated to paint from his experiences as necessary to make a living, given the context in which he lived It is said that only one of his paintings ever bore an image of a n African American person.

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249 a .b Fig ure 6 3 L andscape by Robert Duncanson shows his skill as an accomplished nineteenth cen tury landscape painter. At right (b) is a p ortrait of Duncanson Yet another acclaimed landscape painter emerged in Edward Bannister He was also acclaimed as a master of t he landscape and of genre scene s. He also, did not represent the African American in his work. It is clear that these artist s were simply living within the norms of the society of the times and to subsist, it was necessary for them to cater toward the cli ent ele that existed. The clientele consisted of those who had the means of supporting the taste for the consumption of works of art, and that clientele was white. In addition, it was unlikely that they would depart from painting neutral and appeasing image s given the precariousness nature of the situations within which most of them existed. Departure from these norms would very likely jeopardize their way of life and see an end to their ability to continue as artists. Eventually Henry Ossawa Tanner, the son of a clergyman, became known for the inclusion of representation of black images in his work. First a landscape painter, Tanner was encouraged to produce genre scenes by his teacher Thomas Eakins. He went to Europe (Paris) to study art and returned with a painterly style which he lavished

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250 Figure 6 4 Edward Bannister was another accomplished landscape painter. His landscapes were often genre scenes with the addition of human figures, usually either enjoying the landscape or engaged in some farming act ivity. a b Figure 6 5 The younger Tanner is shown at left. At right he paints in his Paris studio. Although he portrayed African American s in noble, positive and spiritual ways and found worthy subjects in African American social life, Tanner nevert heless did not seem to be

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251 interested in issues of race and he did not want to present himself as a beacon for black artist s He went on to produce some thirteen or more images of Biblical scenes over his career. Of course, with great credit to him, he wa s working with some degree of consciousness. Yet the time was not yet ready for the structured message that was to come from a Negro, African American or Black art to be developed later This is a prime example of what we mean when we try to explain the distinction of an art by the African American which includes likeness of his people, but which are not necessarily descriptive of a Black art. Referring back to Lynch's words, the artist represents what he/she sees and absorbs from his/her experiences fr om day to day. Tanner, though incorporating images of blackness, was in the primary stage of this growth that was to emerge later. Fig ure 6 6 The Banjo Lesson by Tanner shows an ennobling depiction of a grandfather and grandson.

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252 Tanner was soon joined by others such as Laura Wheeler Waring another notable portrait painter and Richmond Barth a skilled sculptor who often depicted images of famous Afican Americans such as Booker. T Washington, George Washington Carver, as well as genre or documentary im ages of the African descendants in daily routine African American subjects are most refreshing and ennobling and stoic depictions of African American s usually as portrait busts Figure 6 7 Laura W portrait of Alma Jon es, the first graduate of the Howard University Department of art unde r James V. Herring This mode was the way in which African American artist s started to become placed on record. But we can feel assured that many other artist s were likely producing viabl e works of art throughout the population, but had not become visible or not ready to

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253 be seen. Other great pai nters showed up in the mid 1800 s including Nelson Primus who also was a painter of the European American elite Figure 6 7 Most of t he se early paint ers had learned the styles of the European artist s and performed within the same aesthetic. The fact is that these artist s were part of a culture that saw Fine Art as being associated only with aesthetics social standing and power. The aesthetic standard was automatically set by the tastes of the White gentry. I n addition, the artist had to e k e out a living and both the money and the inclination to possess art mostly portraiture, rested in the wealth of the European American 8 It was not until the beginn ing of the second half of the nineteenth century that a few selected artist s began to exhibit some freedom in depicting people of color in their works. One of the first to do so and to make a statement that was indeed daring, yet noble and powerful, was Ed monia Lewis a female artist born in 1843 who also became the first recognized African American woman sculptor. Lewis was half Native American and therefore had the blood of two discredited people running in her veins. Like most artist s of her time she had gone abroad to study. Yet after her studies in Italy she returned with a deepened consciousness of her identity and determined the path her art would take. Her undying statement of her commitment to let her art speak for the situation of the people sits i n the collection of Howard University. This marble sculpture is done in a Classical style, and depicts a n African American male his arms raised with the remnant of a chain attached. An African American woman kneels beside him, her head rai sed in 8 Henry McBride in the early 1930s questioned African American artists working for the white elite, and Is there a sufficient Negro aristocracy to support Negro geniuses or shall the This was reported i n Art Digest p. 18 ).

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254 thankful ness for freedom. This is the turning point, we posit, in the history of the making of creative visual forms, a rt by African American s The image titled Forever Free ( Figure 6 8 ) was created in 1867 two years after the end of the Civil War and four ye ars after the Emancipation Declaration. This was indeed a display of great advancement in the v ision and confidence of this wom an. 9 Figure 6 8 The classically posed marble sculpture, Forever Free by Edmonia Lewis, is a treasured piece in the Howard Uni versity Collection ; done 1867. Photo pp. 9 It is to be noted that Lewis, like Tanner, had also gone on to study her craft in Paris. I t is to be suggested that her exposure to the more tolerable race response in Paris, might have emboldened her to make such a direct and open address on the condition of her people in America.

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255 By the time of the Harlem Renaissance in the early 1920s, artist ic outpouring s seem to ooze from writers, actors, musicians, play rights, poets, dancers, orators, and of course visual artist s. Among them one was ref erred to as being, t he leadin g 10 His name was Aaron Douglas Douglas had been c hallenged by his tea cher to, seek and accept his own cultural heritage as artist ic subject matter 11 He dedicated himse lf to painting African Am erican s with a new measure of dignity and pride ( Lewis 1990 ) Douglas bec ame the designate d artist and illustr ator for most publications of the Harlem Renaissance. He illustrated the book The New Negro which Locke published in 1925. His work addressed the social issues of the time the plight of the African Diaspora n in America. He worked tirelessly for the social arts movement of the Harlem Renaissance. Hale Woodruff was revered for murals depicting the history of the African American sojourn. Works such as the well known Amistad murals at Talladega College were heavily influenced by the Mexican muralists, Jose Cle mente Orozco, Diego Rivera and David A lfaro Siqu e i ros. As a muralis t, he came to join the ranks of a lineage and tradition of creating works for the consumption of the general public a form of mass communication within the Fine Arts. Along the way a ca dre of artist s developed, turning more and more to addressing and depicting the black experience. Among these artist s were Palmer Hayden who introduced a genre form of ethnic depictions Archibald Motley who loved to depict 10 Samella Lewis, 1990. 11 Ibid.

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256 African American s in flamboyan t styles of entertainment in clubs and in groups at soirees along the streets and at entrances to apartment buildings Sargeant Johnson with his lyrical style depicted people of African descent with feeling and great sensitivity. Augusta Savage, a gifted f emale sculptor was commissioned to create portrait busts of both Du Bois and Garvey Savage particularly enjoyed flourishin g her skills on the beauty of N egroid features. Figure 6 9 Amy Garvey wife of Marcus Garvey contemplating the bust commissione d to Augusta Savage. Photo pp. Many other artist s of African descent emerged over the time from Johnston and Tanner to the height of the New Negro Awakening and had a stout impact on the establishment of the Negro as a creative and consummate artist ic fo rce in the larger

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257 American society Among these were Archibald Motley, W. H. Johnson, Horace Pippin, Palmer Hayden and Charles Alston among several others of easy and lesser renown These are some of the dominant artist s leading us into the dynami c cha nge s of the 1950s and 1960 s. The success of each African American artist was seen as the further opening of the door of acceptance as capable and worthy citizens. In the introduction of the catalog to the exhibition The Walter O Evans Collection of African American Art, ( Barnwell 1999 ) Tritobia Hayes Benjamin points out t hat white Americans assumed they [African Americans] were unable to produce or appreciate fine art But as we have by now begu n to see, the urge to create and the need to organize visual el eme nts into the meaningful entity which th e Western world calls art, exists within all people C reative forms of expression communication through form are all relative to the culture in which they are created and the experiences that their creators have gone through. Alain Locke and the Call for Adherence to Cultural Legacies The Howard University philosopher and aesthetician, Alain Locke at lent his voice to the eradication of the adverse social conditions under which African American s lived in the Americas. As a scholar, using intellectual tool s as a strategy for liberating the minds of the people. As the first African American Rhodes Sc holar he studied at Oxford University from 1907 to 1910. Now exposed to more liberating patterns of thought and behavior beyond the border s of the United States, Locke, returned to Howard with a new vision for his people.

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258 a b Fig ure 6 10 A young Alain Locke is seen at left (a) At right (a), Locke with fellow Howard Professors Stuar t Nelson and Ralph Bunche at right Photo pp. About the year 1925 the aesthetician made an astute declaration based on a keen observa tion of the events that were occ ur r ing around him and throughout the world of art. Observing Pablo Picasso's co option of African art in generating a new form of modern art Lo cke remarked; ...if African art (were) capable of producing the ferment in modern art that it has, surely this (was) not too much to expect of its influence upon the culturally awakened artist of the present generation 12 His remark amounted to a call an d an awakening Knowing that African art had been seen in such a negative light for so long, the very idea of a world art being derived from African art was both exhilarating and spectacular for those who were able to comprehend its meaning fully In a w ay similar to that in which Aaron Douglas teacher had suggested that he draw his inspiration from his people Locke was saying to all African American s on a large scale, look toward the arts and the culture of your ancestors for your inspiration. And a s a Rhodes S cholar, exposed to and championing in the inte rnational and European 12 Alain Locke, The New Negro, 192 5

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259 communities alike, he easily drew the attention of the intellectual community at home. His admonition would not have been lost on the erudite and the informed. The educated pe rson would at once comprehend the full intricacies of such an insightful observation. The community of the Howard University campus, froth with the African American intelligentsia of the period, listened to the renewed call as the motto for forging ahead i n seeking cultural solace and pursuing Africanisms in their work. The fact is that there were diverse forms of African cultural continuities throughout the cultures of the Diaspora. But all things African had been so negative for so long And for so long had ideas of beauty been attached to everything European the art, the architecture, the woman, the deity, and the lifestyle the result was tha t even some people of color accepted themselves and their culture as being inferior. But the fact remains th at at some point we all seek our past to unde rstand how we are attached to that past in order to understand ourselves. 13 integral part s of the human concept of self and identity and stability, Locke, opened the way fo r his observers to feel comfortable with entering the doors in search of the identity taken away from them It was the beginning of the peeling back of the inhibiting veil that negated self awareness. People were eager and encouraged to take the walk th rou gh the door because the condition wit hin which they found themselves impelled them to do so. 13 W e have often seen such stories in fil ms or read of it in books even the child who has been expatriated and adopted, even when treated with all of th e love of new parents at some point when an adult, develops a desire to know of his or her past and fr om who and where he/ she came and begins seeking for his/her roots

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260 Fig ure 6 11 A group of eminent Howard p rofessors whose names are readable in the original legend to the photograph stand at the gate in front of Founders libr ary Alain Lock e is at right Photo pp. Fig ure 6 12 This the cover to the exhibition of works from The T ravelling Collection of Harlem Museum of African Art of New York City in 1928, cements the fact that Locke had established a circular movement betwe en Howard University and the activities and philosophy of the Harlem Renaissance.

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261 So w ith his prominence and eloquence and his experience as a leading scholar globally, Locke's call was powerful in the ears of the emerging intellectuals of the t ime. Howar d University was a breeding ground and a hub for the brightest and most promising leaders of the African Community in America and the world. The students especially those in the one arena that is best able and most directly connected to fulfilling the int ents of the call art answered with renewed confidence and a greater commitment to the goal from a wider perspective. The artist s, who are, in fact, the primary protectors and keepers of the culture, took the lead and in their various media invoked their rights to speak culturally and ethnically through their work. They were further encouraged by the rising achievements of such writers as Sterling Brown, Richard Wright, Claude McKay and Langston Hughes ; artist s such as Aaron Douglas, Elizab eth Catlett and Romare Bearden; actors and musicians such as Paul Robeso n, Ossie Davis, Lena Horne, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Billy Holiday, Dinah Washington and Ethel Waters; and many others who had risen to prominence some having even be en co opt ed by mainstream America. Yet i t should be clear that Locke was experienced enough to realize that not all artist s would become similarly inspired, that art was too dynamic and its sources of influence too mystical to be corralled and contained within a si ngle focus. James classes but as one former student of Porter's said at the Porter Colloquium of 2005, He ou Of course, even today, n admonition. Some found their own directions with other intents and spoke less directly

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262 to the social and political condition of the African American commu nity. This is consistent with any phenomenon of this nature. The human factor will always dictate some degree of individualism and variance to group response. Some artists address the issue on a very sublime basis. At the same conference, one alumnus indic ated the varying responses to the Howard philosophy and how it may be displayed in the work. She pointed out that, You may look at my work and not [immediately ] see Afric a in it, b ut if you are doing performance, music, and movement as I am, it does come from Africa. But returning to the earlier period in the history of the department we see that most graduates pursued the African American art that was already en route to a great In that era graduates like Jame s Porter, Elizabeth Catlett, Malkia Roberts, David Driskell, Elizabeth Catlett and the then slightly enigmatic Lois Jones (as we have seen), and others developed and displayed strong ethnic consciousness. Their focus on their own culture infused their late r teaching, their lives and their work. a b c Fig ure 6 1 3 Elizabeth Catlett, Negro Es Bello at left. Malkia Roberts(center ), Guardian Spirit. Lois Jones (right ) Ubi Girl from Tai Region, Nigeria

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263 Figure 6 13 depict s works from three female graduat es of the Howard Art Department, who became prominent artist s. Two, Malkia Roberts and Lois Jones became faculty members for many years. Elizabeth Catlett has also been an art educator practicing artist most of her life and continues at it at this writing. Aklyn Lynch 14 connects the sequencing of events by tracing the particular sequence of events in Harlem that would lead into the social unrest of the 1960s and to Jeff Donaldson's arrival at Howard Un iversity. Speaking of Harlem, Lynch states that: The Blac k artist s not only lived and performed there, but provided leadership and vision within the community. A cultural revolution had fermented, moving beyond the creative outpourings of the Harlem Renaissance, and imbued with a spirit of struggle that challeng ed the status quo. The dynamic elements of Black culture were closely interlaced with the political struggle for freedom, dignity and the elimination of second class citizenship; it was the creative expression of cultural workers as artist s who had come fr om working class origins (pp.80 81). As the 1920s progressed through and toward the 1930 s a shift began to take place. The pool of ce ntralized communities of artist s, orators and cultural leader s were being made to disintegrate on one hand by external for ces intruding upon their places of support. Many clubs, restaurants and hotels and supporting businesses were forced to close because of harassment by the power structures and the systems of operation that were brought to press against them. This was parti cularly so in Harlem. 15 Later, into the 1950s and into the 1960s these changes tended to galvanize. Lynch ref ers to this as a brain drain. 14 In Nightmare Overhanging Darkly : Essays on Black Culture and Resistance (1993) 15 The most notable of these was the forced closing of The Savoy Ballroom which had been one of the primary me eting places for the artistic and intellectual elite in Harlem. According to Lynch when Mayor La

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264 The brain drain was taking place right before the eyes of the Black political it woul d lead to the physical and cultural disintegration of the community. What had been happening in Harlem, was strategically taking place in the Harlems of North America. Integration into the cultural matrix meant integration into another set of values that the creative artist would have to deal with i n order to continue what had taken place in Harlem during the early war years (p.95). Lynch continues to point out that, In the sixties, when African American nationalism fused into a potent force, the cultura l workers were siphoned off into the universities and the college lecture circuits, leaving the communities defenseless as their leaders were wiped out (p. 84). Figure 6 14. AfriCOBRA art commune members circa 1 988. In time, five members of the group, s een here, became Faculty members at Howard University. So it was that, in order to continue the work as culture brokers for their people, a number of communities of artist s began to form identifiable groups as collectives. In New York there were WEUSI an d the group Whe r e We At ; in Chicago, the Organization of Black American Culture which later became AfriCOBRA. Alongside these groups other collectives were being formed as well not all artist s, and some

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265 taking more direct approaches, but still having a s imilar intent to propagate African American cultural consciousness. The group Spiral was also forged under the leadership of Romare Bearden. African American visual works of art gradually started to follow certain canons. Foremost, it came to reflect the beauty and worth of African heritage. It was called on to reflect a consciousness of African American pride, of course, presupposing the inclusion of the African American image. These images were to be presented as positive reminders of the achievements a nd potential s of the race. Gradually other Afrocentric forms and symbols or depictions of African centered themes were also added to the vocabulary B oth adults and the African American child could see its semblance in painting, in sculpture and in drawing s even in books. The next stage of development of form which began to foment in the 1960s came to be referred to as black art existing alongside, and emerging out of, but remaining more directed than the o lder order of Afro American or Afri can A merica n art. This was a contextual art and could not have emerged at any other time for it was the response of the people to the environment in which they lived at a particular time in the history of the United States. For this response to be generated, several factors, i ncluding social, political, economic, racial, philosophical and educational had to be in align ment. This was an art of agency, a potent message in the visual narrative. It came from people who Tritobia Hayes Benjamin refers to as, cultural warr iors These artist s had been forced to move past mere elements of representation and aesthetics. Their mission became that of educators and dispersers of myths of African cultural inferiority. They fostered pride in their culture. We rely on Lynch here ag ain for his insightful a pproach being

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266 himself an artist 16 and scholar and educator in Black Studies, and a curator of art exhibitions and me ntor of artist s for many years. It is true that the artist has been a witness to the life of the nation and has repro duced its essential types and senses, its manners, customs, beliefs, and morals. The artist has sung its beauties, its struggles and its dramas. In essence, the artist has been a professor of the ideal, of courage. He/she is an educator of the public, a si nger of hopes and dreams, in antithesis to the hardships and ugliness of the moment. One could, therefore, say that the artist vibrates the beauty of the ideal or bears witness to it by expressing it. However, the Black artist must move beyond mere descrip tion. It is now a question of transforming the world and with a real sense of urgency each one of us working naturally within the sphere, which is proper to him/herself (pp.144 145) We posit that there exists a contextually definable notion of that which c onstitutes Black Art in distinction from African American art. We suggest that these terms may be interchangeable for the general public and the uninitiated. But the heuristic application defines distinctions, and while it is not deemed popular to engage such discussions in some quarters, the existential statements support the apparent fact that Black art bears one recurring element that the other most often, does not. That element is intended agency. That agency is the narrative of a cultural voice of le adership; an attempt to speak to the active remembrance of ancestry, worth, meaning, and direction. It is to educate in a didactic way. Since we propose this to be the (primary) ar t of The Howard School espe cially since the 1960s and 70s, we will explore more deeply into the meaning of this Black Art at a later point We n ow consider, in more detail the curricular development of the Art Department of the University. 16 In a chance meeting with Lynch in October.at the Sankofa Caf, h e avowed himself an artiste of words; referring to his awareness of his being recognized for his oratorical skills on his subject Black Studies. He was eager to be placed among the artists of Howard University, many of whom are his close associates.

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267 Historical Genesis Art w ithin Howard and the Normal Department Most institutions of hig her learning for African American s in the earlier per iods comprised a Normal Department. This was the term used for what we would today call the teacher's college. This was the first department opened at Howard followed by classes in the industrial arts. There was a rather large allocation given toward this department to provide the many students with training in architecture, carpentry, tailoring and dressmaking book binding, and masonry, among other disciplines. These persons had to be trained to becom e the teachers needed for the African American populace According to Scott W. Baker 17 i t became impractical for some of these trades to be taught effectively without the students acquiring good drafting skills By 1889 drawing classes which had already beg un within the Normal Department, were extended into the trade disciplines The Department of A rt, however, was not created until later. As more and more courses were added to the curriculum for architecture and for the now re named Teachers College, orders were given about 1922 for the establishment of a Department of Fine Arts to be headed by was James V. Herring T he department graduated its first student in 1924. The second graduate James Porter, joined the faculty in1927 and became one of the three pil lars of the foundation of the department. 18 Porter became 17 Pres ented in the essay A Proud Continuum: Eight Decades of Art at Howard University (2005) 18 His wife Dorothy, a librarian, joined the staff of the Moorland Spingarn Research Center. This was to prove a beneficial relationsh ip that brought benefits to the growing Art Department and its developing library. In conversation with Baker (August, 2010), he recounts how the department benefited from Mrs. Porter's role as the librarian, as she would always assure a sizable allotment for art books when it was time fo r the submission of new orders.

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268 the new instructor in painting and drawing. More courses were a dded gradually between Herring Porter and i n 1930 two new hires were made, Lois Mailou Jones and James Lese sne Wells. 19 Figure 6 1 5 Scott Baker, Assistant Director of the University Gallery. The owl in front of him is the inkwell that belonged to Department and first Chairman of the Department James Herring. Baker was able to identify the object he c hanced u pon by going through archival photographs According to Baker in 1930 the department was allocated a space in the basement of Rankin Chapel for a gallery. The art history program was also flourishing. Art clubs were formed. Faculty continued their training Porter went to New York University and Jones to Paris. Wells was later to go to Columbia Univer sity. The art Gallery attendant Alonzo Aden also continued training in Europe. Two luminaries Elizabeth Catlett and Lucille Davis (later to become Malkia Robert s) graduated in 1935 and 1936 19 While arriving to the department too late to be taught by them, my generation of students nevertheless, had the great opportunity to meet and interact with these, retired professor on many occasions. Their achievements are extraordinary both as educators as well as in the work they produced.

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269 Figure 6 1 6 F irst Howard gallery situated in the basement of Rankin Chapel. Photo pp. respectively. The department was to continue to grow in number of faculty and in student enrollment New and recurring activities boost e d the training of the students and advance d a culture of exposure to Th e Fine Arts. According to Baker, A landmark event in the history of the Department of Art occurred with the completion of the Fine Arts complex in December, 1960. The College of F ine A rts building was heralded as the first autonomously built complex on a H istorically B lack C ollege and U niversity campus. First pro posed in 1931 by James Herring, it consists of three structures: Louis C. Cramton Auditorium, Ira Aldridge Theater and Lulu Ve re Childers Hall. (pp.11 12). 20 With the passing years more programs were instituted and more faculty members were added as the student population in creased In looking at the ideological development, I will try to account for the element the spark tha t ignited the height of the fervor of the H oward S chool of A rt philosophy th at would lead it into the (assumed) peak of its manifestation. 20 Notable scholars such as Paul Rebeson were to perform in these settings later

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270 In the early years of the creation and development of the department there was not a s great emphasis on addressing Af rican American identity or dwelling on social issues. It is understandable that the first concerns were to get the program established and accepted. That task would have been enough for the times. Developments could come at a later time. An adequate level of operation had been obtained with the work of P rofessors Herring and Porter. But then came a period of new enlightment and a new Negro was born whose passion and aspirations ignited into the blaze called the Harlem Renais sance I consider the height of blaze as being about 1926 8. This movement or era turned out to be a relatively short lived development and it fizzled into relative silence due to what Lynch (1993 ) likened to a brain drain Some scholars have ascribed this diffusion to the spreading out of the artist s and their absorption into mainstream systems of entertainment attracted by the remuneration offered them once the European American investors and entertainment houses had seen their potential. Nevertheless, as a result of these and othe r reasons, the strength of the movement flick ered and the concentration of energies and talents for the single focus were no longer extant. It is as if African American s had set about to prove a point a nd they had accomplished it. The African American effo rt to uplift him or her self it seems, always ended in a fragile endeavor. Deprived of so much for so long, impatient for changes, often efforts are sustained for short periods of time before he must return to the busy task of coping with ( his ) double iden tity and survi ve for self and family. T his dramatic act of double play is ever present staring him in the face, for most often, and especially then, he is not credited with being able to make the two work successfully together. Little doubt that as Lynch p ointed out, most of these scholars and artist es became

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271 swallowed up by the universities and colleges. But this phenomenon was to create an escalated cultural boom at many of the historically African American universities like Howard University. Identifyin g the Spark: Herring, Porter, Locke and the Key to Ignition T hree central figures mentioned previously, Herring, Porter and Locke, played key roles in the developm ent of the art department James Herring, a n alumnus, after continuing his studies locally an d abroad returned to the university and taught drawing. Herring founded the art de partment and served as chairman from 1921 to 1953. James Porter, who gradua ted from the department in 1927, was hired to assist with the drawing program. He assumed the posi tion of Chair on H erring's retirement in 1953 and served in that capacity till 1970. Alain Locke, a Rhode scholar, started teaching at Howard in 1912. Locke is said to have developed his interest further in African Art by observing the collection of the Ba rnes Foundation, but we know he had also seen a great deal of African art in Europe He lent his voice to the cultural awakening among African American scholars and artist s and had been at the forefront of the Harlem Renaissance movement It had been his a dmonition that African American artist s lean toward their African ancestry no t only for inspiration, but so they would develop a general sense of pride about their heritage and things African. 21 This call has been 21 We must make an effort to comprehend this call in the context of the times. It was no simple encouraging gesture. It was not a mere reminder. Under the circumstances and within the cultural underpinnings of the times, most Blacks were seeing themselves far removed from African culture. African Art was seen as ugly, demonic and unchristian. The aesthetic standards in hairstyle, dress, art, looks and even in religion to a degree were set to the European whim. Mulatto complexion was preferred; black women hated their hair, the Negroid facial structure was stereotyped and abho rred; African art was aesthetics

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272 reported in most literature on African Amer ican paradigm of a double consciousness. With this, synthesizing of the crossroads with the main figures in the journey, we ca n now assume the stage is set for the act that was about to unfold. The influential and imposing Herring was a well educated and trained s cholar and administrator Locke was an aesthetician and an art collect or who was closely tied to both the department and the development of the Harlem Renaissance. Locke issued a call to cultural arms within the department The taking up of arms began within the early engagement of the Faculty and students with the African aesthetic and philosophies Yet a full and intertwined engagement was to develop later into an art of agency. I will attempt to tr ace the developments toward this point, with the intent of identifying the spark that brought this passion into the flame of the agency driven H oward S chool of Art First, we want to chronologically place the intersection of these three pillars of the How ard art community within the history of the art department and the African American expe rience After careful con sideration, I decided to accept a mean a date about 1926. This date is five years into the founding of the department; one year prior to Porter joining as faculty (he would have been a sen ior within the department at that time) and about the time, according to Baker, that we know that Locke was directly involved with the department. We know because Herri ng, in his annual departmental report (covering the years 1924 26) reports that: Alain Locke's Principle an applied analysis of art, evolution of art forms,

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273 Fig ure 6 1 7 James Herring, founder and first Chairman of the Ar t Department at Howard University. Photo pp. Figure 6 1 8 James Porter the second Chairman and sculpture, Forever Free Photo pp.

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274 theories of art developments and the int were restruc tured for seni or s only ( Baker 2005:5 ) W e are able to see that concurrent with the movements of the Harlem Renaissance, the combined force of these three scholars made an impact Scott Baker, a 1975 M.A. graduate of the D epartment presents a feel for the flourishing activities of the depa rtment : During the decade between 1915 and 1925, Howard faculty in several disciplines discussed art, and encourage d others to do so, in their writings on teaching African Art and culture: Alain on collectin who printed an appreciati who published The Negro in Li contributing practical guidance for Negro c who lobbied for a Negro Am ericana museum; Dorothy Porter Wesley...who always found a home for art, artist and art history volu mes within the Moorland collection l who started the Journal of Negro History in 1915. These scholars influenced attitudes about Negro artist ic and cultural achievements nationwide (p 3). Figure 6 19 An early studio art c lass at Howard circa 1929 Note the model attired in African clothing. Professor Herring with back turned is at easel 5 th from left Photo pp.

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275 T he mission of the depa rtment as stated in 1926 was, according to Her ring's annual report of 1924 26, To offer the broadest foundation in art, through practical and intellectual training in aesthetics, resulting in a breadth of view, rendering the student capable for professional careers as painters, illustrators and teachers of art ( Baker, 2005: 5 ). So, as indica ted by the involvement of Faculty mentioned above, there was a foundation for an inter disciplinary appreciation for art laid at Howard. The same y ear Porter formed The Daubers Art Club, which promoted campus talks, meetings and lectures. Through this club students were able to develop an aware ness of the contemporary issue s in the field. The Daubers c lub was to last until about 1965. Since the club came into existence during the period of the flourishing of the Harle m Renaissance participating students wou ld have been well aware of the work of the artist s of the time such as Aaron Douglas. Fig ure 6 20 The Daubers Art Club about 1964 65. Notice the conservative mode of dress in c omparison to that in Figure. 6 2 8 p29 6. Photo pp.

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276 During his term as Chai r, Herring continued to add courses including a course i n art appreciation for teachers. A ll faculty continued individual projects and professional develop ment activities, keeping close to their intent as African American art educators in a historically Af rican American university. The role of the African American college espec ially that of Howard University was to serve as an academic pool for the extension of the Harlem Renaissance spirit beyond the immediate New York environs. This role has been document ed by several scholars most of them in essays that accompany exhibitions. In spite of these developments there seems to be no complete c ollection of es says that has surpassed the introduction and six essays that appeared in the catalogue to the 1989 at t he Dallas Museum of Art Black Art Ancestral Legacy: The African Impulse in African America Art However, scholars such as Tritobia Hayes Benjamin Michae l Harris, Floyd Coleman and others have contributed brilliantly to the discourse elsewhere. T he catalo gue to the exhibition is introduced by David C. Driskell, a Howard alumnus and professor 22 E ssays by Edmund Barry Gaither, Regenia A. Perry, Alvia J. Wardlaw, William Ferris, Ute Ste bich and Robert Farris Thompson provide discussion of both trained and unt rained African American artist s of the twentieth century. The extensive research by several of these scholars provides insights into the context of Howard University relative to the movements of the period. Together, these several scholars weave another se t of interpretations on the events and the climate of the times 22 The exhibition was c urated by Alvia Wardlaw with assi stance from Regina Perry and Edmund Gaither.

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277 David Driskell, a highly regarded scholar of art, recently retired after years teaching a t The University of Maryland. A former student and professor at Howard University, he is also an accom plished painter who holds closely to the pulse of African Art for inspiration. In the introduction to the mentioned catalogue, he starts out by introducing us to the cultural maze with in which African American artist s are placed and must negotiate ( Driskell 1989 ) Unobtrusively, he tells us that: Over the years, our artist s have reconstructed in various media the spiritual imp etuosity of a bygone African pa s t It is f rom this perspective of an Af rican sensibility... that the African American artist s have returned during the past one hundred years in search of their roots in a culture other than their adopted one here in the United States...and they have searched the pages of history in pursuit of their ancestral roots. (p. 15) Continuing to refer to the African American as a displaced African people, Driskell points out that: Much of what we know about our African legacy in the fine arts came to the attention of American scholars during the Har lem Renaissance, and that ...Africa became the unifying theme among artist s of the Harlem Renaissance....These artist s celebrate their unique gift of artist ry by imposing a particular sensibility that seems closely related to the art of Black Africa, who se art forms often serve as a functional aid to living (p. 16). He then ties this all together by incanting the anthropological dimension in stating that, ...they continue to remind us that art is man's highest form of material communication and in it th e message of form often goes hand in hand with socia l and cultural aspirations. So we see here art being established both as an agent in the social and anthropological inquiry for identity among these descendants from a forced migration (p. 15) and as a creative impulse within itself.

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278 Also, importantly, we see the role of the Harlem awakening within w hich Locke is a headliner while a professor within the Art Department at Howard University. Some sources make reference to his travels between Washington D.C. and New York during those times. It is there fore, plausible to suggest that Howard University, at the least, through Locke influenced the passion of the Harlem Renai ssance! It is probably Gaither who most succinctly takes us back to the fomenting a nd the structuring of the movement. ...a small group of black intellectuals, he says, Du Bois paramount amongst them, began to forge closer relationships between black Americans in the U nited States and [B] blacks in the Caribbean and Africa. The result was the Pan African movement...This, too, helped lay the foundation for the New Negro. In the wake of Worl d War I and as a consequence of the extraordinary migrations of southern black people to northern industrial centers....Southern Blacks, northern (B) blacks, West Indians and even a few Africans crowded into newly created urban communities, shed their often rural, parochial 19th century selves and embraced a more aggressive and assertive, more urban and comprehensive identity. At the center of this n ew identity was the acceptance of African heritage as a shared legacy. In this setting, Marcus Garvey's nationalistic Universal Negro Improvement Association declared: Africa for Africans: At Home and Abroad... For artist s, the twenties validated the us e of African themes and stylistic elements as well as southe rn folk themes. These themes became the reservoirs of black culture the raw material for sophisticated and gifted fine artist s Edmun d Gaither understood well Alain Locke's intent in putting o ut this call to cultural ar ms ( Gaither 1989 ) He tells us that: ...Alain Ler oy Locke, gave the new identity a name the New Negro and re lated it to a larger view of African cult ure. An early statement of his views on Afro American and African visual art is provided in hi s essay, The Legacy of Ancestra l Art. ... Locke believed in a racial artist ic temperament ...and he regarded this artis t ic perspective as unique to each race. Locke understood African (old Negro) art to be disciplined and craft based. He saw it as one of the grand traditions of world art. Because he observed Afro American art as lacking a unique direction, he concluded

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279 tha t black American artist s had become separated from their natural artist ic development as a consequence of slavery. Afro American (new Negro) art was viewed by Locke as imitative in that it was derived from European traditions. While he did not attack Afro American artist s working with themes and in styles which he viewed as extensions of European American art, he did feel they that were denying their own rich heritage and alienating themselves from the uniquely creative possibilities of their own natural ra cial heritage. Locke concluded that Afro Americans needed to reclaim their ancestral legacy re establish continuity with their he ritage. H e recommended that Afro American artist s study African art, and he sought to provide opportunities for direct study by making his own collection available as well as those of others. Locke observed that Picasso and other European artist s had encountered African art and derived from it seminal ideas for the birth of modern European art. Without understanding African art on its own merit, they had used its formal properties to liberate themselves. How then, could Afro Americans descendants of those Africans ignore their birthright? 23 How precisely stated and how clarifying is this statement! Here, Gaither succeeds in present ing to us the entire complex upon which The Howard School of Art philosophy came to be built. It is a well assessed and superbly presented discourse on the philosophy, the structure or form and the intent upon which the School has thrived. Traversing the r ise of intellectual devel opment through the twenties and looking toward that which led into the movements of the sixties, Gaither refers to the same three geographical stations as cross fertilizing in the germination of the new movement: Africa, America, a nd the Caribbean. 23

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280 Beginning in the 1950s...the Afro American social, political and cultural matrix became increasingly radicalized. Major developments contributing to this included...the emergence of post Colonial Africa following the independence of Ghana and the appearance of the black power movement... Black is Beautiful. These socio political events, in turn, precipitated a complex of visual, literary and performing arts expressions broadly called black art ... Students at black colleges and universi ties, as well as ordinary black people, took to the streets in a moral campaign which reached its apex in the March on Washington in 1963... On the international scene, Ghana achieved independence in 1957...Forging a strong identification with Afro America ns, Ghana and Kwame 'Nkrumah, its president, became symbols of the ascent of black people worldwide. 24 In the wake of Ghana's independence, most of the remaining colonial territories in the Caribbean and in Africa also became self governing nations. It was a p eriod of great optimism (p. 23) We know that a shortened fuse within the African American community in America erupted in the sixties when, observing these advances elsewhere, having seen their potential in the Harlem Renaissance, having served in three wars for America, the people were still being denied access to eating at the same counter s or staying in the same hotels as European American s, they realized that the irrationality of the powers in charge and the egregious bend of the attitudes in power, necess itated a more direct approach. The more passive, wholly creative and intellectual approach was replaced with a more confrontational stance This was especially so after King was assassinated in 1968. The African American communities were now inflamed with distrust, fatigue and disillusionment. Their most patient leader, their Moses had been taken away from them by the same element he fought against, using America's own sacred book, The 24 Ghana was to become a temporary place of abode for several African American artists over the ensuing years. One of the first was John Biggers, and Du Bois was to repatriate himse lf there where he resided till his death in 1963 the year King led the march on Washington. It was as though African cosmology had determined that the father of movements had to have advanced into the role of ancestor to witness this seer of an event.

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281 Holy Bible as the so urce for a peaceful and good Christian app eal to a C hristian American nation. Gaither tells us that: Another Afro American identity was forged as a result of these events, as the label of Negro was replaced by the more radical term, black ... Such was the matrix for three important developments in the visual arts: the appearance of works by Afro American artist s who had traveled to post Colonial Africa; the appearance of artist s groups committed to forging militant black political art; and the appearance of a neo African art concerned with recla iming the symbols and fe atures of African art (p... 24). It is impo rtant to note, that within this recipe lay a notable factor ; that which lead s us on arriving at what it is that constitutes black art. Here we find that in the lines of all of his discour se, Gaither has been careful to precisely assign the proper nomination to the people as they referred to themselves. The Negro gave way to the Afro American, which gave way to Black, which has been joined by the term African American ( African American ). Co nsistent with the African American population's de cision to change, on an emergent basis, the semantics of the term used in reference to it, there was a definite terminology adopted to refer to a particular form of art that was, itself, emergent. 25 Here Ga ither refers to it as, African art concerned with reclaiming the symbols and features of African art The idea of a Black art then must be seen within this context that of a reorganized effort to speak and be heard in the people's address to i njustice, prejudice and racial inequalities with a stronger voice It is a more defined and contoured form but with the same ongoing intellectual prowess and intent. And I ascribe 25 It is clear, then, th at such well intended comments from artists such as Raymond Saunders and Glen Ligon represent a suppressed, yet inexcusable denial of the history of their own people. These artists have attempted to singularly reverse the voice of the p eople who have spoken. And this two, is quite in conformity with anthropological principles where the psycho cultural factor in acculturation theory, allows for both enculturation and acculturation. We adjust to and accept that which is necessary for us to survive at the level that we have chosen. At that level we become both molded and content and evolve or devolve into the environment.

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282 this new intent to the events that were national but lived out most vocifero usly within Washington, D.C. Furthermore, I place, within Washington, the center of the flourishing of this new form as the communit y of Howard University artist s. In doing so I acknowledge the fact that the fuel for this emergent form was being prepared f rom the inception of the department; from the voices and works of artist es of the 1920s; from the independence of Ghana and Jamaica, Nigeria and other countries; and from Alain Locke, W.E.B. Du Bois and Marcus Garvey, galvanizing the elements that fed the faculties and students of African American colleges and the communitie s that supported them. This art form reflects in no uncertain way, the process of cultural f omenting in action. It is the example of an existentialist striving of the highest or der that of realizing the self and it fulfills any anthropological paradigm of the ascent of the human spirit based on the empirical the lived experience. This evolved term, therefore, is culture and black art is primarily the art evolving out of the movement of the sixties in response to a particular set of European American supremacist actions 26 With the help of our astute scholar Barry Gaither, we have arrived here at a crucial point of clarification in the subject of African American art. This discourse has th e potential to settle some disconcerting issues that have emerged within discussions over the years with regard to that which constitute a Black art Through this existentialist approach, we have been able to engage the phenomenological triangulation process of assessing the heuristic underpinnings of this subject, and turned it from the guts outward. 26 As to the validity of a need for this art at this time in the history of the people, we will present arguments at the c onclusion of this work.

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283 The cultural and visual anthropologist Allan Burns, who as we have indicated before, has worked with a Diasporan people the Guatemalan Mayans residing in South Central Florida, and who is quite aware of the existentialist struggles of a displaced people suggested that there is also an essential benefit in the meaning of the new term Black art, as it became applied, historically, to the people of African descent in America. He suggests the greater accuracy of the term (in an overall sense), in its application to the people of African descent now in America, let alone its reference to the art of the sixties. In discussion with him, August 25, 2010, Burns s uggested that: Afro American and African American terminology represented a kind of local emphasis on the experience of the United States...and so then the switch to the term black art becomes parallel to other areas of the experience when people st art talking about black music, and black literature and drama, and so on in the whole world. The term becomes more accurate because it realizes the contributions of African Diaspora people who have come from other points of the sojourn. I concur with Burn s on this, that Africans who have migrated to the United States, as well as to the West Indian Islands and African descendants of South America, starting with Marcus Garvey, have combined with the locally born African in America to create the African Amer ican experience The term African American is, therefore, a parochial term that semantically excludes such peoples 27 He has good basis for this evaluation from his own work with the Mayan people who have settled in Florida, based on is text, Maya In Exi le ( Burns 1993 ) This was in allusion to the use of the term to apply to all art of the people of color resi ding in the United States. In fact, Clement Price has added his voice to this issue when he states that, What America has made of 27 I presented this issue in a comment before a panel at the 21 st Porter Colloquium Series at Howard University in 2005.

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284 black people and the ways in which black people in the Un ited States who are now far more diasporic in character than the y h ave been since the time of the American R evolution have brought beauty, pathos, richly poignant memories, clarity and a a metaphor for the larger soci e pressure and evidence of a reconciliation of historical narratives long sought (p. 18) There is no reason for us to consider that we have now arrived at a place where we have adequately sorted out the issues of our cultural shaping. I suggest, here, as el sewhe re, that the African experience in America is still emergent not yet completely written, a nd is being defined and re configured constantly. This notion is in contrast, of course to some artist s and writers who believe that there is no longer any need for ethnic focus in o ur art for t o them, it seems we have reached the stage of a homogenized society. Howard Sch ool artist s defy that claim, and Jacqueline Francis put it very bluntly (as I also did in m ore subtle form) when she said, As long as there i s racism still present in Amer ica, and there is, the re continues a need for us to be resistive and to create special outlets to continue to speak out and to perpetuate our African ancestry 28 T o reinforce this central placement of Howard Univers ity in the national business of cultural identity formation and artist ic formulations, we seek one final trav erse into engaging the essay of Alvia Wardlaw. In an exploration of the role of African American colleges in forging an African American culture, she traces the contributions of several 28 In a paper presented at the 21 st Criti cal Race Arts History.

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285 such in her essay, A Spiritual Libation: Promoting an African Heritage in the Black College (pp. 53 74). Wardlaw helps us affirm the role of Howard University as undoubtedly the central one in the honing of the soc ial and political awareness of the African American culture. She tells us that: The black college has been a fundamental repository for African American culture in this century. Basic to the mission of the black institution of higher learning has been the perpetuation of those ideas which have given a distinct identity to its students. The presence of the African and African American art collections on black college campuses has served as a source of symbolic pride among the schools' larger communities. The se works of art convey a sense of the historical, of the very real past to African Americans and, through them the history of a people has been given a more immediate sense of reality. It was not simply the collections, however, but also the teaching metho ds which enabled students to confront...and ultimately to emb race their heritage ...Later, as members of the community, figures, masks, became active collectors, figures, masks, and textiles were received from these constituencies as gifts. How these works were incorporated into the college curriculum and used by the faculty depended upon the degree of cultural awareness of the a dministration, faculty and staff. (p. 53) Introducing New York Harlem as the origin of the development of black intellectual th ought, she says that: Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association in Harlem and informed the masses that they had a history, a culture to be proud of, and that theirs was a legacy which should be reclaimed... Du B ois frequently used the NAA CP jo urnal as a platform from which to discuss the role of the arts within the black community ...and stated his position...in such art icles as The Negro in Art H ow Will He Be Portrayed? ... Alain LeRoy Locke ...led efforts in New York to create alterna tive Afrocentric cultural institutions ...In 1927, Locke sought to organize a Museum of African Art in Harlem as a center of cultural study for artist s, scholars, and the general public. (p. 54 ) She informs us further that Locke organized exhibitions on ot her campuses as well. At Howard he organized the program to begi n a collection of African art. She tells us that:

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286 While at Oxford from 1907 through 1910, he met many African students a nd he founded an African Union Society ...[he] had the opportunity to st udy a number of collections of African art in London, Par is and Berlin. His subsequent frequent trips to Europe enabled him to maintain an awareness of the trends of European modernists in their study of African art. (p. 54) He wanted to bring to Howard 's campus a cultural enlightenment as expressed through an appreciation of Africa's social traditions and art, she states, and that in 1928, Locke organized for a n exhibition of African art from the Harlem Museum of African Art to visit the Howard campus. She shares with us an interesting anecdotal account of Locke's dedication to the appreciation of the African legacy. Wardlaw tell us that Locke traveled between New York Harlem, and Washington, D.C. in order to pursue this passion (p. 60), and that: Lois Mailou Jones, a member of the Howard faculty from 1930 until 1981, is fond of recalling how one day on Howard's campus Locke stopped her, and gently admonished her for continuing to paint in the European mode; he encouraged her to draw upon her African her itage, instead, for inspiration in her painting...indeed she did go on to create a number of works, beginning with Les Fetich es, which were inspired by her appreciation of African ar t via Europe, Africa, and Haiti, (pp. 60 61) Professor Jones did listen to the admonition as Alvia Wardlaw ( 1989 ) indicates starting with Les Fetiches 29 However, a close look at her work prior to this does show revealing inclusions of African influences. Another incident which reflects the dy namic character of The Howard School and which involves the experience of Professor Jone s is worth mentioning here This 29 It is reportedly not until later, when Jeff Donaldson led the North American contingency of artistes and others to the Festival of African Culture (FESTAC) to Nigeria in 1977, including Professor Jones that her full adoption and ap preciation of the culture emerged. Her work changed to include more Africanisms and so did her logos.

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287 account helps to reify the claims to the actual existence and agency in The Howard School philosophy. I uncovered this incident almost four years ago as I set about contact ing the alumni of the 2005 Howard Alumni Art Exhibition. I spoke with one alumnus a potential research colleague residing in New York. She had been a student of Professor Jones Now a retired educator she was pursuing doctoral studies. She shared with me the pulse of the department during those early years She reported that while the urge and the potential for rk were present in the classes, n o one was forced to adopt Africa into their work. It was suggested and perhaps expected that students adhere somewhat, but the ultimate choice remained, in most instances, with the individual. 30 Professor Jones had not yet fully converted her ideologies and her form of work a nd her perceptions of African cultural characteristics O nce in class, she casually asked a male student wearing the afro hairstyle of the Black is beautiful movement When are you going to cut that thing from off your head? In our discourse, t he colleague identified the student by name, and it happ ened that he was a colleague and fellow photographer I knew while employed at Howard University He has continued to work at the University all of these years, only two years ago completing his doc toral degree I have been able to confirm this inform ation with him (to his delight). B ut the more intriguing matter came about when in the process of archival research, less than ten days from this writing as I reviewed the Faculty Exhibition cata logs over the years. I came upon Professor Jones in a photograph (circa 1975) and 30 We will recall that this concurs with indications made earlier by another alumnus at the Porter Colloquium.

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288 beside her, the named student do nn ing the hairstyle as reported, a vowing the essence of this study the experience as it is lived Professor Jones did go on to become one of the more recognized artist s of The Howard School and her representation among the artist s reviewed, is not without intent as she endorsed the Sankofa philosophy, developing a great love and connection to her Haitian neighbors, and representing the African Diaspora experience throughout her travels and her work influence was far reaching and had repercussions within many spheres. Connecting us to the times that led into the fully fledged Howard School of Art, Wardlaw tells us finally that, Alain Lock e was certainly no t alone at Howard in his effort to encourage students to examine African culture. Simu ltaneously with Locke's efforts there developed over the years an awareness of African culture encouraged by the faculty at Howard University (p.61). We know of Professor Herring's work and that of Professor Porter as the foun dation stones of the department And yet later, the work of others such as Lois Jones, Lucille Davis ( later to become Malkia Roberts), David Driskell and Elizabeth Catlett are men tioned as having had great influence on the department in the yet early stages. We see for example the African influence in the (circa) 19 29 photograph of a studio class in session; the model is dressed in full African regalia Also, more cross fertilizat ion was occurring in many quarters. Professor James Herring and curator Alonzo Aden had opened a small gallery on the periphery of the Howard campus. House d in a row house with limited space and occupying the first floor of the residence they shared. It wa s named The Barnett Aden Collection mother, and provided a space for many African American and other artist s to show their

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289 work. Th e credo of the gallery was to provide a venue for the exposition of the work of artist without regard to race or ethnic origin Notwithstanding, it catered automatically, mostly to artist s of minority groups and specifically those of African descent. Howard faculty members such as Lila Asher, o f Jewish descent, and others non Africans who liv ed or taught within th e Howard Community were welcome exhibitors. 31 Thus while reinforcing their ethnic identity and preserving its borders, The Howard School philosophy was simultaneously forging bonds with people who were guests among them and who were able to share threads o f bonding based on common or shared experiences, though on different fronts. This small gallery played a major role in the early years of establishing art within the African American community. It was one of the earliest known independent galleries of Afri can American Art in the District of Columbia With joint effort, Herring and Aden were able to offer one person exhibitions to a number of artist s over the years when there would otherwise have been no opportunities for them to show their work One subsequ ent gallery owner, who opened a gallery in Chicago some years l ater, credited the idea to having seen the Bar nett Aden Gallery realizing the role it came to play in providing a community hub for the local artist s. in Washington, D.C. A major event which was said to be Another aspect of Howard's cultural contribution to the Washington, D.C. community, was the emergence of the Museum of African Art which is now a part of the Smithsonian Institution chain of museu ms This 31 Professor Lila Asher taught at Howard for some thirty years Her first exhibition was held at the Barnett Aden Gallery. I had classes with her during my undergraduate years from 1980 to 1984. While a Faculty member at Hood College, I curated an exhibition of her work in 1993. Now a retired profes sor of consummate technical skills, she works from her studio in Bethesda, Maryland.

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290 museum grew out of Warren Robbin's eff orts to garner support by organizing a major exhibition of African Art at Howard... (p. 62). This museum was originally planned for the historic Frederick Douglas home in South East D C. Porter invited Robbins to show the collection at Howard in 1962 and this began a great work of coll aboration and cultural esteem. It should be noted that it is this effort that resulted in today's National Museum of African Art under the wide umbrella of the Smithsonian Institution. We move forward and pick up the arrival of Jeff Donaldson a Chicago artist and art historian at Howard University in 1970. But we should take a moment to consolidate the accounts that we have examined and establish the basis that had been laid for this Howard School, as well as to revisit our s earch for the spark of The Howard School Is there an identifiable period that best attests to the generation of The Howard School as we have presented it, or is its form at its height to be distributed evenly throughout the complete period starting with t he intersecting of Herring, Locke and Por ter? The Howard School of Art Philosophy and its Local, National, and International Place and Impact Historically Black colleges, from the beginning of the Negro Awakening, played a central role in the developme nt of the new way in which Afri can A mericans began to see themselves. New York Harlem, with the presence of such figures as Marcus Garvey, Alain Locke and W.E.B. Du B ois provided the dominant philosophical principles around which the new awakening took pla ce. The people, native New Yorkers, new arrivants from the southern migrations, and West Indians, centering themselves within the communities of Harlem galvanized their energies into a vibrant movement headed by the scholars and scholar/ artist es in the com munities. The community attracted the brightest and most gifted of the African Diaspora. Art, in its various forms was the major

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291 hub of the tools used to realize this awakenin g. Due to its central placement next to the seat of government in Washington, D C as well as its proximit y to New York and the influence of the dominant and dual role played by Alain Locke being central both at Howard and in the Harlem Renaissance movement, the university came to play an important part in shaping the entire cultural movements which were spread over the nation and became exported to other points of the African Diaspora. So th e new African Diaspora recognit ion of self, worldwide, had much of its beginnings at Howard University. Howard, aided by the events taking place a t other African American universities and colleges, held its place through the years even after the subsiding of the Harlem Renaissance. Once again by being centrally positioned in the nation's capital, it became the speaking platform for the scholars and social, political and culture workers over the decades. It welcomed and entertained heads of state of newly decolonized countries, and enjoyed the cultural offerings of the best and most known intellectu als entertainers and artist s. Above all, Howard Univ ersity, through the presence of Alain Locke, was the point of the introduction of African Art to the academy of African American students, educators and the communities around. This fervor was never abated at Howard but continued among the faculty within t heir own work as well as in their message to their students. This message led to the Black is beautiful motto of the sixties, escalated into social movements wherein African American s adopted the new reference to themselves Black and new art movements to reflect this new identity developed. A new chapter in the cultural syncretizing process of the African in Ameri ca had opened.

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292 There is little doubt that Washington, D.C. is a special place in the itinerary of the social and cultural worker in America It is the seat of the governmental bodies and structures; the home of countless social, cultural, civic, organizational, historical, scientific, and business groups. It houses the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution's chain of museums The Ass ociated Press, National Geographic Magazine, The Washington Post newspaper National Public Radio headquarters (WPFW Radio), the National Monuments, many historical Societies and numerous entities as public information sources. Within a lengthy walk or a short bus ride from the main campus of Howard University one can be on the steps of the Capitol B uilding seat of the nation's governing bodies. Washington, D C was the site of A. Philip Randolph's proposed march of 1941 for the bettering of conditions for African American s in the a rmed forces and federal systems. The march was abated when President Teddy Roosevelt passed the legislation Executive Order number 8802 to address th e issues. Washington, D.C. was also the site where in 1963, the Reverend Martin Luther King and his associates, led the historic gathering of some 250,000 people, composed of African American s and sympathizing European American s and other Coloreds against continued segregation and cruelties meted out to African American s. Washington, D C is special in the respect that it is very visible not only to the American, but to the entire world. It is the cit y of, and for change. In this I mean that it is diverse in population, overtly civil in many respects, informed and alert socially and politically, affords easy access to central government and political process, and has been the icon and breeding ground for presen ting social and political demonstrations to those who have the power to institute

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293 changes. Howard University sits atop a promi nent hill just two or three miles to the North of the Capitol Building. The District of Colu mbia comprises some ten square miles carved out of the adjoining states of Maryland and Virginia, as earlier indicated. While the ethnic mix has been shifting over the las t several years with the return in the last six or eight years of many European American s who had fled to the suburbs of the adjoining states after the race riots o f the 1960's, and an increasing number of La tino immigr ants, the territory is still predominantly African American Despite the poorer economic status of the African American population on a whole, (in comparison to the Euro American population), there still exist s a large number of African American elites professors, lawyers, businessmen doctors, teachers scientists, nurses, principals and presidents of universities and organizations and civil servants in great numbers. There is also the black gentry a group of older African American s who, though perhaps not formally educated as profe ssionals, were early on the scene, managed to buy homes and other property when the prices were yet low and thro ugh years of hard work have long furnished payment for their properties and now exact rent monies or have benefited from sales at large apprecia ted prices, and have amassed or even inherited sizable portfolios of wealth. The more culturally aware of these persons tend to gravitate toward The Black Mecca, and The Capstone, as Howard is affectionately known within cultural quarters. There they l ook for cultural stationing. The y follow program schedules to attend to hear notable speakers coming to the campus. If they are a rt lovers, they

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294 fol low the art exhibitions and attend the openings to socialize, become part of the cultured and probably pur chase works of art. 32 A cultural highlight on the campus is the opening of art exhibitions in the Galleries of the College (Division) of Fine Arts. Some of the exhibition attendees ar e artist s themselves. These persons are usually Washingtonians with a comm on cause, are friends of students, staff and faculty, and tend to subscribe to the same philosophy as do The Howard School artist s. They support the department functions, participate in conferences, talks, demonstration s and follow other cultural and educ ational events on the campus. As a part of the community, they have been adopted as sons and daughters and for the most part, have become a part of The Howard School of Art In the period of the sixties when the demands for African American freedom were be ing made, Howard University was the meeting place of the African American intelligentsia. This was (and still is) the place where the intellectuals came to deliver lectures, to receive honorary degrees, where heads of state s from newly decolonized nations visited and spoke, where many of the brightest of African American minds flocked for professorships, and where esta blished entertainers writers, poets and musicians sojourned. 33 Many of the most renowned names in all of these fields have had long relations hips with Howard University and the Howard Community. 32 in 2009 at which time she was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in communication, drew a crowd of some 30,000 attendees from the community. 33 To attach the names of all notable speakers, honorees, heads of state and scholars who have visited this campus would be an enormous task. Here some of those whose names are easily recognizable who have tread the lawn and halls of thi s campus: Frederick Douglas, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois Emperor Haile Selassie, Thurgood Marshall, Alain Locke, E. Franklin Frazier, Michael Manley, Lena Horne, Paul Robeson, U.S. President Harry Truman, Bill Cosby, Ossie Davis, Jackie Robinson, Debbie

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295 Figure 6 21 Students on the grounds of Univ ersity Hall at Howard in 1867. From it was instituted, Howard University was the place to which the brightest of the Freedmen headed. Its mission went ahea d of that of the other H.B.C.Us. of Photo pp. Allen, Phyllicia Rashad, Oprah Winfrey, Earl Graves, Ron Walters, John Hope Franklin, Sterling Brown, William V. Tubman and many others.

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296 Figure 6 22 Howard was soon to become the premiere place in the most important city in the country, f or the gathering It was the oasis for such functions as recorded above, taken by the famous Scurlock Studios. Scurlock, along with James Vanderzee Gordon Parks and Roy Deca r av a and later Roy Lewis, became some of the premier photographers documenting the experiences of people of color in America over the years. Photo pp. .a b Figure 6 23 From early Howard has been honoring the leader s of the African and African Diaspor a f rom presidents of countries to sporting pioneers, culture workers and civic leaders to philosophers and scholars, entertainers and all who broke the stereotype of the un educa ble negro according evolutionist theory. Here William V. S. Tub man, the President of Liberia, the first African country to break the bonds of colonialist occupation, is seen with the first African American President of the university, Mordecai Wyatt Johnson en route to receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. Ph oto pp

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297 Figure 6 24 One of the most acclaimed honorary degree recipients and the one who brought the largest crowd ever assembled on the yard at Howard University is media mogul and philanthropist, Oprah Winfrey C ommitted to the betterment of the condition of all people, but paying foremost attention to the disposed and the o p pressed Winfrey has reache d out as far as to build a school to educate girls in the recently apartheid Sout h Africa. The physician Walter O. Evans, an alumnus of the Univ ers ity, who with his wife Linda possess one of the largest collections of African American art in private hands, tells what the climate was like when he was a student. In 1964 I entered Howard Univers While living in the nation's capital I enhanced my ed ucation by visiting the N ational Gallery of Art and the Philips Collection. Lectures by black speakers who came to campus, such as Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, Ron Karenga, Amiri Baraka, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. further enriched my experiences and cultural awareness. I was mesmerized by the poetry readings of Sterling Brown, then a professor at Howard (Barnwell, p 19 99 ) Within the same source Tritobia Hayes Benjamin tells us that: Historically black colleges and univers ities (HBCUs) were the primary matrices for the flourishing of black culture, and they played a central role in collecting the works of African American

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298 artist s (p.11). Howard University, we will see, played a major national role in the shaping of cultura l movements in America and having set the stage, we now pick up on the evolution of the art department at Howard, return Other Historically Black Universities and Colleges that featured in the establishment of educational opp ortunities for the new Freedmen, included Hampton Institute (now Hampton University), Tuskegee University founded by Booker T, Washington Fisk, Atlanta and Dill ard Universities Perhaps none of these other had as much impact as Hampton Institute in Virg inia, w hich houses an impressive and historically dominant collection of African American (and African Art) and over the decades has consistently produced the journal, The International Review of African American Art a b Figure 6 2 5 Students at ano ther prominent Historically Black Institution Hampton University (then Institute). At left, (a) the young John Biggers is seated at center with other students and instructor Viktor Lowenfield At right is a domestic science class partly reflective of th e role that the institution was created to play for the Freedmen. Photo pp.

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299 Fig ure 6 2 6 Cover of the Hampton Institute (now University) The International Review of African American Art is perhaps the most established journal of African American Art, historic holdings, and discussing pertinent issues in the fiel d. The Charismatic Figure: Jeff Donaldson In the acculturation process, R obert Bee (1974) speaks of the charismatic individual; the one who has developed the vision, possesses the leadership skills, has the experience to find the means to accomplish goals by bringing the community together to function for a particular cause and does it. Bee reasons that such an individual can, by channeli ng the course of events within a society, help to create

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300 Figure 6 27 Jeff Donaldson as seen in 1981. This is as Donaldson appeared to me w hen I arrived at Howard in the f all semester of 1980. Donaldson was only the third Chairman of the Howard Univers ity Department of Art Photo pp. cultural changes and create new cultural direction s We have looked at some such persons in our discussion. Alain Locke, James Porter and James Herring, W. E. B. Du Bois, Frederick Douglas and Marcus Garvey were such charis matic persons. Martin Luther King Jr. was also a charismatic person; Ghandi and Churchill were charismatic, and so were Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy; the reported Jesus Christ was a charismatic figure and too, were Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussollin i though the

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301 charisma of the latter two developed into catastrophic consequences for the world. T here have been many other such persons in different causes all throughout history. The charismatic person can create movements, congregate followers, and influ ence events. The charismatic person is most often a leader. As a result of the presence of the charismatic person, course s are charted and history might be re directed. I have reserved the term to apply to Jeff Donaldson among the other influential persons discus sed at this time, solely for my own intent and focus. This in no way infers an automatic hierarchy of any sort in charismatic influence. It serves, rather to identify a particular character with a particular event or series of events, and leaves ope n any assessment of hierarchical value to the agenda under consideration. 34 de signation as charismatic person is informed by the thesis and research agenda of this project. This dissertation invites a focus, within the larger historical context, on the existence of the charismatic leader, Jeff Donaldson; his early upbringing and lat er his maturation within the city of Chicago, a metropolis and haven for the masses of African American Southerners fleeing the racial a ntipathies of the South. We loo k at the role of Chicago which became the resort for the development and growth of such forms as Jazz the music developed by African American s out of an existentialist/Sankofa need We put into focus Donaldson's pursuit of a doctoral degree in Art History from Northwestern University which exposed him to the limitations of the discipline as 34 The assertion of the charismatic individual in no way seeks to overlook the fact that in each case, there are the fore charismatic skills to present the message and the passions of the people.

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302 related to the African American expe rience; his centrality in the collating of the group, AfriCOBRA. I also examine his subsequent appointment as C hair man of the Howard Figure 6 2 8 Art S tudents displaying their work in front of the Fine Arts building in the spirit of t he time. Photo pp. University Art Department in 197 0 and his c reation of ways to continue to build upon the legacies of Herring and Porter and his adher ence to the admonition of Alain Leroy Locke Then we examine his systematic recruitment of AfriCOBRA members to the facul ty of the Howard Art Department, his leading of the North Am erican delegation to FESTAC in L agos, Nigeria in 1977, and finally his vi sion for the need of exploiting the cultural awareness and agency potential of the work of art and the system of its production and its role In the process we come to see how this Howard School grew and flourished after its germ ination over the years. Jef f Donaldson, like Alain Locke, pl ayed a pres cribed role in influencing the d epartment of a rt at Howard University. Like Locke he exerted a notable influence on

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303 the philosophy by which the members of the Howard Art Department lived, worked and studied. The influence that Donaldson brought to the department will be the subject of our discussion as we prepare to enter into a series of discourses with the scholars and the people of the Howard art community. In this discussion we rely on archival sources severa l texts and many exhibition catalogues, personal recall, interviews, a community forum discussion and casual conversations. Through these resources I hope to create as comprehensive a portrait of the character and intent of Donaldson as we can, pending add itional interviews of his peers. One of the first points of note, I suggest, is that Jeff Donaldson emanated out of Chicago: Chi cago was the North point of the destination of many of the migrating Southerners who came, in the long run, to help to start and contribute to the movements of th e Harlem Renaissance. W e may say that Chicago was the fermenting ground for the development of the great tradition of Jazz. The African American was as much in his heyday in Chicago with music as were the scholars in Harle m, New York. Chicago was an early enlightened city for the African American and its place as the incubating city for the full develop ment of the African American artist ic culture and cultural proclivity is well documented. With exposure to such richness o f ethnic culture and resources, it is not surprising that Jeff developed a strong background for pursuing the essentials of African American scholarship. Jeff Donaldson was both an accomplished painter and an art historian. It is a great benefit for the sc holar to be both artist and art historian. The art historian who is artist can write about art from a place unknown to the art historian. It is a site that emanates from having lived the experience of which he or she writes. Nevertheless, the art

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304 historian studies formal and structured means of assessing the work of art and often possesses a lexicon developed to represent the visual image. Yet this lexicon is culture specific and defined by time and social and cultural movements. The artist s who also posses ses this lexicon to address the art object, acquires further insight into the role that art has played and its place within the society ov er the years of human history. Jeff Donaldson as an artist and art historian was proven a replete combination of the packaging of both. Having worked as an artist himself, he was first h and to the intent of the creator and he knew the inner voice of the artist that which cannot be communicated to another. 35 Th is is the advantage that Donaldson brought to his role as a l eader in the art comm unity. John Hope Franklin has commented on this advantage in reference to the work of James Porter. In his own words, he reports, It was at the Barnett Aden Gallery that I discovered how fortunate the art historian was if he could con vey, through his own work, the excitement and wonders of the art about which he wrote. As I viewed Porter's work on my visit to the gallery, I realized what an advantage he had as a historian of art as well as an artist 36 35 It is ironic that Jeff Donaldson died before he had had enough time to realize his dream of beginning to represent the work of others as he declared in the exhibition that marked the twenty year span of his work as an artist 1 961 the foreseeable future...all my energies will be devoted to teaching, writing and to encouraging and 196 1 36 It was during the night after I had written the paragraph above that I was perusing a publication that had been handed to me on my d eparture from the function hono ring Jeff Donaldson and three other members of the a rt community at the Howard University Art Galleries. I re examined an article on James Porter, which caught my eye. The publication was an ac companiment to a symposium hono ring the late John story, the Memory of Legacy of John Hope Franklin The Howard Years: A symposium) which was the p reface to the book done in hono r of James Porter (p 18).

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305 This has been the advantage of o ther erstwhile and proficient artist /writers whose work I have had the opportunity to examine. Such a pantheon includes, James Porter, Floyd Coleman, David Driskell, Keith Morrison, Michael Harris, Aziza Gibson Hun ter, Romare Bearden, Ofori Ansa and other s. Jeff Donaldson was in direct contact with prominent African American artist Romare Bearden during his years. as a matured student At Northwestern University, while studying for his doctorate degree in art history, he met Romare Bearden and was intrigued with his work and the part he had played in the reaffirmation of the African American potential for the highest levels of artist ic excellence. He took to the counsel of Romare Bearden who was a pivotal character in the early 1960s searching for ways to ass ist and sus tain the M ove ment for civil rights. Since Bearden had such a sustained influence on Donaldson, we must look a bit closer at him and his passions. 37 Sharon Patton tell s us about the social unrest s of the time, moving into the 1960s and shows us ho w Bearden, among other artist s, responded. She tells us that, Three months after the civil rights March on Washington, in November 1963, President John and Michael Schwerner, fr eedom workers for CORE, were murdered in Mississippi. (p. 37 The best way to do this would be to become engrossed with his voluminous A Histo ry of African American Art. In the view of this writer, a more thoroughly researched discourse on the subject, and a better accompaniment of images that present and explain the topic has probably not been produced before it, and none has likely transcended it since its publication in 1993 The reader is encouraged to take a look, for example at his attempts to unravel the dubious notions which still surrounded the ethnicity of Joshua Johnston the would be first African American artist to have been placed on record as producing an able identity and recognition as a painter. In this erstwhile effort, Bearden seemed to have left no matter un examined and his dedication and persistence are admirable. In addition he makes all efforts when writing about an artist, photographs) of the artists themselves. This is a vital means of helping the reader to better visualize the artists as a person, having tangible form and personality. This approach provide s a valuable existentialist

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306 All of this was happening in spite of the fact that the Civil Rights Act had been passed and King had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, she tells us. As a result it became even clearer to all tha t there was a part of America that did not want equality for all and that if it meant des troying its own to prevent the society from getting to that place, America would willingly do so. President Kennedy and his administration had come to mean a lot to Af rican Diasporans and their sympathizers all over the world. His more s ympathetic stance to the plight of the African American promised changes changes in desegregating schools even within the last stronghol ds of the segregated South. K ing was heralded wor ldwide with the Nobel Peace Prize which at least validated that he was doing something for th e universal good of humankind! But t he wanton cutting off of the Kennedy was a devastating blow to many people African American and European American alike. I reca ll the devastating effect the assassination of John F. Kennedy had on people around the world from my own memory of the event as a young boy in Jamaica This was a great blow that African American s must have felt after years of struggle in the face of The System. Grasping this impact helps us to understand when Patton tells us that: In this climate of social and p olitical turbulence a group of artist s in New York City discussed ways in which they as artist s could show their sympathies and support the civil rights movement, while sustaining their individual identities. This discussion group of ten to six teen artist s met at and included Charles Alston, Bearden, Norman Lewis, Hale A. Woodruff, Reginald Gammon, Richard Mayhew, Ernest C richlow since the Harlem Renaissance had such a group of artist s been formed around a political, aesth etic, and social agenda (p.185) Patton records the motions that brought Bearden to form a group d edicated to supporting the demands for recognition of African American rights. After they had

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307 experienced the March on Washington the group was so impressed, Patton says they were moved to declare that it, ...could not fail to be touched by the outrage o f segregation or fail to relate to the self reliance, hope, and courage of those persons who we re marching in the interest of (p. 185). In order to pursue this goal, Bearden went on to suggest that the group, called SPIRAL engage a collec tive project a form of c ohesion so much needed at the time for strengthening the individual will and for communitas. In the project, he proposed that they resort to working in the collage technique so that, each artist (Pat Yet some critics came to look for anything negative they could find to rely on in evaluating his work. As Sharon Patton reports, with regard to his work Beard en has stated ( Patton 1998 ) A lot of people see pain and angui s not that I want to stay away from this, or to say that those things are not there. Naturally, I had strong feelings about the Civil Rights Movement, and about what was happening in the sixties. I have not created protest ima ges. The world within the collage, if it is authentic, retains the right to speak for itself ( p 189) 38 38 Over the years, many art critics have come under fire for their ethnocentrically located reviews of the work of artists of other ethnicities and cultures and particularly so when Euro pean A mericans in positions their own culture, they proceed to insert and impose their own views in concert with the views of the stat us quo, upon the work of art. The erstwhile art historian, therefore, accesses the interpretations that the artist places upon his/her more complete understanding of black art. By representing artists' views of their work, we experience their creative vision through their narrative...Through conversations with individual artist s w e better see examine the vision of Jeff Donaldson as artist/scholar and writer, educator and cultural worker, and his leadership of the Art Department at Ho ward University.

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308 Analyzing this statement, it seems that there could be no better response to the critical analysis of his work. In this statement he essentially s t ates in masterful yet economical terms what art is, from where it is derived, and wh at it is supposed to do. Based upon my experience living a longside Jeff Donaldson, I assume his interpretation acter of form of his usual discourse methods with skeptics and critics of Afrocentric scholarly and artist ic intent. in effect, The image which becomes seen (perceived) reflects the society within wh ich I live. I did not make it ; it made (emerged) itself If I am being true to myself and my community (society) as an artist the work will tell you that of which it speaks and what you place upon it, is also your reality. You will accept it or deny it. I ha ve no apology, and while you are in the process of sorting it out in your mind, let us confer with Pablo Picasso to make his apologies for Guernica which is lauded as great art. 39 This was, in fact the attitude that (needed to have) arrived upon the Ne w Negro and t he Afro A merican of the 1960s. This new person was the new Black artist And to his eternal credit, the peerless writer Ralph Ellison, author of the critically acclaimed and enduring novel Invisible Man supports the points Bearden makes when he addresses his art forms, saying that: technique is in itself eloquent of the sharp breaks, leaps in consciousness, 39 Such a response was derived from my recall of the format of responses Jeff Donaldson was known to have cherished and the experience that one would have absorbed from the combined agency of knowing him, taking his classes and listening t nature and the essence was derived from absorbing the flavor that evaporated from his manner, his intellect, and his direct cutting to the core and dissecting and unpacking of rhetoric. Wha tever incongruences were fed to him, especially in a criticism, he was more than likely to return, and more.

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309 distortions, paradoxes, reversals, telescoping of time and surreal ble nding of styles, values hopes and dreams which characterize much of Negro American history (Patton, p.189) 40 To use Jeff Donaldson's own words, referring to Bearden, this is the image of the man that was to profoundly a nd permanently influence him. Like B earden, h e too was deeply touched by the place that the African in America still held after all of the efforts that had been made to uplift himself and to be uplifted. Perhaps following his mentor, while in Chicago Donaldson had, like Bearden, called toge ther a group of artist s and suggested that they organize to speak in a strengthened voice, as a united front, on the legacy, the aesthetics, the meaning, and beauty of the African artist ic culture. They were to formulate a way of reaching to the past to fa shion the foundation for the present and the future. In another respect we see strong parallels between Jeff Donaldson and Romare Bearden. Bearden was a close associate of Hale Woodruff, the famed muralist charged with the painting of the sequence of event s of the Amistad mutiny for Talladega College in Alabama. This mural series is arguably the most significant historic recording of any event in this form, relating to the African American experience in the Western world. Donaldson makes reference to this c onnection with Woodruff in talking about his own work. He assigns the earliest period of his work as being influenced by, and reflecting Outhaus Donaldson furthers the connectio n to Woodruff by reminding us that his first formal 40 One who knows the work of the artist will concede upon careful examination, that this is as agile and accurately descriptive a set of words from the English lexicon as has ever been used in one place to describe the work of Romare Bearden. Within these carefully selected words are encrypted the every

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310 studies in art started with John Howard at Arkansas A.M. & N. College, and that Howard Administration murals. Figure 6 2 9 Hal e Woodruff the recorder of events in murals and characteristic work by Romare Bearden. Photo. pp Figure 6 30 A characteristic work by Romare Bearden. Photo pp.

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311 Figure 6 31 Muti ny; above Cinque and the company on trial. Photo pp. Figure 6 32 Mutiny; above accuser refers to Cinque. Photo pp.

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312 So Donaldson was about community, both among artist s and between artist and society. He followed the role he had learned; that of his mother, to become an educator. He also wanted to have a hand in the future of his people and the nation, and he chose the most proficient and rewarding way of doing so. He saw education as the route to a better time. We are not sure where Jeff Donaldson stood on education for the European American that is for the re education that was necessary for most sectors of the population. Perhaps he would have taken the stand of James Loe sking that the l ies being taught in our schools be the first to get corrected. Such a stance would have been quite consistent with his character. Surely he would agree that Eurocentric America needed to come to realize the follies of the systems and belief s to which it still clung. W e do know that for his own community and people, he wanted them to go back and be educated about their ancestry first and then about themselves in order to develop the confidence of becoming men and women in this society and to get the respect due them. Perhaps that was most e ssential to him for with that would come the rest of what it would take to build communities. The Washington Post newspaper reviewer, Yvonne Lamb writing in an articl e on the life and work of Jeff, says tha t, Donaldson sought to develop a standard of excellence that transcended his work and the art produced by students under his tutelage at Howard and artist s world wide. (Washington Post, March 7, 2004). In the same article Murray DePillars, a close assoc iate of Donaldson's states that Donaldson's work was more than only advocating prote s t He says that the work was develop mental and that He [Donaldson] was stimulating growth and looking inside of the Afri can A merican culture to develop an art that was u niversal. It is true, as Lamb

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313 further adds, that all of his efforts were directed and that he ...wanted to create art that empowered the African American Community. Donaldson came to be on the scene at the right time. Sharon Patton tells us that, Afric an American visual artist s increasingly expressed their political sentiments in art; for them race and politics were inextricably linked, and the plight of Afri can A merican people in America was seen as being representative of the plight of people in the T hird World (p.190). With the ensuing connections created with the Caribbean and with many African countries, Donaldson set about hiring African Diaspora n scholar/ artist s within the department With this, the influenc e of the Howard Art Department world wi de was ensconced. I n a sense, then, the younger Donaldson who had absorbed the influence of his seniors joined in the singular goal to create an art for the people that reflected their realities and his vision for them. Such an experience and a connection with the artist ic traditions of Howard University and its artist ic intent, then, was a likely place for the ideologies and bearing of one such as Jeff Donaldson. That is where he eventually came to be and to spend the rest of his career. iring to head the Department of art at Howard University was not by chance. We have discussed the role that Howard played in the establishment of the identity of the freed African in America from its establishment in 18 up to the time of the Harlem Renaiss ance and into the 1960s. Indeed, Howard was the hub of the philosophies that drove the entire movement at least among the visual artist s through the direct influence of the circulating and charisma tic of Alain Locke. The focus and intent for the Renaissanc e still existed at Howard. This was one of the places in which

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314 the revitalization never ceased. The discourse on African Art and the inspiration to be drawn from it had not abated. But there seems to have been place for a systematic drivin g force behind a comprehensive Afrocentric education in the department, so that while the pride had been developed in things African, and African American imagery was formalized and structured approach and curriculum content was not as yet concentrated and ready to meet th e times. The 1960s had brought a great sense of ethnic pride along with some sorrow for the loss of some leadership The Afro hairstyle was common on the campus. Prolific Afrocentric speakers visited the campus. Students and the H oward community had list ened to Martin Luther King and other hopeful speakers amidst the throng s of a national crowd speak at T he March on Washington in 1963 A focused educational structure was necessary to meet the promises of the new days ahead. Figure 6 33. An aerial pho tograph showing part of the crowd at The March on Washington in 1963. Photo pp.

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315 The Department of Art at Howard was under the auspices of Hughie Lee Smith as Acting Chair when Donaldson arrived from Northwestern University in 1970 Donaldson, it should be noted, was to become only the third Chair man of the department since its founding as there had been two short term acting chairs between first Chair Herring and second Chair Porter and another two acting C hairs between Porter and Donaldson. When Jeff Donaldson moved to organize the Conference on the Functional Aspects of Black Art (CONFABA) in May of 1970, he automatically nominated himself as the next le ader for the times and for the Department of A rt at Howard. He was installed by the fall of the sam e year. He had impressed the community with his leadership, his vision and his call of urgency. That he could have been engaged with his doctoral work in 1970, organized a conference bringing over one hundred people together, and assumed a role of leadersh ip in a prominent university all in the first half of the year, speaks, in no uncertain terms, of his potential as a leader and of his prowess. Tritobia Hayes Benjamin who was a student at the university at the time of his arrival in 1970, and who had work ed beside him until his death in 2004, fondly reminds us of his character. Jeff Donaldson was very much like his art: direct, authoritative, ideological, proud, vibrant, regal, and Afrocentric ( Hayes 2004 ) Standing at six feet six inches and as regal in his gesture and gait as a prince of Nubia, he commanded attention wherever he went. He was eloquent and sharp witted, possessing a sagacity that made easy mockery of ideas grounded i n faulty scholarship and the foibles of The System. When he taught me art history in 198 3 he presented the artist s and the work as real as experiential and understandable empirical phenomena.

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316 This was somewhat new and very engaging for me. He reduced the hoity toity discourse surrounding high browed European art to a realistic place. I had never been as able to feel as close to understanding the existentialist nature of a European work of art until then since it has been constantly presented as unreach able icons of high order civilizati on outside of the realm of encounter and experiential grasp of the ( African Diaspora n) art student. One day in lecture, Donaldson casually, and without any specificity or seeming disregard r eferred to the Italian painte r Fran Fillipo Lippi as Ol' Fran Fillipo and continued the lecture with snippet s of, what Ol' Fran Fill ipo did was..., which term made the artist real and imagin able to a student in an African American setting. Meaning no disrespe ct to the artist he s imply presented him in a more didactic mode, broke down the hierarchy given to this form of art and the discourse accompanying it, and I was able to see, from a distance what it meant to Donaldson was fearless in his scholar ly de constructivist agenda. He challenged a priori institutionalized dogmas and structures. He asked the silent questions, and having answered them for himself, he, in turn sought to share his revelations wi th his students. He loved to reveal the unknown and to probe for more of the unrevealed and as such was a prodigious scholar, with an insatiable desire for knowledge and education and he reveled in discoursing. One of his most common epithet I often heard him invoke was that when in discussion, whi le others were eager to keep talking, he would say, Wait a minute, let us hear what he has to say. It was then after hearing and understanding the meaning of the other that he would proceed to set the record str aight from his vast reservoir; this

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317 reserve of having assimilated the pieces of our history into a cache of existentialist comprehension of the state of our being within the hegemonic rituals of our lives. In most cases, as it would turn out, he had already experienced in some way, the point of vie w that was forthcoming and was prepared with an answer. The response would be usually precisely targeted, proverbial perhaps and with a gentle sting that would situate the new experience with in his audience in a place for later recovery as knowledge gaine d. Jeff Donaldson was an engaging ed ucator abhorring injustice, excit ed by any opportunity to teach and share his understanding with others. Assistant gallery director, Scott Baker informed me in casual co nversation (July, 2010) that Donaldson so loved sc holarly discourse that when he dined in the faculty cafeteria, he was more than often quite timely returning to his administrative desk when Dean of the College. When his signature would be required on a document, Baker would walk the document over to him, where he would be surrounded by a revolving group of faculty members from different departments, engrossed in discussions of both philosophical and cultural worth. He would then ask Baker why he was there to disturb him while he was engaged in such an im portant matter. He would sign the document and continue his discourse. I too, recall that it was upon his invitation that I first dined in that lounge as his guest and while we did not have a n entire crowd around him that day, there was a fair sized grou p and he became engrossed in conversation so much so that I had to escape to class, leaving him there. On October 1, 2010 as I convened a forum of community members of some eleven of the most diversified and most informed voices of the community ( and an a udience ) for a discussion of the Howard Art Department and its philosophy in the Art

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318 Gallery Tritobia Hayes Benjamin, already mentioned as the senior art Historian within the department and long time colleague of Donaldson remarking on the role Donalds on played on the Howard campus She also referred to his lunching repertoire. He had these le n gthy lunches she reported in which he always discoursed with a group of other Faculty. But he was always the leader he was the teacher we called those pow er lunches half. ( Hayes Benjamin 2010b ) Roberta McLeod, the Director of the Blackburn Center w ithin which the lunching lounge was housed stated that, I had lunch with him almost every day and there was this group and they would sit and discuss social things and politics and Howard and he was always the head man and everyone just li stened to him. He was something I tell you, that Jeff Donaldson ( McLeod 2010 ) Yet, despite this image of a proud and lofty orator, Jeff Donalds on was an educator who listened and favored the humble. His pride was a confidence of character and self which he radiated upon those with whom he came in contact. To my recall, apart from his intellect, if there were terms coined to describe Jeff Donaldso n, I would put forward: poised; confident; strong; honorable, and finally, gentle. That he was all of the grandiose things was never overshadowed by the fact that he was simply put, Black and proud of it. His daughter Jameela Donaldson made easy digest of understanding the other side of him when he was remembered at an honoring function at Howard in April, 2010. He was fondly presented as this proud and imposing figure, and spoken of as such in an introduction, upon which he was to be posthumously offer

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319 Figure 6 34 Jeff Donaldson in later years. his daughter T aking the podium, she remarked upon th e heels of such an introduction; But I did not inherit that part of him. I got the humble, ca And with that said, se veral audience members spontaneously attested to this other side of him through their murmurs nods and concurring whispers. I add to this the experience of m y undergraduate year, 198 3 when, as president of the Art Student Association, I represented the art student s at the faculty meetings. On one occasion when a policy that would affect student attrition was being discussed, I

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320 hesitated to present my opinion on the need for taking certain issues into account but hesitated for some reason It is uncertain how he realized I was hesitating to speak for though I had almost coined the first words several times over, but not made an overt gesture to be heard, he sensed it and asked that the point of discussion be held, got everyone's attention, turned toward me and said, He has something to say, let us hear what it is. I thought later that he must have read my expression. After I had spoken, he then proceeded to query me further, to be sure that either he understood the point well, or that I had said all that I want ed to say. Akili Ron Anderson also tells of his experience having a review committee recalled by Jeff Donaldson when they had proceeded to meet without his presence and voted to exclude Anderson's application for an art commission. On revie w, Donaldson presented a compelling case on behalf of Anderson resulting in the re admission of his application, culminating finally in Anderson being granted the commission. This love for justice and fairness, no doubt developed from his experiences as a young boy growing up under the circumstances he did. Scott Baker tells how he encouraged him to continue his studies in art history and how he interceded on his behalf when he took a course at a predominantly Euromerican university and was being unfair ly treated by the professor. Dr. Donaldson was really really instrumental in getting me the scholarship to go to England to study at the British Museum and getting me re Cynthia Sands

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321 said, ecause he gave me the opportunity to come back and work on a masters in painting. 41 I n his own words, Donaldson tells us that he was making pictures from the age of three. His father died when he was only four years old and the task of bringing up Jeff and his two siblings was left to his mother. Jeff would have grown up a sensitive child as he watched his mother strive to prepare them for the life ahead and would have wondered why his dad had to go leaving his mom to handle so much responsibility all by he rself. But he was kept on the right path for hi s mother was the principal of a grammar school. She knew the value of a good education. He would have also admired her strength for she not only cared for the family, but later managed to advance herself to b ecome the principal of a high school. As such, Jeff received the right direction in preparing himself for a good education. We can also decipher that Jeff hated injustice. He would have watched his mother work very hard. He was born during the Depression years, he tells us. We know he hated injust ice because he tells us that the family was supported by my mother, a criminally underpaid principal of first a grammar school and later, a high school in Pine Bluff ( Donaldson 1981:1 ) Such a memory was sure to have remain ed with him and he would become sensitive to the plight of the dispossessed. He saw education as a way out for young people like himself growing up in the American society. Surely, he w ould have learned of such luminaries as Frederick Douglas and W. E. B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garv ey, John Hope 41 Both comments are excerpts from the Howard School forum held at Howard University in 2010.

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322 Franklin, Charles Drew and many other African American scholars who had showed what dedication and vision could do for the commun ity. He chose a voice for himself. Fig ur e 6 35 The cover for the p ublication Setting the Pace: Innovators of Social Consciousness in African American Art in honor of Elizabeth Catlett, Jeff Donaldson and Peggy Cooper Cafritz. This event accompanie d the 2010 James A. Porter Colloquium Honorees. That voice was to be the artistic medium because he had developed this as a vehicle of expression to things he might not have quite understood or things that could not be addressed as poignantly in another me dium. It is little wonder, then that shortly after realizing the highest pinnacle of academic achievement he created two works of art in honor of his parents; With Respect to My Daddy 1974, and With Respect to My Mama 1976 Arriving at Howard in 1970, Jeff Donaldson made his presence felt early. He had indicated his worth with the CONFABA conference and he went straight to work setting up a structure that would prepare Howard to take an even more direct role in the social struggle by educating its stud ents to parti cipate in community efforts and in turn to

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323 educate the communities with their art wherever they found themselves upon graduating. Yv onne Shinhoster Lamb, writing of Donaldson's death in the Washington Post, 2004 states that, He came to Howa rd's College of Fine Arts as students were demanding teachers with an Afrocentric perspective. He restructured the curriculum adding courses that taught more about the African n ess of the students and connecting them to their past by pronouncing accomplish ments within their cultural ancestry. We were required to read, in accompaniment of some studio courses such texts as, They Came Before Columbus, and The Destruction of B lack Civilization through which we came to see other avenues of interpreting the hist orical record. Professor James Loe wen refers to this as studying history to correct history (2009). We the students of the department developed from this a taste for inquiry for discovery through research. Once anyone with an inquiring mind had experien ced the taste of the new ways of seeing themselves, it became nostalgic and one wanted to search to know more. It was a useful route toward making scholars of us. If we did not write, we researched for the imagery in our art, thus being made to discover fo r ourselves. In addition to reorganizing the curriculum, Jeff Donaldson instituted a program of having annual faculty art shows so that the faculty was more encouraged to continue their own creativity and to have an on campus avenue for presenting their wo rk to the community. This provided an additional forum for the students to learn and for bringing the Howard and the local Washington communities together to observe and discuss art. The Annual Faculty exhibitions drew scholars and artist s from the entire Washington area and united local artist s with the Howard community. The accompanying catalogues also created a venue for the art historians to present their reviews and essays. This was

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324 quite consistent with his determination from the days back in C hicago when he and the.. .group which he had called together, created The Wall of Respect a mural painted on the side of a building in a Southside Chicago neighbo rhood. Said to have included over fifty national African American figures of notable achievements, t he wall was painted to bring art to the local community and to do so with pride in the achievements of their own people by presenting positive role models for all to see. The children of the communit y as well as the yearning adults could bring themselves t o realize that if o ther s had achieved the levels of accomplishment they were seeing displayed on the walls, they also had the potential to reach their own goals. The wall was a perpetual reminder as people of the community walked the streets around it. So not only did it serve to be autify the community, but it served as an advocate for ethnic pride and possibilities. 42 In doing this work the group, under Jeff, was recognizing the potential of art as potent narrative force and agent and n o doubt, replaying t he impact of the work of the Mexican muralists they had had occasion to experience 42 can take it and put it in a museum or take it to their fancy pl ace and keep it for themselves. It is for Visiones: Global Voices a production of Latino Publication Television aired August15, 2010; name of artist unrecorded).

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325 Figure 6 36 Members of the community gather at The Wall of Respect. Proud images of prominent African Americans are visible throughout the work. Compare to Sankofa P hoto pp. This first group which Donaldson was instrumental in organizing had a specific agenda one clause of which was to make works of art available to the local people. Sharon Patton tells us that: In July 1962 a couple of painters, Jeff Donaldson and W adsworth Jarrel, discussed whether it would be possible to start a Negro art movement based on a common aesthetic creed They, along wit h Barbara Jones Hogu and others formed the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC) artist follow Political and social turmoil in Memphis, Harlem, and Los Angeles encouraged five OBAC artist s in 1968 to change their name to Coalition of Black Revolutionary Artist s (Cobra). Not long afterward and having gained two new members, they renamed themselves African Commune of Bad Relevant Artist s (AfriCOBRA), and solidified their agenda and philosophy of art AfriCOBRA initially operated outside traditio nal venues and avoided media of high art ; they were committed to making art unders tandable, relevant and accessible to ordinary people. Their anti modernist stance directed them to make poster prints. In these, representational images splinter into abstract designs in

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326 which exhortations about unity, respect and nationalism use art as a pedagogical and ideological tool. (p p 241 15) As Donaldson points out, Art [is] for people and not for critics whose peopleness identification in the present will p roject nationfull direction in the future ( Patton 1998:216 ) 43 But the group soon moved from Chicago after holding two shows in New York. In 1970 the y moved headquarters to Washing ton, D.C. The group had realized the potential of imagery in education and molding the precepts with which one saw the world and one's place in it. He had seen imagery used by the Mexican muralists to motivate the masses; us ed by the African American muralists, Aaron Douglas, Hale Woodruff (whom he particularly admired), and others. He no doubt had also become awar e of imagery used in political agendas as propaganda. 44 In addition, and perhaps most important, he wanted the people to see positive imagery of themselves and their culture; observe the commentaries made through the art on Social and political issues; cele brate their African heritage, and see the potential within themselves. This is an extremely insightful precept in any effort to educate and to communicate to the spirit of the masses. 45 43 So here we s ee, quite early, the clearly delineated outlining of the SANKOFA concept of unity, community and ancestral recall. 44 Consciousness in African American Art in acc 45 It is known that art has been a tool of political maneuvering over the centuries, going back to the Pharaohs. T he plotting Adolph Hitler himself recognized the restorative and collusive potential of art and confiscated existing art and held artists responsible for pr oducing works only for German consumption.

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327 The group had dedicated itself to further exploring ways to continue it s intent so that by the year 1968 when the group AfriCOBRA was renamed, the goals included creating works which could be easily reproducible and hence easily affordable to the every day patron members of the local community. The group's intent was to cre ate works that were reproducible in large quantities to be made available to members of the community for small sums of money. It was a communal effort with each member calling upon his/her particular skills for the benefit of the larger community. This wa s a largely tradi tional African centered concept for creative expression and its consumption. AfriCOBRA, meaning African Commune of Bad Relevant Artist s, ini tially consisted of a group of artist s with one female member. Some of the characteristic elements of the group are suggested in the name they had carefully strategized upon and selected. The communal intent and composition of the group itself is inherent within the word commune In addition, as they intended to work for the benefit of the larger comm unity, both to educate and restore, they were working and communing with the people. The idea of unity and cohesion was very important to the spiritual welfare of the people at the time. The lived experience was their common bonding agent. The term Bad a s a part of the group name has been misconstrued on some accounts and been interpreted with suspicion. In fact, the term is somewhat heuristic a

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328 Fig ure 6 3 7 says much in ac companiment of the image. Stephens explained to me (in con versation by e mail, November, 2010 ), that Afro Cobra appearing in the narrative was a typo and should have read, Afri Cobra. Photo pp. culturally ethnocentr ic use of the word intended to i ncant its opposi te meaning. It emerged within the African American community as a colloquial rendering probably derived first from the movies and popular songs. It was used to refer to someone who was exceptionally good (skilled) and focused on that which they did; so tha t in the

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329 prototype of the Western movie (from which the term most likely emerged) the protagonist, the good guy, (probably Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cliff or John Wayne ) was ba a d because he was the fastest gun in the Western township He, however, bein g baad was good because he could defeat the bad guys, protect the citizens and retain control of the town. In other words, then, the colloquial use of the term baad in the inner circle, meant good, astute, ready, poised, skilled and masterful To be u seful to the community, the work of the group had to be what the community needed. The group members, therefore, had to be in tune with the community, aware of their needs and, in a sense, be as shepherds and interpret ers of their concerns As such, their work had to be relevant to the needs of the people. Culturally regenerative essentials were the needed tools for the people to sustain their energies and to continue their struggles. An art that was both culturally relevant and spiritually up building wa s the required antidote for the times. The group AfriCOBRA has continued its existence till today, initiating new members when necessary and still holding true to its ( aesthetic s) philosophies, being relevant to the cause of the people whom they represent. Perhaps one of the high points of Jeff Donaldson's career came in 1977 when he became the agent for organizing and leading the American contingency of some 600 or more scholars, scholar/ artist s, and other technically skilled participants, to the second Af rican Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in Lagos, Nigeria in 1977. Most prominent artist and art historians, art educators and other scholars attended. It was a great reunion event where, finally, many got to see the African culture which they were rec laiming. With a reported attendance of over 16,000 art participants African Diaspora

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330 people representing close to sixty countries, it was a meeting that surpassed the earlier celebration one year before in Ghana. Local Afri can culture was in full splendo r to welcome its sons and daughters from all over the world and to impress them with its vibrancy. Fig ure 6 3 8 The 1997 Festival of African Culture ( FESTAC the venue that had formerly hosted the Pan American Games (Winnie Owe ns Hart, interview November 15), showing the Nigerian and the United States contingen cies. The U.S. group was led by Jeff Donaldson. Photo pp. Artist s report on the effect that this one month celebration of arts and culture had on them. They were inspired to produce many pivotal and enduring w orks. In addition, the event cemented a bonding between the local people and their returned brothers and sisters. Winnie Owens Hart told me in interview November 15, 2 010, in her Virginia studio that when the US con tingency of artists/scholars, academicians, writers and people from all walks of life, entered the convention facility, the crowd jumped to its feet and a thunderous applause yelling and shouting came out of the crowd. People were hollering and whooping l ike we had come home. I had never seen anything like that. ( Owens Hart 2010 )

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331 One year before FESTAC, Jeff Donaldson was succeeded by Starmanda Bullock as Chairman of the Art Department in 1976 He continued as a very visible mem ber of the faculty into the mid eigh ties upon which he move d into administrative roles within the college. Jeff Donaldson held many leading positions in several organizations including being president of the Barnes Foundation eventually becoming the Dean of the College (now Division) of Fine Arts at Howard University. As a faculty member he taught the upper level course, Social Painting during the eighties. This class which I took in the 1985/86 school year was memorable for it was meant to educate the student in the social and political ag endas and events, as well as to examine trends and structures within the art world. There was no indelible formal structure to the course excepting for one requirement. It was didactic and spontaneous. We were required to read local news sources and art pe riodicals and to bring to light matters that were of a bearing on the interests of the people. These issues were discussed the intent being that they would generate artist ic responses from us. Our critiques of the paintings we had done outside of class wer e not of a technical nature as that was not an intent of this upper level course, and often centered more on interpretation, ethics and representation, and of course agency and philosophy. The paintings had to be created with the intent for narrative and a gency rather than mere representation and we were often required to engage in high levels of scholarly discourse moving between any subject contingent upon the work in clarifying its place as the symbol of the message. In this way, we darted from religious history, to secular history, ethics, social studies, ethnicity, nationalism, physics, literature, philosophy and more eventually coming back

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332 to art history and the ways in which our message might have been represented or narrated by artists before. In c onversation with Scot t Baker recently, (July 2010), he shared his way of referencing Donaldson withi n the department. He said that Donaldson was imposing. He stood out and stood above almost everyone else. He was versed in discourse, knowledgeable, of an influential bearing, and brought a masterful poise, elegance and masculinity to the whole art department. 46 When he spoke, people listened and he had a way of finally having the last word on major decisions and debates. Baker indicated that as a result o f his presence, the department came to be regarded in quite a prestigious light because he spoke with a vision for the department and was fearless in advancing his convictions and agendas for the art program. He was an ambassador for the department and bec ause of his stature and scholarship was well respected in artist ic circles nationally ( Baker 2009 2010 ) Like Alain Locke an am bassador for the Art Department, Jeff Donaldson, became a spark that ignited the energies that were fermenting within the larger society an d localized within the expressions of the artist s of The Howard School of art. His timing and his leadership, his philosophies and his record were in line and on target. The structures he established and the passion and production that emanated from this 46 Asked to expound on the meaning of the statement, Baker fumbled, but explained that Jeff was not usually second guessed. He was not usually challenged because when he did present an idea or a motion, it was well thought out and presented. As a result there was a kind of firmness and solidity and directness that surrounded him. He was respected enough to be given easy access to being heard by spoken, endearing character of artist. And this characteristic, at least in its boldness and directness and offensive stance, I have ob served in the character of the AfriCOBRA philosophy.

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333 p eriod within the department, are un paral le led. The work of the students during the period from the exertion of his influence which went far beyond into the 1990s, stands out in the directness of approach to the social and cultural issues they address. Whil e each student found his/her own aesthetic voice, the school of thought of direct address to injustice, reliance on the African culture for inspiration, the development of a personal voice in the agency of one's art, comes through consistently, perhaps, as never before. As such, then, we must consider that building upon the foundation laid by his predecessors, Herring, Porter, Locke, Jones, Roberts, Asher Wells, Carter and others, Jeff Donaldson through this potent and combustible mix (Les Payne, 2011) ignited the Afrocentric fuse within the department and brought to full flame, the f lickering that was ever present. This flame had now become impassioned by national events and events within the local society and the Howard campus. Having established his p lace within the institution during the 1970s and reviewing the turn of events that accompanied his somewhat short tenure as chairman of the department, we can undoubtedly say that his influence in instituting, in a direct and practical way, that which Alai n Locke had admonished artist s to do, was never before as defined and structured, and that under his administration and continued influence, Africanisms and the Afrocentric bearing and spirit in the curriculum, reached its height and matured during the 197 0s and 1980s. 47 These are the years that will define the pinnacle of The Howard School aesthetic. This contouring however does not relegate other periods, before or after, to being unproductive of Howard School art. Instead, we 47 This claim will be supported in upcoming pages as I report on the outcome of the Community Participant Forum conducted in the College of Fine Arts, October 1, 2010.

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334 are admitting here, only t o this being a segment evidencing a concentration of efforts, output, visibility, agency and validity over the period of the de fined aesthetic and philosophy The Emergence of Black Art This is a topic that has been shunned by many artist s and scholars t he distant and the uninitiated. There seems no better place to include a discussion of this issue. The place is right both for the consistency of its chronological placement as well as its contextual placement following upon the heels of a discussion of Je ff Donaldson. This subject has generated more tension born out of confusion among African American artist s and critics over the years and has even created factions more than one cares to recall. Many heated debates have developed out of the assignment or d enial thereof of this classif ication to the work of artist s. The artist s who tend to shun the term seem to be content with separating the idea of speaking socially and culturally through their work from the standpoint of the existentialist i dentification o f self within a cultural context. Their engagement with the plasticity of their materials has not connected with the cognitive function of either a personal or a c ommunal engagement with the threads of belonging and of adoption into a sequence of ancestral continuity. And the contentment which comes with joini ng in the visceral feeling of unconsciousness to the cultural role and potential of their medium in advocating for justice becomes primary, leading to an abandonment of one of the most potent applicati ons of the art form. Yet another group of artist s do not shun the term but are not quite clear on the contouring of this genre. I contend that there is one major reason for both responses That is confusion or rather d is clarity; a d is clarity defined by a nebulous bit of scholarship which has not been poignant enough or which has simply overlooked some

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335 vital meaning s and crossing s necessary to connect the pieces. Analyzing all of my conversations with artist s and scholars of the art world, I have been able to come to an understanding of some of the reasons for this confusion One issue is the specificity of the chronology of the term. The other is an issue of the ownership of the term I discuss each along the way. Writers tend to shun the topic for fear of being marginalized themselves. There is simply a dire lack of persons who dedicate themse lves to any cause which become s assigned the seeming antonym to normalcy, black ; for to do so it seems, is at once to invite the suspicion and scrutiny of one's peers, corporate America, funding organizations, and often municipal and federal entities. Does the problem lay so deeply in the very semantic notions of the term the carry over of everything ugly, negative, and evil from the institution of the enslavement period that it can never be shaken off? The intent of the Black is Beautiful chant was meant to reverse this very etched in notion. Maybe some have missed that chapter in the development of the history of the people for if black is beautiful, then we a re addressing a beautiful art. Perhaps, we must address the issue of eradicating this forced upon a people term altogether. But this is another long debate which must be averted here 48 Suffice it to say as Clement Price in his Bank of America exhibition essay says, Never deserving of monolithic constructions, contemporary black life is all the more complex and ambiguous, ( Price 2010 ) 48 We might even assert here, that th

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336 I refer the reader also to the recently discussed point elucidated by Barry Gaither A specific response to a specific series of events at a specific era in the experiences of the African descendant in America a mong a specif ic culturally aware and responsive defining core of ethnic sensitivity engaged in the process of defining the nature of its voice within a need for a more direct engagement describes what was occurring existentially and is that which underlie s both the philosophy and identity of black art. When presented in this phenomenological context, things as they were or as they happened, it bec omes clear that the idea of a b lack art is n ot tied to the notion of a raci a l identification as much as it is an existential response to some horrific events that came from without the African American soul. A non violent response to violent attacks seems no room for the entry o f ne gative connotations to the term b lack as beauty and as uplifting and the notion of a black art in America, is simply a notion of a school of art an art at a particular time for a particular purpose. And that not every artist has subscribed to this school though tragic in itself, is consistent with the nature of movement s and developments in societies throughout the ages, ina smuch as some artist s are pocke ted into the many categories of world art In this case a revisiting of the historical record is useful in setting this history straight. What it takes to clarify the situation, it seems, is a simple careful r eading of the historical record or doing history to critique history as Loewen has so aptly put it ( Loewen 2009 ) In this discussion, I have set out to seek a very clear distinction of the term B lack art and to see if there is a distinction of it from African American (African American) art. This understanding call s for a precise differentiation and delineation of character

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337 between the two forms if such exists So far, I think that w e hav e ade quately defined Black art If, indeed, art is a reflection of the lived experience of its producer of a people then the art produced by people of African descent, to be true, has every right to reflect the experience of this people in America. And this e xperience has been all but similar to that of the dominant European American society. To deny or pass off the justification of a reflection of this experience in the art of the people, therefore, is an attempt to deny their past and to seek for enculturati on. My proposition for further clarification of this matter is to situate Black art relative to African American ar t. To achieve this goal, I suggest that there are in fact, distinctive schools 49 of expression emerging out of the art produced by people of African descent living in America. 50 Some of t hese schools have probably become confused and debated upon not on their own merit but by the poignancy and volatility of the racial divide in this country. What I mean by this is that the African American m ust continually be seen and defined against the backdrop of the European American society. As such, race has always been the defining factor for the experience of the African descendant in this order In American society, race cannot usually be spoken of without invoking or being perceived to evoke feelings and memories of bitterness and op p ression But the 49 or of art is a holistic term that refers not to a form or style of consistency in the work of the artists in a named group, but moreso to an entire philosophy and possibly even a worldview which directs a focus on a consistency in vision and intent. This philosophy may be connected through a recognized shared experience or intent identified and subscription to a form, a cause or intent, a vision and purpose. 50 To be more correct here, we should actually be engag patchwork of artists of African origin producing art in the American republic. This use of a non contou ring word loosely applied, becomes yet another case of a term that will engender scholarly disservice at some point to come.

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338 dichotomy and the distaste were established not by the doing of the African descendants but by the systems that the European contingen cies chose to es tablish for their own benefit To assign negative connotation, therefore, to the people already oppressed, because of a semantic terminology created and maintained by the status quo, afflicts double jeopardy the kind referred to as the blaming of the vict im. Perhaps these schools of art remain indis tinct and hidden because they are part of African American Art and to speak of segments within an art form that has barely been affirmed wi thin the canon of American art c ould likely become defeating. Such a s tep further seems to splinter an identity not yet fully accepted, so that any such recognition must be put on hold until the mainstream art society identifies such and is ready to accept it. The African American Scholar dares not to suggest or define this notion. The peop le do not possess the power to define their own the attested legacy of a hegemonic existence! This recognition must be coined within and presented by mainstream art ideology. Then the world will accept that, like Jazz as a musical art form, African American art has its various branches. At the peril of splintering a form practically ignored by mainstream America, I suggest that there are definable designated periods that speak to schools or approaches within African American art inasmuch as there has existed other schools of art and inasmuch as we have clarified genres of the form Jazz, as music. This issue is deserving of the time spent here to seek to enunciate its aspects as best we can, since its very concepts lie at the core of a Howard School Philosophy. I addition, because this discourse has, in the past, been a real element of disagreement between resulting views within the School on this issue, we spend the time necessary

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339 to address it to the degree we can. We hope that by attempting this, we will help to diffuse whatever latency may still exist in this peripheral lens of looking at the major role of The Howard School Artist I summarize the first suggested reason for this confusion; its chronological displacement. Black in reference to the African American experience emerged as a noun a nominative form in reference to the identity of the people. It suc ceeds the terms Nigger Freedmen, Negro, Afro American and any other up to the time of the new awakening, the heels of the 1960s. The term first referred to the people, adopting a strategic inten t of confronting White suprema cy head on. As the oppressor defined itself as white then the people oppressed would define themselves by the nominative opposite of the oppressor. We must also remember that the reason for this stance was a frustration and anger derived from the consistent defeating of their most well intended efforts and the assassination of the most promising leaders Kennedy and King among others. The Afro American th en became the Black ( Black is beautiful as a re affirmation) The Black was seen as a more assertive individual and (though undeniably inherent), there was less of a connotation of color caste herein and more of a reflection of a character of resistance Concurrent with this new definition of themselves, the artist s, the cultural headliners, were stepping up the message of resistance in their art. They wanted to be more direct and outspoken as it seemed to them that racist America had not gotten the mess age that they were intent on being recognized and treated equitably. The art produced within this context, then was in direct support of the new image and self identification of the people and defines a philosophy less of form an d more of intent.

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340 T his phi losophy and intent has been for the most part, the cognitive approach of the Howard art community and as such is defined therein as a school of art. The second sphere of the d is clarity arises, I believe, out of a confusion about the origin of the term an d hence the ownership of it. It is immediately seen either as a positive form or as a negative indicator. In most cases, the term tends to be used loosely and wavers between a neutral and a negative reference. These are the connotations usually reflected i n the use of the term by mainstream writers and critics. Inevitably there are connotations tinged with even the slightest degree of negative synchronicity when used. The negative connotation becomes construed from the very perceptions of the word as referr ing to all of the aspects of negative attachments to the African American in the society. Thus when used by most mainstream critics and writers, the term comes loaded with the assumptions of being radical, revolutionary and takes on the reflection of t he negative face placed upon African American co habitation that of the angry black male. It is for this reason that some artist s, failing to dissect into the sources seclude themselves from the term. I propose several schools or philosophies (inclusi ve of aesthetics) of art in African American art. African Americans are an evolving peopl e and culture. Existentially, they are engaged in the same processes as other people and are defined by eras and shifts within social and political events. They gene rate new meanings and are not static. Their art has followed their course. They may want to see their creative fo rms as being akin to that of their ancestors communal and definable outside of the Western notions of Art. Yet as Robi n Poynor suggests, W e live and produce in the

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341 contex t of the culture st ructures of t he West in America and therefore can hardly totally evade some of the idiosyncrasies attached to the idea of being artist s in America. 51 So assuming our not being relegated to a monolithic fr ont in our production of art, I propose that there may, in fact be various patterns in the way our populace produces and consumes art. I suggest a genre or school which represents humanistic and everyday scenes and events in which the artist n aturally use s the likeness of h is/her ethnic ity inasmuch as African creators carved masks with African features and European artist s painted and sculpted their likenesses. There seems to be a craft school often referred to as folk art more generally thought to com e from the formally untrained creator and perhaps, to some degree, defined by subject matter There may be a genre of celebration and refrain, inasmuch as it can safely be said that such points of the Diaspora as Trinidad and Tobago and Brazil can assuredl y be said to have a clear genre of performance and celebration art. There is probably an industrial art form which seeks to reclaim the work of some tradesmen especially in iron work, and cabinet work and suggests the inclusion of functional forms in seve ral categories 52 There is a cultural consciousness school which includes figurative and non f igurative works based on memory, recovery and social documentary and commentary with narrative There is probably a feminist (re sponse) school which speaks to the place and role of women from the position of women in the African American experience; and there is a social awareness and politically informed school which is intellectually advised, 51 As discussed in conversation by e mail over the period of October 4 to 12, 2010. 52 Among such artists the names of persons like Phillip Simmons and James Hampton come to mind.

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342 culturally retentive and resistive, and politically and socially a gency driven with the intent to educate. This is a school of specific intent and of agency, and i t is this end of the spectrum that defines black art. And The Howard School of Art philosophy. Overlapping of use of terminology continue to add much confusi on to the issue. Black art becomes used to refer to all African American art across the ages and the distinction of a focused intent becomes lo s t This term, for example is qui te inaccurately used if applied to the work of artist s of the Washington Color Field School as much as it would be inaccurate applied to The Hudson River School Black Art I present, a s being precisely formulated and structured for (racial) redress It is strategic and its intent is to, intellectually expose and attack to extirpa te the negative role of years of cultural down treading, by extolling the philosophies and the achievements of the ancestors and by continuing to uncover them wherever they exist among us. Bl ack a rt involves scholastic research and surgically precise ant idote s for African cultural denials and depictions. Black art is about truth and a fairness order. Adherents of black art are visionaries, social documenters, and educators. In this way black art is narrative, text, and agent. It is most often esoteric. Bu t the term is not to be seen as a generic replacement for African American art and even more it has not much to do with an absolute in the ethnicity of its producer. It has much more to do with the agency that the cognitive intent of the producer has place d upon it 53 Black art, takes on the added implications of a socia lly responsible 53 This point attempts to lay to rest the puzzle that I have heard to confront many a debater on this issue. The Washington debate between some members of the Howard community some years ago, which culminated

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343 nature. It draws from the past and seeks to use the present to prepare for the future. Some African American art dwells within the present and has less overtly visible polit ical agency or aspi rations for the future order. Such art simply reflects the culture as it exists and has value in that it presents a counterbalance to the negative stereotypical images historically produced of African peoples by their kind and artist s of the dominant culture. But black art continues to remind us of the connections that we have to an ancestry and helps to keep us attached to something and some place within an umbilical past, without which we become lo s t We have to admit to loss of cultur al stability being the cause of the social state (meaning th e destructive course of behavio rs of both African American and Native America people in America today. Acklyn Lynch puts it this way, ...The c onnections must never disappear rather they must be furbished as part of an on going stream. If each generation neither learns, claims, nor nurtures the images, the stories and customs, the vitality of our African traditions will end. ( Lynch 1993 ) (p. 146). There is little literature which seems to properly clarify the complexities of the real meanings of this term. But Edmund Gaither, at one time the curator of the Museum of the National Center of Afro American Artist s s ays B lack art is: ..a didactic art form arising from a strong nationalistic base and characterized by its commitment to a) use the past and its heroes to inspire heroic and revolutionary ideals, and b) use recent political and social events to teach rec ognition, control and extermination of the enemy and c) to project the future which the nation can anticipate af ter the struggle is won (1970) Thus the term Black art is as charged with a statement of assertion and identity as the other, African Ameri can Art. Yet it is more precise, for we posit that not all artist s of African American descent work in the mode of Black art It is a cultural form

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344 We are reminded that, culture is born, of necessity, out of the disagreements of men and women in societ al relationships. It refl ects both intra group as well as inter grou ( Lynch 1993 ) There is, therefore, no existing need to shrink back from the admission that this structure within African American art is justified, chronologically and culturally founded, and philosophically sound. It need not be denied. Its plausibility need not be defended and it is content to stand up to any critique. In this anthropolo gical study of this form we have begun at the source and not in midstr eam This has been the educational int ent of the approach used in the entire project. I consider Black artist s as the parallel of such groups as the writers of the French social revo lutionar y period; the Mexican Muralists Orozco, Siquieros and Rivera the coalition of nations of the anti Nazi struggle, through the reflection of th e advocacy in their work an d their efforts to offset tyranny and oppression,. The Mexican muralists had a profound effect on the artist s of The Howard School Some Black Liberation Artists worked directly alongside them while they worked here in the US and the Howard faculty becam e indirectly connected to them through their connections to these artists. The faculty presented them and exposed students to their work in their classes. I recall man y references bein g made to the Mexican muralists and their work and to their intent, whil e a student at Howard. Professors who always referred them t o their classes, to my recall, include d Malkia Roberts, Skunder B oghossian, Jeff Donaldson, Frank Smith, Alfred Smith, Winston Kennedy and Edward Love and others These muralists were often allud ed to not only for the artist ic elements within their work scale, strength of

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345 forms, line and movement, among other things but most often for their intent and for their art being an art for the p eople to fulfill a social role. In making historical connecti ons, one can also liken the ardor of The Howard School artist s to the fervor of medie val religious artist s. While this may sound like a strange proposition, when we look beyond the industrial revolution, back to the period before the commodification of the work of art, we see that the role of the artist was a focused communal effort for religious dedication. The art was for a social and communal purpose that of bringing humanity closer to the newly contrived Judeo Christian deity. In this way, then, like Af rican art, it was functional; the glue to hold the fabric of the society together. 54 In the case of The Howard School of Artist s their spiritual liberation is tied up with their cultural restitution. Their intent is for reconstruction through education. So in the long run, maybe we can conclude that Black art is therefore, probably the politicized, cognitive, and intellectual visual agent of discourse of African Diaspora peoples produced as social address to cultural retention, ancestral values, racism a nd societal hierarchies, and parochial structures of power and rule. 55 I have tried to find images that are not selected representations of that which I consider Black Art to be, but rather metaphors of the philosophy and especially the 54 cial order into a conformity to the religious order of the times, much like the systems that would be used by the elders and priests of the traditional African society to maintain order and to restore balance to the community whenever Thus the burning of Joan of Arc or of Martin Luther and that of the many sacrificed among the African society. 55

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346 agency of the genre My major criteria consisted of using images that are direct, that speak forthrightly, that employ the visual aesthetic of the African, African Diaspora n or the African American experience and that are lyrically narrative of the African Diaspora n experien ce in America. Needless to say, these are only a few of such possible images and this criteria of selection does not negate the participation of other work utilizing more subtle forms of the characterization of these principles listed above. I must repeat that this is by no means a definition of the representative form of Black Art, but rather the underlying metaphoric or symbolic worth with which the work speaks, made especially clear here perhaps by dramatization. 56 The small gallery of work below represen ts my selection of symbolic images of Black Art for this purpos e. It is intended to serve as a sampling of the criteria I have discussed. It is by no means comprehensive inasmuch as there is limited space to present the images. Some works may at times cont ain heuristic elements not accessible to the uninitiated viewer; therefore I suggest that the reader interested in pursuing a fuller appreciation of the pieces, look to such texts on African American art as Romare 56 Of course, we are faced with the hypothetical situation as indicated or alluded to at The Porter Colloquium at which I presented a paper in 2005, identifying and contouring the Howard School Art Philosophy. In the discussion session, one of my fellow presenters made a provocative and poignant statement. I paraphrase her here a because when one looks at my work one might not see black art, but if one knows the things I have done and the intent with which I work, one would know that my work is black because of the pla ces that I have undertaken or become subjected to being exposed. But there is no dilemma here! Not all of Howard School Art will be at the front of th intend to establish as the enduring symbol of The Howard School Of Artists mem bers can amplify their tune, switch instruments, play chorus or harmony, do main vocals or back up vocals, or even take a temporary conceptualization of the sociology of the art of the community and we are read in the credits at the end of each concert!

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347 A History of African American Ar tists: from 1792 to the Present (1993) or African American Art (1998) M ost of the images here, occur in the catalog A Proud Continuum: Eight Decade s of Art at Howard University (2005) It is suggested that for further information on any image presented, the reader pursue further investigation a b c. d

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348 e f g

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349 h i j k l I have made an effort to include works that represent the range of media within which Afrimerican artists have worked, though some modes may not be repre sented. For example, a mode such as a performance which is viewed as visual work of art, but time specific, or some installations are missing. Also, this gallery admits to the issue discussed here; that although the nomination Black Art subscribes to a c hronologically defined period, it is dynamic and extends to art outside of the indicated period, defined by a common intent without regard to form or ethnic source its genesis.

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350 m n o p q

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351 r s t u .v

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352 w x y

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353 z 1 2 Fig ure 6 39 A s elect gallery of Black Art. The works are listed in the order of their appearance E ach is introduced by its author followed by the tit le and, where availa ble, the year it was created. ( a ) Edmonia Lewis Forever Free ,1867; ( b ) Elizabeth Catlett, For my Young Black Sisters, 1968 ; ( c ) Kevin Holder, Boa Morte Sisterhood, 2003; ( d ) Terry deBardelaben, Matrocliny 2003; ( e ) Reginald Gammon, Freedom Now 1965; ( f ) James Brown, Learning from the Past 1991; ( g ) David Driskell, Bahian Lace ,1988 ; ( h ) Desmond McF arlane Rhythmic Fervor 2003; ( i ) John Biggers, The Cradle 1950; ( j ) Gwendolyn Carter Aqui, Funky Joe Music on my Mind 2002; ( k ) Frank Smith, Fact Totem #3 2004; ( l ) Ruth Fleming, In Search of Wisdom, 1996; ( m ) Kofi Tyus, Braided Profile 2000; ( n ) Bil lie Veitch Clennon, Chiva 20002; ( o ) Aziza Gibson Hunter, Four Moments of the Sun 2003; ( p ) Cynthia Sands, Transmigrations of Soul 2000; .( q ) Alfred Smith, (date unknown) ; ( r ) Lois Jones, Mob Victim 1944 ; ( s ) Edward Love, ReMan 1980; ( t ) Scott Baker, Fo r All My Fathers 1976; ( u ) Edward Shaw, Sankofa: For My Teachers 1998; ( v ) Charles White, Take My Mother Home 1957 ; ( w ) James Phillips (Untitled) ; ( x ) Malkia Roberts, Guardian 1986 ; ( y )

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354 Nelson Stevens, Towards Identity 1970; ( z ) Winnie Owens Hart, I dentity ,; ( 1 ) Akili Ron Anderson, The Tree of Life, 1999; ( 2 ) Kwaku Ofori Ansa, Our Sun Will Also Shine 1994. Photos pp. The images here have been randomly selected from available sources, and do not represent any attempt to define Black Art. Neither do they attempt to represent Black Art. They are symbolic of Black Art as defined by the structures of the theses in this discourse They comprise that material that would constitute a consideration for entry into the archives of Black Art. While there is a domi nance of iconography depicting A fri can A merican likeness as well as symbols immediately recognizably black it remains, and is my understanding that non representative (abstr act) narratives also frequently are used to define the African Diaspora experience. To support my attempt to provide this clarification, further, I draw attention to the fact that works by many prominent avowed black artists are omitted, inasmuch as the portfolio could by no means be comprehensive. And because the discourse on what constitute s Black Art in the larger community is yet unresolved, I concede to the intent and purpose of the artist as the final means by which we measure any nomination placed upon the work. For the purpose of discourse, this classification has been created and these images selected and assigned, and I apologize to the many avowed artists who have worked so passionately for this community of arts and whose work may not have been represented here And to any included who might, after all, be oppo sed to the concept, I apologize

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355 CHAPTER 7 PRESENTING THE HOWARD SCHOOL OF ART ARTIST S AND THE HOWARD COMMUNITY: ART EXHIBITION OPENI NGS AND RELATED FUNC TIONS s a very, very specia l history and should do all it can to remain a comprehensive univ ersity Willie Baber I n this chapter we will take an intimate look at the composition and functioning of the Howard Art Community in some of the activities for which they are best re presented and operationalized. How do they operate as a community and how can they be described as such? One way to answer this question is to understand what they do in the public arena of an art exhibit. How do these functions reflect community ? I will now initiate the reader into the culture of The Howard School of Art Comm unity through e xhibition opening s and other related events The following descriptions are illustrative of the on campus faculty and student shows, commemorative and special exhibitions, as well as off campus shows excepting, of course, changes in those of ficiating and other specific elements. It is only in this way that I might be able to indicate the cultural value of the events and their role in holding the community together. This will also serve the function of showing how this group of artist s operate d together as a unit and how their role in meeting the goal of a functioning art becomes a reality. Though the prose I present will make its references to shows such as the Annual Faculty or Student Exhibitions, the visual narrative presented describes a nother equivalent exhibition for which I am better prepared with visual documentation, the Bank of America exhibition which opened at the University Galleries on September 26, 2010. Art Exhibition Openings Invitations would have been ma iled a few weeks in advance and after weeks of har d work the Director, Assistant Director, Registrar, likely student assistants and

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356 possible curator have succeeded in placing, hanging, identifying, and lighting the works. On the day of the exhibition opening, usually about 3. 00 pm. or so the early arrivants begin to stream in from the District and the adjoining states of Maryland and Virginia, and visitors from afar arrive from hotels or from the homes of hosts at their own pace. Fig ure 7 1. Washington, D.C. and Maryland residents can be seen arriving at the opening reception of the Bank of America Exhibition on Sunday, September 26, 2010. The artist s are usually all present. Many times the audience is predictable. It will be co mposed of a core of art lovers who have devel oped a following for the Howard community art shows. This group can be described as being somewhat homogenous. It is summoned by announcements through invitations generated from a profile of art lovers a mailing list developed by galleries and museums in most places. Each

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357 a b Figure 7 2. The exhibition openings are a place to meet and reconnect. At left, old friends get to see each other; three members of the AfriCOBRA art commune feel the brotherhood; retired professor Nelson Stevens, one of the f ounding members with Akili Ron Anderson and James Phillips, both Howard art faculty. At right, (b), alumni, and continued friends; Bevedine Terrell and Jeff Fearing re vel in seeing each other again. Fig ure 7 3 A t the appropriate time, the Dean the Ass ociate Dean or an other o fficial of the College or Universit y will begin the proceedings, an d introduce the person declaring the exhibition open,. Here Associate Dean of the Division of Fine Arts, T ritobia Hayes Benjamin takes the podium. In this case Bank of America, executive listens as he waits to declare the exhibition open

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358 Fig ure 7 4 The opening of the Exhibition was a gala event The opening reception was received in the front area of Childers Hall which houses the Howard University Galler y of Ar t. Not all exhibition opening s have such a splendor and receive such extensive a reception opening. institution will have its own mailing list usually developed over years from the catalogue of a signing register which is a book held usually at the entra nce to an exhibition. The book is signed by the visitor to the exhibition, and usually, in anticipation of being able to be advised of future new exhibition, the person also leaves his/her address for mailing announcements.

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359 Fig ure 7 5 A section of the mid crowd as the opening of the Bank of America exhibition is about to get underway Fig ure 7 6. Conversations flourish among little groupings and new acquaintances are made usually befor e and after the formalities. Artist James Brown (back to camera) d iscoursing with local residents.

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360 Fig ure 7 7. During the reception, acquaintances get to ta lk and catch up on old times. From left to right are unidentified woman, Professor Lindesay ( the theoretical physicist with whom Alfred Smith works) Tritobia Ha yes Benjamin, Dean of th e Division of Fine Arts and Peter Robinson, A rt Department alumnu s. Each institution then has its core list and may share lists among themselves. However, the followers of each tends to arrive at homogeneity because after even initi al visits to different institutions in response to their mailed notices, if the culture of the group, the relationship between themselves and the artist s, and the spirit of human connection does not speak to them and to their cultural and socio spiritual n eeds. The populations of attendees then undergo a sifting and a shifting and become settled into groups roughly defined by common philosophical and cultural interest but with occasional cross overs. The Howard art audience, then, tends to be somewhat homog enous for the most part though there are exhibitions that attract visitors from a wider range of experiences As an example, the present Bank of America exhibition display African American Art Collection and the majority of the

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361 view ers are from the Howard Community, but the Bank is represented by members from both its corporate staff and the reg ional and local offices as well, 1 so that a sizeable number of new aud ience participants are in attendance a b Fig ure 7 8 At left Dr. C arl Anderson retired Vice President for Academic Affairs at Howard and Dr. Floyd Coleman, former Chair of the Art Department and Founder o f the Porter Colloquium Series, converse during the Bank of Ame rica Exhibition opening reception. At right (b), s tuden t pauses to make notes from a work in the Bank of America Collection The painting that has attracted her attention is t itled by Walter Cade III who was born in 1936. The date of the piece is unknown. At the openings we may find several notable a dministrators deans of colleges or divisions, chairs of departments, occasionally presidents or vice presidents of colleges and universities, political or civic officials, celebrities or scholars who ar e art enthusiasts and or art collectors who are quite close to the artist s and to the Howard community; junior students and sometime senior students especially those in the art history discipline, with notepads who appear lost as they jostle to catch up with the artist s (usually faculty or other pr ofessional artist s) for brief interviews for their class 1 In addition, a series of events bringing a cross section of the American population to the Howard Galleries may be schedule to take place within the gallerie s. For example, the present Bank of America Exhibition was used as the backdrop for several functions, including a major meeting of Bank officials.

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362 assignments scribble away as they try to keep up with recording what is being said ; senior and graduate students who are already acquainted with the artist s and who are in peer group discussions or surrounding (one of) the artist (s) who is discoursing on a work or an experience listen attentively ; and the community artist s and citizenry Fig ure 7 9. Featured artist Lawrence Finney of the Bank of America Exhibition, Mixing Metaphors converse s wit h area attendees at the reception before the start of formalities. a b Fig ure 7 10 A t l eft Edward Shaw in.conve rsation with Jeanne Steiner and her husband Robert Ms.Steiner is the Senior Vice President for the Arts and Culture Program at the Bank o f America Field photo. At right (b), Steiner and former Uni versity administrator/ art co llector James Hill.

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363 Fig ure 7 11 A jazz quartet from the internationally famous Howard University Jazz Ensemble pauses for a break at the opening reception. Larger e xhibitions are usually accompanied by a down sized band, but smaller exhibitions may be accom panied by a one person band or no live music at all. who are friends of the artist s and the department and who have become as attached to the department as its own Faculty by virtue of the similarity of their philosophies and intent as artist s are renewing acquaintances and making new ones These are the people who represent the tentacles of The Howard School within the communities outside of the immediate campus e nvironment. They are cultural scholars; they don the Afrocentric styles of attire; they bring their children for exposure and for learning ; they are versed in the most recent publications on African American culture, which artist is doing what, and when an d where the next exhibitions within the community are going to be. They are the vernacular professors of the department and attend most open social functions on the campus.

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364 Fig ure 7 12 Akan King Nana Kwaku Kumniapa III of Ghana ian society is seen here in traditional dress. The kente cloth was at first reserved for Royal use, but now has been extended to general use It is a favorite among Africans and African Diaspora ns all over, often worn in accessorizing long, narrow strips. A careful study of the r hythm patterns in much AfriCOBRA wor k is reflected in this larger composite pattern of the kente as it is wrappe d and folded. This pattern within pattern is portrayed often in the work of AfriCOBRA artists such as James Phillips. Photo pp. Fig ure 7 13 African fashion image of a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock. Professor Malkia Roberts and others most often dressed like this. Founded by Howard professor Bernice Johnson Reagon this group uses performance in a similar way as do Howard School artist s to rekindle and sustain the African pulse in contempora ry African American experience. This attire reflects the new blend of fashion that has arisen out of the merging of traditional African dress and American fashion. Attendees at art exhibition opening s at Howard especially in the 1980s would often be dressed in like fashion. Photo pp.

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365 I have used the Bank of America Exhibition opening to present images of a typical function of this kind at Howard. Against this backdrop let us now imagin e an evening at the opening of an Annual Faculty Exhibition or any other major show such as the re cent Bank of America exhibition. The people arrive and engage themselves as mentioned above amidst part aking in refreshments and provi ded. Wine is central at the temporary b ar and other alcoholic beverages are served depending on the scope of the show and hence the budgetary allocations. Conversation is copious and greetings from persons who might not have seen each other from the time of their last attendan ce at an opening f ill the air. As expected, more relaxation occurs as the events wears on. The most common question that will be heard h owever, is that from one artist to another. It may come in two forms; How is it going? or What are you working on now? This will culmi nate in a discourse from both persons into their artist ic activities and projects since their last encounter. The citizens and fri ends of the department will be e ngaged in any number of topics from explaining h ow they came by the new carved Afrocentric can e they walk with, to the new kente cloth they are wearing, or the bold African jewelry that adorn them. Regardless of the topic of discussion, the aesth etic and the philosophy of the S ankofa paradigm will almo st certainly be within the conversation It wil l not be unusual to hear of a literal return to African sources; as (a na med African country or a local Afrocentric store or museum). A recent trip to the African homeland engenders a long anecdotal account, so we move on. Col lectors are studying the works in such a way that onlookers are forced to consider, again, the importance of the particular work of art, and must draw close to look again and start a conversation on the appeal of the piece. This can usually develop

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366 into a bonding and a cross referencing of a number of artist s. Contact information may be exchanged for the onlooker has learned a lot from the collector who is versed in the school of thought of the artist s. Graduate students are digesting what the taste of art ist ic maturit y is and have less questions and more abashed amazement. Children are darting back and forth but cannot escape exposure to a tightly knit community with a common goal and a e sthetic. They cannot digest as much from the art, but the fashion and the atmosphere fascinates them for this is also a parade of African fashion apparel adapted to the local context. Beautiful prints of A dinkra symbols and kente cloth among other patterns and colors, adorn imposing and senior figures amidst traditional West ern attire. 2 This surely does not go unnoticed by the children. This display is a c lear demonstration of pride in the African aesthetic and becomes an exhibition of sorts tantamount to an artist ic accompaniment of the visual art on the walls. The overridin g aesthetic is most certainly communal and the narrative that is strewn throughout the many aspects of its manifestation is as sure and indelible as it is translucent. 2 For an explorative experience learning more about these fabrics, the reader is encouraged to visit the web site http://kente .midwesttradegroup.com/history.html

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367 a b Fig ure 7 14 At left, alumnus James Brown makes with a typical carved cane. The cane became a conversation piece between us At right (b), p hotograph exhibited in the 2005 Alumni Show by artist Ruth R. Fleming. The photograph was taken at The Million Man March in Washington, D.C. and says much more than can be said in words If w e consult the image above of a young child looking inquiringly and discerningly into the face of the elder dressed in Afrocentric attire at a gathering we see in ethnographics of that which is hard to say in words. ( Harrison 2009 ) In fact, this becomes a great example, of the message i nto which this research is intended to culminate that of fostering the educational process for young and old alike. We must look at the picture with the eyes I have tried to create that see from the soul of the person that has read of the context within wh ich this study is placed. More than seeing just a child looking at an old man, the reader must be able to make the effort to read

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368 from the image according to the Roland Barthes an d Collier and Collier style. He or she must come to see the image as narrat ive of phenomena; as a form with the potential to record a single moment in an event at a particular place within the universe that we know And where the human being and his/her potential is concerned, possibly a moment tha t may come to affect not only the life of the individuals depicted, but a community, a nation, the world, and perhaps, the entire historical record. Such would be the case Gardner encounter or experience and become motivated to do great things in her life. Joanna Scherer, in her essay, The Photographic Document: Photographs as Primary Data in Anthropological Enquiry ( Scherer 1992 ) (1992) bring s together some of the views of several scholars who have examined the photographic image in the suggested context. It will be useful to pause to take a quick look at this reference. Scherer tells us that: phs taken by one observer can be subjected to continued re ny levels but training and systematic relating of photographic information to a careful analytic technique can keep the levels separate and the information photographs (Sekula 1984:19), especially for the cultural symbols they reveal details which constitute the very raw material of ethnological knowledge 1981: 28). Pictures can be treated as e thnographic documents. They need only to be contextualized socioculturally to be utilized for scholarly study. Ethnographic photography may be defined as, the use of photographs for the recording and understanding of culture(s), of both the subject and the photographer. (p. 34) So, in reading this photograph, the viewer must become engaged with it in order

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369 to be able to contextualize it and place it within the intent of the photographer He/ she will learn to study how to connect the hunger in the eyes of the child (the future of her community) to the experien ce in the face of the elder. He would have lived the experiences discussed in establishing this contextual framework. The child is as foreign to such experiences as we may imagine. Yet her presence at this function has started the encounter which is the seed that will likely make her the artist or cultural worker she might become. The space between her eyes and the face of the elder is charged. It is magical and mysterious. It is magnetic and one feel s the energy of absorption as the child seeks to absorb the mind of this great and different being We are wont to wonder, who this child will become and what role will this memory play in her becoming. We can also take this issue further if we turn to i deas and paradigms of John Dewey (1934, 1938) Howard Gardner (1982, 1990) and Rollo May (1953, 1975) the experience, the brain configuration, the encounter; the cultural relativity and didactic paradigms in learning from John Ogbu ( Ogbu 1974 ) George Spindler ( Spindler 1987 ) and George and Louise Spindler ( Spindler 2000 ) Was this the encounter for this child? Might we be able to trace the role of this encounter in th a later stage the memory persists and if it does come to impact in a cumulative or even dominant way, on the coming to be of the person she becomes 3 ( Fallico 1962 ) However, for the time being, we return to our scene of the ongoing exhibition. 3 On this potential, I have decided to pursue this inquiry, post dissertation, to this continued examination and to pursue this probability of connecting past experience in the mind of a child to their fo rmulations of selfhood and course of attainment.

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370 At the opening w ord gets around that the opening is about to begin and people scramble and amble from the corridors, the catering line, and even the entrance way where they might have gone to pursue a breath of fresh air or a conversation. The distinguished faculty is introduced by the one declaring the show opened usually the Dean of the College. Fo r the first time the newcomers the freshmen who need to target an artist having found interest in their work to fulfill their class assignment, can see who is who and match the face to the work. They will dart off as soon as the formalities are closed to be the first to get to their target artist The Dean (or other administrative official) summarizes the activities of the department s scholars over the year and extolls the artist ic legacy of the department and the new contributions of the current faculty (if Faculty Show) New addition(s) to the faculty is introduced. A higher level administrator may continue the accolades and the exhibition would then be declared open. For a brief few minutes there is a busy rush as people again try to sort themselves out and to get to those they are now seeing for the first time since all have come together in the same space. Photographs are being taken. Apart from the audience s proliferation of snapshots, there are one or two professional photographers at work. Roy Lewi s, the social documenter from Natchez Mississippi, the man who has probably photographed every periodic function in the Howard Art Department and on the l arger campus, as well as every African American ethn i c festival, discourse, celebration or event in W ashington, D.C. is either stealing the picture taking the shot as he finds it, which is his way, or hesitating while the

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371 a. b Fig ure 7 15 At left t he indomitable Roy Lewis pho tographing me photographing him, and at right, (b) L et the Circle Be Unbroken presents a very pointed and revealing discourse on The Implications of African Spirituality in the Diaspora The cover was designed by Howard alumnus and Forum participant Aziza Gibson Hunter.T he Akan Adinkra cloth symbol in the upper center is the often used gyenyame referring to the omnipotence and supreme statust of the Creator, and appears throughout much of the work of Howard School artists. people become aware of his intent to shoot and must present themselves in the b est way by shifting, arch ing to face the camera, or investing in a special expression of intense concentration and focus on the conversation in or der to appear more scholarly. Roy prefers his pictures like the anthropologist when he is least noticed. However h e

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372 takes the picture and carries on. He may just return, unnoticed, to grab the picture he wants. 4 Lastly, we must mention the fact that the catalogue that has been created to accompany the exhibition is in the hands of most members of the audience. Some st ruggle to hold it and their refreshments and hesitate to place it down for it might have been signed for them by several of the artist s. They are not to be read now for this is a time for face to face contact, but in the catalogue will be a collection of e ssays and messages from administrators and the Art History faculty who have written about the department and provided a literary montage of the work of thei r colleagues. Whatever happens, in the long run, this meeting has been a platform of exchange for the rich discourse that fertilizes and affirms the existence of an Afrocentric ally placed spiritual and form of feeling the Ho ward aesthetic. It is a neighbo rly atmosphere of memory and recal l; of projection and exchange, and of cultural communities s. Thes e 4 On Sunday October 3 rd as I sat working in the Sankofa Caf on Georgia Avenue on the periphery of the Howard Campus, Roy Lewis quietly takes a seat beside me as if trying to arrive unseen. At first with gle e we are glad to see each other, and then he solemnly reports that he has just arrived from the memorial service of another eminent scholar and Howard University professor. Ron Walters was a prolific political scientist and culture worker. Walters had pas sed away recently and the W.P.F.W. station, for the past few days had been replaying his memory and interviewing many from the community whom he had mentored. There was discernible sadness within the culturally aware all throughout the community. Roy was a later, Roy passed me at the entrance to the Fine A rts building, camera in hand as always. I aimed to shoot at him explaining I might need a picture to put alongside his information. Before I could break away from my conversant and compose taking the picture, from thigh level, Roy, in the picture above, wa s shooting at me. We met again at Sankofa on November 17 th and had a great discussion on the characteristics of the photographic image as narrative. As this occurred, I recalled viscerally but with great impact, a publication of documentary photographs I u sed to make required examination for my photography students. Of primary import in this outlet was a series of photographs in which a Native American photographer turned the lens back on the European A merican tourist poking a lens at the Native people. The resulting photograph, "Native American documentary field, and we as anthropologist will, by no lesser means, find it a very erudite bit of discourse.

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373 occasions are the jubilee, the infusion of the antidote the maat to as Marimba Ani refers to it ( Ani 1994 ) to the cultural s truggles that each member un dergoes as individuals. In this climate they bec ome generators and retainers of culture goals and incentives. It is in this mix that w e come to see how the community plays in the band and how the school of thought becomes played out and presented to its members and how it perpetuates the African ancestral legacy. Of these events, varying in the degree of their splendo r and size, but al most always within the parameters of the Howard aesthetic, I have been a keen observer and participant. My attention to the nuances of the events in such atmospheres has been acutely defined by my role as exhibiting artist and curator as well as audience m ember, community member, and as invested donor in the culture, and as synonymous in h aving experienced and continued to observe the prolonged sway of acculturation gesturing and the process es of becoming among these persons as individuals and as a unified community. There have been many memorable such exhibitions. There however, is one exhibition among the many that stands on its own in this arena. This exhibition is of note because it synthe sized what we could aptly call the showcasing of all of the years of the Howard art department in a groundbreaking exposition of the works of the department s alumni created over eight decades. It represents a comprehensive and panoramic view of the development of the philosophy (aesthetic) of the school and involved th e works of dominant members of the faculty who were also alumni. It was only contoured by the fact that some of the dominance was unrepresented as such giants as Jeff Donaldson Edward Love, Skunder

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374 Boghossian and a few others, not having attended Howard, c ould not be included in this particular exhibition. The exhibition began with the vision of university president Patrick Swygert, a n art c ollector, himself. Aware of the potential of the medium as well as the legacy of the Howard resourcefulness i n promul gating the stocking of the warehouses and reservoirs of the African American consciousness, ( as Israel Tribble of the Florida Education Fund had done in purchasing the Barnett Aden collection started by Professor James Herring, who founded the Howard Art D epartment and the first curator of the Howard art gallery, Alonzo Aden ) Swygert conceived of the idea of having the works of the al umni of the Depar tment since its inception brought together for an exposition of the legacy and the continued progress of th e department. No effort of that magnitude had ever been made in the history of the University. T he call was put out and the two and a half year planning of the exhibition that was to be opened on by the pres ident himself went underway On the evening of the opening I entered the packed and overflowing gallery where the Associate Dean of the College /Division Tritobia Hayes Benjamin was about to approach the podium to begi n the ceremony. Upon her closing remarks, President Swygert, w ould declare the exhibiti on open. My most indelible recollection of what he had to say is his opening remark which, given my preoccupation with attempting to define a Howard School I had to conclude could not have been better timed, nor coined. A pproaching the microphone, the President remarked, If anyone had any doubts that there is a Howard aesthetic, this should show them. It was a mes merizing experience, and I recall that later when we talked about my work, I was to tell him that I

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375 had then felt more convinced and more r eady t han ever to continue the work I had started ( especially since at some points I had become riddled with doubts and encountered some obstacles ) The memory of this occasion and the reality of the shared experience of a vision in a Howard aesthetic, wou ld remind me later, as I was in the final stages of research on this project, at which time I was planning the convening of a community participant forum, that President Swygert s vision for this exhibition, c ould be seen as a represent ation of the ta ngibl e evidence of the agency in the work of these artist s over the years. This seminal display of the identity of the School and the relationship of its place within the larger society was in itself, an exposition of a cultural phenomenon which had become a cu ltural artifact. Now created now celebrated and in the very process of its existence it was simultaneously making and perpetuating culture by sustaining that which it had created. It is only likely that the reader can put into context the atmosphere and t he spirit of the occasion if he considers the energy of his own class reunions, not on the platform of the yearly basis, or that of the decade, or the quarter century or half a century, but on that of over eight decades spanning the entire existence of the Department. Several attendees likened the occasion to a Jubilee, and some said it reminded them of FESTAC 77 the year in which Jeff Donaldson led some 600 and more creative persons as a delegation to Lagos Nigeria for a month long celebration of African arts and aesthetics. Unfortunately, some alumni were represented only by their works of art for they were the earliest of the graduates who had passed on in life.

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376 But they did remain in the spirit of their work amidst the audience and those present were re hatching their memories and experiences in pockets of assembly often representing eras meaning contained time spans during which they had come to share a common bond and experience by having been a part of the Howard experience at a given time. As ethno grapher, I was placed in the position of observing others as well as myself and my own response to the scene. The notion of relativity or objectivity discoursed well upon by Jacques Maquet (1964) which problematizes the route traverse d in the participato ry function through observation and involvement, to interpretation and representation, sometimes entered into my anthropological process ing of the experiences But since we have already argued the blur ring of the line between both and since I have also de monstrated my awareness of the relationship between the two I was comfortable focusing on observing how (the) social conformity of the group and the shared experience, even with its limitations, displayed itself in the processes of cultural identification and creation or perpetuation I stayed alert to the precarious position I occupied and to the extent that one can, I walked the balanced line, relying on one of my favorite maxims: Sometimes it becomes necessary to get as close to the edge as possible wi thout going over it. From the edge, we get to see all of the things we could not see from the center. Returning to the Alumni Exhibition, i f we add to the event of the coming together of the human energies of recalling years of adventure, learni ng, intera ctions and education reminding and discovering anew, the energy o f more than one hundred and twenty select ed works of art being used as points of entry for discussion or for silent contemplation, we come to see how culture is both generated and sustained. It was

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377 very clear that as much as we can admit an accounting for the shared experience, this was one community and that the cement of the union was a common philosophy and subscription to an agenda a nd aesthetic easily and heartily facilitated by most pre sent. Accompanying the exhibition was an expansive catalog of 234 pages in fu ll color, comprising probably the single most concentrated set of essays on The Howard School of Art ever assembled in one spine and on one exhibition over the years. Fig ure 7 16 T he cover of the 2005 Alumni Exhibition, A Proud Continuum: Eight Decades of Art at Howard University, in full color. The cover reflects slices procured from the works on display in the exhibition. The catalogue carried messages from the President P atrick Swygert, t he Provos t and Chief Academic Officer Richard A. English, the Dean of the College of Arts and sciences James A. Donaldson and t he Associate Dean of the College /Division of Arts and Sciences and D irector of the Howard University Galleries T ritobia Hayes Benjamin. E ssays came from alumnus and Assistant Director of Galleries, Scott Baker; Tritobia.

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378 Hayes Be njamin, Richard Powell, Teresia Bush, Lisa E. Farrington and David C. Driskell all discussing topics from the historical emergence of the D epartment of Art, its contextual placement within the un iversity, the development of the gallery, an anthology of the creative and intellectual efforts of faculty and alumni over the years in nt and its role in the Howard and larger community Fig ure 7 17. A p age in the cat alog shows then University P resident Patrick Swygert and his

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379 Fig ure 7 18. Associate Dean of the Division of Fine Arts and Director of the Howard University Gallery Tritobia Hayes Benjamin. Many of us alumni tried to get our personal copies of the catalog autographed by our colleagues. Certainly, in my memory, this was the most extensive exhibition program with the most expansive set of auxiliary programming that had been seen at any such showing in the Howard Univers ity Art Department. There were several additional programs arranged around the exhibition and the entire range of the programming lasted from almost the duration of the show March 6 to May 29, 2005 The exhibition was conceived as a dedication to James A. Porter the second Chairman of the Art Department (July 1, 1953 to the time of his death, February 28, 1970). Master of Fine Arts (1970) graduate Teixeira Nash defi nes the term contin uum in a T ribute to the 2005 Alumni Exhibit as, P

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380 5 The dedication to Porter was placed o n the same p age and read, Dedicated to James A. Porter (1907 19 70), artist scholar, mentor in the centennial year of his birth. Figure 7 19 Group p hoto of the attending alumni artists at the opening of the exhibition with University President Swygert at center front row fingers intertwined Photo James K. Ple asant. The number of special programs developed around the exhibition included lectures, workshops, gallery/museum tours and artist studio visits...I had the opportunity to attend two studio visits, one special lecture, one public art site visit, one commu nity focus group and an honoring lecture and reception 5 From the front ice piece, catalogue to the exhibition A Proud Continuum: Eight Decades of Art at Howard University

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381 Fig ure 7 20 Scott Baker, Howard University alumnus and Assistant Director of the Howard University Gallery was responsible for organizing the installation of the exhibition Before him, in the for e ground of the picture, sits the inkwell used by James V. Herring the fo under and first Cha irman of the Howard University G alle r y. a b Fig ure 7 21 Gallery Registrar Eileen Johns ton reminisces over the Proud Co ntinuum catalogue and the volume of the registration process that was necessary to the life of the artwork Johnston was responsible for coordinating the massive registration process. At right review article from t he Washington Post April 7, 2005.

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382 Figure 7 22 A commemorative poster was created for the occasion and was distributed to all of the participating artists and others. This item would become a piece of material culture and a safe keep item for these ar tists for whom it would be a constant reminder of their times at Howard, and would present them immediate reminders of their friends and colleagues.

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383 At this exhibition, even the mature students exhibited hunger for the vast menu offered for feasting on the delights of their culture. In the context of an eighty year period, many of us were like youngsters again feeling like coming home, and grasping for re connections and further understandings T he many programs surrounding the exhibition continued over the following months that the exhibition remained open. This particular section of our discourse deals with art exhibitions and the related functions such as gallery talks, lectures, studio visits, demonstrations, symposia and discussions. I will use one even t from each of these exhibitions the Proud Continuum Alumni Exhibition of 2005 and the current Bank of America Mixing Metaphors exhibition to illustrate the peripheral eve nts that often accompany such major exhibitions. This will help to illustrate the fac t that the works of art are seen to be agents and invokers of a community spirit which consists of fora for social and cultural interactions, aesthetic appreciation, networking and community building and educational engagement. Learning and cultural reinfo rcement and appreciation are forefront perquisites of programs that accompany these art exhibitions and the works of art are usually central within the entire experience. Visits to Artist From the 2005 Howard Alumni Exhibition, I will highlight o ne of the associated functions. One of these will be formal and the other informal. The formal event will be that arranged by the programmers within the Art Department, and was listed and formally structured as an official part of the series of events. Thi s was a day of visits to the local art studios of selected artists all Howard Art Department affiliated all alumni. First we will take a very brief look at the artist studio visits These comprised a three quarters of a day program during which the touring group was transported to three

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384 artist one site visit Visits w e re made to the studios of Akili Ron Anderson, Michael Platt, and Aziza Gibson Hunter At each studio, the artists took the audience through a tour of their studios, exposing them to the processes with which they work, the resources they have at hand and especially revealing to them works that are presently in the process. They may be asked or sometimes may offer to do spontaneous demonstrations. The audience gets a chance for a ha nds on experience as they can often touch the materials with which the artist works. They also get to ask questions in a way they probably would not in a formal gallery setting. I believe that one visit is the exposure to the environment of the artist, Usually, I spend much time looking around at the resources that the artist procures for him/herself literary resources, material culture, natural forms, spatial design and layout, auditory and visual stimuli, and art materials. These help me to obtain useful insights into the spiritual being of the artist and hence help to provide an entrance into comprehending the work. Public Art Site Visits The site visit was to see the public art work by Anderson installed at the Metro Subway Columbia Height Station. The works, Sankofa I and II in stained glass, adorn the East and the West Entrances. Images of these works will be presented later in this document during the interview with the artist The audience and local people who were attracted by the group assembly huddled for a viewing and dis course on the process of the work by artist Akili Anderson At the end of the day, those of us who desired to continue conversations and to spend more time with our coll eagues took a spontaneous decision to pass the rest of the evening, at the home and studio of yet Aziza Gibson Hunter. This led into an

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385 enjoyable evening with food, laughter and chatter and discussions on serious matters on the state of the country, the so ciety, the African community locally and globally, and much on the Howard University Art Department as well as on the organization of which many of those present were a part the Black Artists of Washington, D.C Curatorial and Gallery Talks The Howard Art Department has often programmed a venue for guest curators to visit and share with the local community on the ir experience and the process of working with the exhibits. This not only serves to inform the faculty, students and the community on the works, bu t also helps local scholars who congregate to learn and to expand on potentials for their own research. They make connections and network as they find people with varying, but related interests with whom they can collaborate or just exchange ideas. These t alks present an enriching atmosphere for exchange and learning and in addition, matriculating students get to see one of the potential career roles they might pursue. In the pages following, I allow the images to do much of the speaking in presenting the a tmosphere of such functions. The talk presented is that by curator Deborah Wil lis which accompanied the Bank of America exhibition Mixing Metaphors and is re presentative of Howard Gallery t alks. This talk took place on Sunday, October 10, 2010.

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386 Fig ur e 7 23 curator Deborah Willis (second from right) after the talk with (l eft r ight) artist Lawrence Finney, Bank of America representative Tritobia Hayes Benjamin and Floyd Coleman. Though I had formulated the title of my dissertation years prior to this exhibition, I was happy to see that the theme of this exhibition approximated, to some degree, the theses with which I was engaged. I was eager to be exposed to the e philosophy surrounding the show. As it turned out, the art, here, having been acquired from many smaller regional banking subsidiaries acquired through corporate take over by the giant Bank of America over the years, was, in face a piercing lens into the culture and social and political history of the people. Many of its pieces consisted of photographs which document the movements of the 1960s and 1970s. This thrust was further represented within the essay written by Clement Price to accompany the catalo g

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387 Figure 7 24. A section of the crowd at the talk; Gallery Director Hayes Benjamin (right) introduces curator Deborah Willis. Figure 7 25 Curator Deborah Willis gets the audience in the mood for a spirited and friendly discourse on the motivations f or the design of the exhibition and for insights into the spirit and intricacies of the work of the artist s.

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388 Fig ure 7 26 Seniors at the gallery t alk listen attentively and sometimes take notes. Art collector James Hill (left) attend almost every functi on at the Howard Galleries. Figure 7 27. Shown here, the engaging spirit of a Gallery Talk when in depth insight can be obtained on the works on display. Here curator Deborah Willis, presents artist Lawrence Finney and his work Sunday Night Out.

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389 Fig ur e 7 28 Curator Willis a t center with Juliette Bett ea and Floyd Coleman. Juli ette has continued researching her family lineage for the roots of its African origin for years. Figure 7 29 Artist Lawrence Finney speaks about his work. Here, he addresses Caretaker 2000. In the background is Sunday N ight Out Both images speak to positive aspects of two minority groups living hegemonically in America. The first shows the tender loving care of the African American father, a phenomenon considered in Americ an society, a rarified image. The other presents an image of the tightly knit structure of a Latino family and added to that, the narrative of the African American male looking on from the window, outside.

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390 Fig ure 7 30 The Gallery Talk is instruc tional as the audience is given an inside view not only of th e precepts which the curator employ s in organizing the exhibition, but also how the works connect one to the other. Here Willis take the audience through a series of representations that demonstr ate the connecting threads of events in African American life as depicted in the included photographs. Of course, the primary purpose of the Gallery and its functioni ng is to provide a laboratory for art studies so the students enrolled within the program can become to art and ideas on art from the outside of texts. Here they can learn how an exhibition is conceived and put together, insta lled, published upon, discoursed upon, and above all, they get to meet and interact with the artists thems elves, as well as other scholars curators, art historians, people in arts management, gallery owners and directors, and art collectors. Along with the students, the entire Howard and the local communities are able to respond to being exposed to the rich culture of their people. For the Bank of America Exhibiti on the third formally programmed event was a demonstration by current photography p rofessor Ronald Beverley which took place on Saturday, October 23, 2010. The final event sche duled for this exhibition was a studio tour to be given by faculty member artist Michael Platt The Howard School of Art Academic Environment Today As indicated earlier, I spent some time attending classes and sometimes happening upon classes as I sought out faculty members and students who wor ked with

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391 es and sessions in the computer graphics laboratory, I spent an extended period with P rofessor aduate stu dent works, supervis ed by professors James Phillips, David Smedley and Alfred Smith Perhaps my major intent, in addition to trying to feel the pulse of the philosophy and the cultural undertones in the air of the department, was to enjoy the nostalgia o f being a Howard art student within those same rooms and being taught by some of the same professors. Professor Ansa had pointed out that movements are not static. Such notions as the qualities that define The Howard School are dynamic. As time goes by the re are transitions in the way that the movement and philosophy is percei ved and perpetuated. He suggested that though there may not be the same readily visible overt exhibition of the philosophy, the spirit of the Sankofa p rinciple continues and is quite a live These things change, he says. Things change with time, and it may seem that they are no longer, but they remain in different ways. It takes special events for them to display themselves again in the ways we have seen before. ( Ofori Ansa 2010 ) My view was tha t he wa s correct. Now, I wanted to see if my sensibilities could sniff at the heuristic or overt messages that we, as students from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s were given and that which was filtering through now. I accounted for one variable of course. T he globe is now much more compact and so is knowledge. Students do get exposed earlier, to many aspects of the truth about our history than in the past. Yet, the question remains, is it absorbed and how is it used?

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392 It does seem that while students may no longer be required to take Ivan Van Sertima and Chancellor Williams as required readings, an attention to their ethnicity and their history, is built into their instruction in more subtle ways perhaps subaltern as they are already exposed to a degree of in ner pride, exposed to privileges, and more content with their place in society. Thus the role of T he Howard School educator may have shifted at a subaltern level As Ofori Ansa insinuated. My time spent with the students, and especially among the graduat e students, some of whom are active members of the Black Artists of the District of Columbia 6 revealed a healthy cultural consciousness The strong ethnic consciousness still permeates the spirit of the department. Part of this is automatically constituted in the fact that the students who make the choice for a Howard education, have, in most cases already been exposed to the Afrocentric realities of the educational discourse Many are keeping up family traditions. Others are there for the reputation of the university as well as for their own personal convictions on the value of an education that focuses on their ancestral consciousness as well as Western notions. They are offspring of former graduates and already have been exposed to the understandings for which earlier students had to search through struggle. Struggle ignites passion. So that less intense passion among them in their display of their ethnic identities, if it exists, may arise form more comfort in their place and in their confidence in the mo re acknowledged acceptance of their culture. Below I present some images photographs taken from my visits to classes. I will reprint here, the early photograph taken in 2005 s class so as to consolidate it 6 At the time I was engaged in this research, the president of the B.A.D.C. was Howard graduate student, Anna Robles Gordon, and other matriculating studen ts were also members.

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393 with the others The reader m ay read from these pictures at the visual anthropologic level, any codes that may suggest the direction of the issues discussed here. Figure 7 31. Professor Ansa exposing his art history students to the African Art collection on the ground floor of the department. Figure 7 32 Professor Alfred Smith make s a point at the graduate critique while students contemplate.

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394 Figure 7 33 Graduate student critique conducted by Professors James Phillips, Alfred Smith and David Smedley a b Figure 7 34 Graduate student s present t he i r work to fellow classmates and the supervising team of faculty members.

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395 Figure 7 35 Ancestors and Relatives (1995), m ural painted outside the practicing rooms of the music department in the basement of Childers Hall. Thi s was the M.F.A. thesis final project for two students, Mike Easton and John Trevino. The mural tells some of the history of African American people over the last several decades. Figure 7 36 Another vie w of the m ural with activist Angela Davis promi nently displayed. In all respects, the work rivals any mural by the masters, Hale Woodruff, Charles White, or Aaron Douglas.

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396 Figure 7 37 Details of the mural present pivotal periods in the history of the department such as the period of demonstra tion by the student in the 1970s and 1980s demanding more Afrocentric elements in the curriculum. Figure 7 38 Plaque at the entrance of Childers Hall, home of the Art Department since 1961. It delivers an abbreviated history of the art department and di splays the longest serving chairman.

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397 Figure 7 39 Gw en Everett is the current Chairperson of the H oward University Art D epartment Since Dr. Everett began her tenure she has seen the department through various stages of adjustment a s it has gone through shifts and adjustments to fulfill needs brought o n by societal and other change s within the academic agendas. Figure 7 40 The secretarial and administrative staff in the department plays the important role of providing all of the clerical and logistical support to the C hairperson the Faculty and the students. Secretary, Shawn Hart is the gate keeper to much of the office a ctivity. Not photographed is Sheilah Tucker, the administrative assistant to the chairperson.

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398 CHAPTER 8 COMM UNITY PARTICIPANT FO RUM It is our hope that intelligent definition of the past, and perceptive identification in the present will project nationfull di Jeff Donaldson, 1971 O ver the last five or six years the Howard University Art Community has witnessed the passing of several of the prominent members of The Howard School We have lost Professor Edward Love, a fearless and outspoken scholar with a driven passion for correcting errors in the recording of history; Professor Malkia Roberts who lived the African ethos and was a great friend and mentor for students; Professor Skunder Bog hossian an Ethiopian immigrant who had the greatest insight into nuances of the artist ic intent; Jeff Donaldson whose role in the art department we have just examined; Murray Depillars a member of the AfriCOBRA art collective and a close friend and colle ague of the Howard art Faculty and community. With the loss of this cadre of Howard community colleagues a goodly part of the representation of the School has left us. Fortunately, there is a fair degree of archival material theses, papers, monographs and films existing on these artist s. In addition, their works continue with us. In this study, I wanted to bring together a representative sampling of the Howard art community in a forum format to problematize and discuss various aspe cts of the hypotheses p re sented in this study. The intent was two fold for I was also focused o n getting these remaining cultural warriors together on videotape discussing some of the issues intended to set the foundation for the establishment of a recognition of their contributio ns to American art history and to the African Diasporan communities the

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399 world over. 1 I also used a second format consist ing of individual interviews and studio visits with a select number of artist s chosen in consultatio n with the members of the forum pane l to represent glimpses at the form, structure and essence of the spirit, the process, the inspiration and th e intent of the members of the S chool. With this process, I hoped to identify further, more of the glue that held this community together and the s pirit within the individuals that rendered the individ ual eligible for membership in this commune. This information would further characterize the group dynamics and describe the Howard Art Community philosophy and ethos. The first task intended for the c ommunity p articipant forum was to provide a setting for the community mem bers to validate the claim of the existence of a Howard School of Art. Through the forum, we would problematize cert ain aspects of the theses and research plans and through discussio n, arrive at the representative consensus on the various issues to be considered I specifically selected this format of a forum as opposed to individual interviewing because I wanted to have a context in which the participants fed off of each other and i n which conflicting views could immediately emerge and be addressed. It was expected that these scholars would not hesitate to voice various views on any matter and that responding to these variations others would contribute their thoughts to help us arriv e at 1 In this attempt we nevertheless, missed three of these scholars who we will have to pursue for individual recording at a later date. The schedule of Floyd Coleman did not permit him to attend the filming of the forum discussion thou gh he shared his views on some of the issues discussed. Professor Frank Smith, did not permit his attendance and he too will share his views off film

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400 a consensus where appropriate. 2 The participants in the forum, having discussed the pertinent issues of examination in this study, would be considered best prepared to suggest a given number of artist s whose work would adequately represent The Howard School as defined and discussed. This would fulfill the agenda I had tried for close to one and a half years to meet, first by trying to poll more than one hundred alumni artist s participating in the 2005 Alumni Art Exhibition, then by trying to poll, by m ail, a select number of scholar/ artist s deemed adequately i nformed on the topic to give a comprehensive set of responses to the inquiries. 3 Once the concept was delineated, the process of realizing the forum presented its challenges. Coordinatin g the Commu nity Participant Forum In many disciplines of study and even within organizations and groups, discoursing or problematizing, brainstorming or troubleshooting through the idea of focus groups, is quite common. This approach to some forms of problem solv ing or consensus arrival is a useful and practical way to address the issues with which a group or an inquirer becomes faced. Recently, the term stakeholders has been used to replace focus 2 As it turned out, there was never an issue raised that created any notable set of conflicting views. The session was likened to a jazz band in concert, as members seemed to play in unison. The single discord emerged when I inadvertently, out of a lack of proper reflection, referred to the incident that drove the hat 3 Both of these efforts proved unattainable. Over the entire period of telephoning a nd mailing instruments I had perhaps a total of four or five complete responses. I sensed that it probably was a guarded feeling retained by the proposed respondents (not having had a full discussion of the issues as the forum members were privy to having) colleagues to scrutiny or conversely, being in charge of opening the way for the work of others to be seen and discussed. This feeling, of course does not overlook the usual hesitancy or n eglect of the general population to responding to surveys of any kind including the periodic national census questionnaires.

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401 group in some instances so as to be more accommodating of woul d be participants who are not directly members of the central group, but who might have, nevertheless, concerns and who might eventually become affected by decisions taken as a result of the consensus of the group. In addition, it has proven useful that th ose seemingly far removed from the center of the concerns have from their perhaps more objecti ve perspective br ought to light useful information and ways of proceeding on an examination. This discourse has been especially useful within applied anthropologi cal domains. For this study, I have selected to coin and use the term, community participant forum or comparticum instead, as I believe that the term stakeholder is more suggestive of a context of value or impact assessment with some form of dir ect m aterial or economic reward in contention. I consider the term, comparticum (com parti cum) useful for suggesting circumscription while at the same time being open ended enough to admit other s either on the basis of being member s of the community of conce rn or as being member s of the group or community undertaking the examination. I decided that in order to have a more comprehensive representation it would be necessary to have an ad equate number of members of the Howard art com munity upwards of eight Bec ause of the issues under discussion, I deemed it necessary to include art historians, practicing artist s, Howard faculty and students, a balance of male and female perspectives, members who were bridges between points of emergence and operation as addresse d in the research and members who were familiar with the history and philosophy of the Howard Art Department (Division).

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402 In the lo ng run, a total of fifteen persons were invited to participate in the forum. This was including the persons invited to replac e two o r three others whose agendas w ould not permit them to atte nd on the day we had scheduled. A date had had to be set quite promptly given the schedules for the use of the space intended for the forum and for the schedules of the administr ators and pro fessors involved. Eventually, after many attempts to set a date, t he lead time on the final date chosen was only five days. After having tried by mail to convene this group on a series of suggested dates over the last four or five months, and having had to cancel three previously intended dates, I had finally managed to have a date with a short lead time, but as the participants had been having constant correspondence on the progression of events, it was hoped that we would still have an adequate number of participants The composition of the group promised a potential for unpredictable responses to some of the hypothetical issues raised in the study. This was deemed a positive factor. I also expected to have some dissent on the claim to a Howard School of Art. I expected that there might be some dissent from the art historians especially because of the potential concern with what might be thought of as the inevitable creation of a compartmentalization of Afri can A merican art From the AfriCOBRA members I anticipated concerns with the perception of a clash between the claim for a Howard School and AfriCOBRA concepts and existence clearly at work withi n it; tha members would consider the idea of a H oward School of Art more of a der ivative of AfriCOBR A philosophy co opted through Jeff Donaldson and that the members might have dissent with the idea of a Howard School, thus defined I also anticipated that there might be debate on the phenomenon I have referred to as the spark that brought

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403 The Howard S chool aesthetic to a full blaze. Finally, perceptions on the present place and the eventuality of the philosophy of the School promis ed potential debate based on responses and subscription to the changes that had occurred over the years in the curriculum a s well as in administrative restructuring and student focus and commitment. The discussion was initially conceived to take place in the form of a mini conference lasting one day from 9.00am to 5.00pm with a lunch break of one hour or more. The process of convening the group was a particular challenge. Over several months packages of information outlining an introduction to the formulation of the project its goals and objective s ; a single page abstract of the intended study; a definition of the hypothesize d Howard School of Art ; Institutional Review Board ( IRB ) consent forms; an outline of the issues proposed for discussion ; a dis cussion model and a cove r letter (shown in the appendices) naming the invitees, was dispatched via e mail and regular mail Th e challenges of studying up became immediately reflected in my efforts to convene the group. At the outset, one key m ember was across the Atlantic on a Fulbright scholarshi p. Another had left his former i nstitution at the beginning of a sabbatical and wo uld be taking up a new position elsewhere. Another was in the process of recovery from a major surgery and yet another was in the process of retirement and close upon a planned relocation. Other members were occupied with the chores of studio and academic work, urban family responsibilities, administrative duties, preparation for the new fall semester, and the job of curating and mounting exhibitions for the beginning of the school year All of this was amidst other campus wide and departmental meetings and the rigors of an urban life within a bustling city The saving

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404 factor, however, was that I was studying locally and therefore privileged to the use of all of the modern available means of communication and production. In the end this advantage came to f ully outweigh the anticipations of scheduling and the occurrence of unanticipated events which might necessitate cancelling the date yet again After making several efforts to estab lish a date convenient for all, which proved elusive, the task was accomplis hed when the senior art historian of the group and the D ean of the Division of Fine Arts Tritobia Hayes Benjamin and I met seeking to arrive at a date once and f or all. With her calendar of scheduled department engagements, her schedule, and the events sc heduled for the galleries, we were able to see the potential dates for the next two weeks and beyond. It was not advisable however, to have too much lead time to the date selected, as many other events were likely to turn up on the departmental calendar an d the larger campus calendar during the time leading up to the time selected It had earlier been suggested that we settle upon a date beyond the Labo r day weekend after the community had settling into the semester which time usually marked the heads do wn return to campus for the rest of the school year. Most prospective participants had agreed to the proposal and the date that had bee n established was cancelled for a new date to be determined Associate Dean Hayes Benjamin and I arrived at c onsidering a day five days away or another some two weeks later which of course would likely become encroached upon as other events came up. We decided to grasp the first of the day s on which it seemed possible for another few weeks. The notice of the date for the fo rum, October 1 st 2010, was immediately announced and brief ing material distributed. We also made the immediate decision to reduce the span of the meeting to a half a day in order to be

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405 more accommodating of the busy schedules of the faculty and increase t he likely participation Two scholars had indicated their inability to attend to the date decided upon but were willing to forward their responses to the issues posed for discussion. I later decided that the best way to proceed on this plan was to provide these colleagues with the generated transcript of the audio tape so that they would be able to get a full sharing in the discussions and make their input based on such information. Other colleagues were contacted as potential participants, as two others ha d indicated they were unsure of being able to attend. All final plans were then put into gear and since providers for most services needed for the function were already contacted and on standby, most arrangements went ahead smoothly. However, because I had planned to moderate the panel it was necessary to have a reliable and able videotap ing crew and my sources for finding such were proving to be too casual. While visiting the studio of one colleague, I learned that her son was a film maker and had even mad e his own film. My problem was solved as he was willing to re arrange his schedule to be the main camera person. Other help came from my nephew on sound and second camera and my niece who documented sequencing of terminology as they occurred in the discuss ion. As the scheduled time on the set day closed we had arriving two more panelists than anticipated and were happy to have such a large group as that promised a wider range of views on the topics. In addition we had attract ed an audience of some thirty or forty persons mostly working artist s for the Howard Community and the Black Artist s of D.C. collective. The meeting was scheduled to go from 1.00pm until 5.00pm on Friday, October 1 st or as dictated by the momentum of th e discussion.

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406 I had conceived o f The Howard School as being a community response to the cultural pressures exerted upon the ethnicity of its population and a s being representative of the element s of developments in the creation and emergence of culture. If it could be claimed in the con sensus of the forum participants, we would explore the characteristics, of this Howard School and how it was represented or manifested We would look at the role of Jeff Donaldson at Howard and probably look to see if his role as the charismatic figure a nd the timeliness of his arrival amidst the social events of the 1960s into the 70s would register him as the one who sparked the pivotal years in the history of The Howard School of Art philosophy If there were such a n admissi on w hat were the pivotal ye ars, or does The Howard School simply extend across the existence of the department from its inception and a pivotal period ought not to be considered ? The other issue we were to consider was The Howard School (if claimed) and the department in its present state. In casual conversations with memb ers within the community, it had been hinted several times that The Howard School of Art as we have known, defined and rep resented it was not as it used to be ( from one colleague words in discussion in April, 20 08). Our intent in the forum, therefore, will be to address the de gree of change; perhaps to decipher what has caused the change, and what is the mode of functioning now. What is the relationship between the present mode of functioning and the community an d national agendas? Is the dominant philosophy that moved the department during the pivotal years still relevant and useful? Should it be revived from within and is this possible? Is its revival directly connected to revitalization efforts within the natio nal agenda? Has the energy been re diverted or has it

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407 dissipated? The expectation for the data to be realized from this meeting was exhilarating Knowing the community and the dynamics of its operation, its background and its unspoken culture, I also stood to acces s a heuristic set of messages un spoken and unwritten, but intended and sent. This advantage occurs with my position of being a member of the group and my long history of living and working within the community even being taught by its members, exh ibiting with as well as exhibiting them (their works of art). After a statement of the purpose of the meeting and the introdu ction of each panelist by name, each person was asked to present a brief biography and to indicate the particular insights and cont ributions they perceived bringing to the forum After this was done, we held a minute of silence in honor of our departed comrades Malkia Roberts, Edward Love, Jeff Donaldson and Murray Depillars, whose names had been printed and displayed attached to the linen of the center table. Figure 8 1 Tribute to deceased Howard Art F aculty and AfriCOBRA colleague Murray DePillars (Photos Gloria Kirk).

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408 The group began the discussion by first examining the metaphysical nature of the process of creating ( visual e xpressions ) Excluding an intended break for questions at the end of the section, we continued straight into the second segment as some discussants had traversed into the issues pertinent to that area of discussion. W e decided to move on in to the discussio n (upon the suggestion of one member) using the Jazz band as a metaphoric model, where there was spontaneity, and call and response as in the pastor congregation relationship so well known in the African American church We were all in agreement with thi s suggestion and continued freely, as we had already quite entered into the second phase and spontaneity was preferred to restrictive order And so we continued seamlessly and naturally from one topic into the other and overlapping as was given to happen. 4 Figure 8 2 The forum panel assembled. From left to right are Akili Ron Anderson, Tritobia Hayes Benjamin Cynthia Sands (on break; see Fig 8 4, 3 rd from left), Scott Baker, Roberta McLeod, Alfred Smith, Aziza Gibson Hunter, James Brown, Kwaku Ofori A nsa, Reg inald Pointer, Winnie Owens and Edward Shaw. All photos Figures 8 1 to 8 2 and 8 5 to 8 12 are by Gloria Kirk from the Howard School of Art Community Participant forum, October 1, 2010. 4 The result of this was the overlooking of a few points of discussion as we occasionally extended discussion on some issues and in respondent built upon the comments of the other. There was much exuberance and anticipation throughout the discussion and I quickly realized that we could have easily used a full day to accomm odate the enthusiastic sharing of the members. The overlooked issues were addressed in the debriefing material sent to each participant following the forum.

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409 Figure 8 3. Howard Art Faculty in 1980, left to right: Sku nder Bhogossian, Afred Smith, Doris Colbert, Kwaku Ofori Ansa, Winnie Owens Hart, Trotobia Hayes Benjamin, Raymond Dobard, Jeff Donaldson, Winston Kennedy. Photo pp Figure 8 4. Art Faculty in 1980 (contd.), left to right: Michael Auld, Edgar Sorrells Ad ewale, Malkia Roberts, Chi Chong Lee Lau, Starmanda Bullock (Chair), Frank Smith, Edward Love, Martha Jackson Jarvis, Jarvis Grant. Photo pp. Figure 8 5 A lumnus and former B.A.D.C. President Aziza Gibson Hunte r expressed appreciation for this forum in which to consider this long overdue matter. Photo Gloria Kirk

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410 Figure 8 6 Akili Ron Anderson recounts some of his experiences at Howard. Photo Gloria Kirk Figure 8 7 Professor Alfred Smith articulates some of the foundations of the principles of The Howard School of Art philosophy. Photo Gloria Kirk. Some participants spoke very movingly on some topics especially out of a relief of having the opportunity to discuss some of these issues they thought long overdue. Discussions such as this were, in the past, more regular. I recall that there would be

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411 periodic lectures and discussions from scholars within the local or national community perhaps on a new book published or on some new trends or meanings established in the art world. These were not confe rences and gave ample op portunity for discussions and for people to make connections to the atmospheres beyond the borders of Howard. Often this might be a colleague of a professor, or a scholar from another institution often not far away. Amazingly there were no points on which there was disagreement excepting when I unwittingly placed the death of President Kennedy instead of that of was quick to remind me of this oversi ght (as it happened to be, for I knew very well, the order of these events). Figure 8 8 Assistant director of the Howard Gallery of Art Scott Baker emphasizes the impact of Jeff Donaldson on the Howard Un iversity campus and on the Art D epartment in par ticular. Photo Gloria Kirk.

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4 12 Figure 8 9 Professor Owen Hart s peaks of her Howard experiences, tying them to her sustained contacts with the Nigerian people of Ipetumodo Village. Some of the techniques in pottery that she learned or refined studying with the Ipetumodo women, were taught to me in her ceramics class in the early 1980s and called on us to carry out research on the pottery history and styles of a selected African group or country. Photo Gloria Kirk. Figure 8 10 A light moment during the f orum experience Professor Reginald Ponter speaks of how he found his love of my life his wife, during a class v home. This love was beautiful daughter Lori. Pho to Gloria Kirk.

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413 Our audience of alumni, friends of the community, present students and administrators were quite loyal and attentive throughout the almost three hour discussion. To our delight, in the audience happened to be one of the men who some forty p lus years ago stood with Jeff Donaldson to paint The Wall of Respect in Chicago referre d to in earlier discussions (Figure 6 36 page 3 19 ) Questions and comments were entertained from the audience. As we had anticipated that there would Figure 8 11 Part of the audience at the end of the question and answer session. Second from right is artist who helped with the painting of The Wall of Respect Photo Gloria Kirk.

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414 a b F igure 8 12 At left art depart ment Cha ir Gwen Everett raises the issue of potential m isunderstandings in naming the claim of a Howard Art philosophy as a school, while at right, alumnus and Smithsonian Institution set and lighting expert, Timothy Smith expresses his appreciation for a Howard Art education and commiserat es with the issues raised and discussed in the forum. Videographer Dalton Salmon is at left and technical assistant Carlton McFarlane is seated at right. Photos Gloria Kirk. Figure 8 13 S tudent expressing renewed appreciati on for the role of the visual arts i n education, indicated that she knew little about the history of the department and the special role that it has played in the history of educating African Americans. Photo Gloria Kirk.

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415 Figure 8 14 Philosophies enun ciated by Marimba Ani, a former professor of anthropology and an Afrocentric scholar and spokesperson in her text shown above, are incorporated into the Howard cultural ideology. be some value in having an audience in accompaniment of the discussion this value turned out to yield some validation of the agency in the work of The Howard School of

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416 Art philosophy. This was manifest in the comments from the audience. For example one student from the drama department approached the microphone and expressed her a ppreciation for the session. She stated that having heard the discussions, she had come to have a new appreciation for the role of the arts in life and that she had never been exposed to such a discussion even though she was within the same division. She a lso thanked the panelists for giving her the tools to better understand art when she does encounter works of art in the future. At the end of t he session members were asked to make an anonymous selection of six to eight artist s from the Howard comm unity wh o exemplified the image of The Howard School as we had just discussed it. T he sketch pads provided for doodling throughou t the hours of the discourse were not utilized, probably due to the shortened hours of duration of the program as well as the fact that participat ion was quite passionate with little respite for doodling. The additional notepads and pens provided were used throughout for jotting notes on responses intended and for recording facts and ideas that were presented. The response to the creation of lists was not well attended to as the request was made at the end of the program when we had already gone well beyond our anticipated time and the audience had converged upon the panel for continued discussion so that members were able to give little o r no concentrated thought to the matter. I would have to devise another way of getting the consensus of the group on this topic. 5 5 This issue was included in the debriefing notes and requests which followed the forum.

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417 The discussions that follow are the results of the forum's convention on the issues presented before them. I will discuss the m as we engaged them paraphras ing the outcome within the program The Howard Comparticum and the Creative and Artist ic Urge I had introduced the subject on the creative and artist ic inclination and potential, much as a precursor to the main event the dis cussion of the HSA and its congenital role as agent of social and political discourse in the cultural milieu of the existence of the African American within a socio cultural and chronological context. But also this exercise served to be an introduction to the severity of the importance of the topic we were about to consider. It was intended to remind the participants in explicit ways and in the anthropological and cognitive contexts of the central role of the endeavor in which they were engaged and this was deemed necessary because so much emphasis has come to be placed upon the disciplines that present easy access to high paying jobs and social and political visibility, that the role of the artist has been diminished to a large degree, art programs in our i nstitutions of learning have been reduced or erased and so poorly funded that the artist s the mselves but for the most resolute begin soon to attach diminished importance to their calling. In this way I hoped to prepare the discussants to see even more clea rly the importance of the role they played within the culture of which they portended to be agents or gatekeepers. In addition to this purpose, I also wanted to bring to the audience a strong statement of the place and the value of the artist e as culture b rokers and especially and specifically the role that these artist es of the Howard community had played in the gains made for social equality and recognition over the years. It was also

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418 intended to alert the audience to the value of the community of artist s to the creation of knowledge in the history of African Diaspora peoples. I was aware of walking closely to the edge of becoming an advocate for the purpose of the study colleagues. I was also aware of the fact that because of the constitution of the group of the colleagues, I did not have to be concerned about influencing their responses in any way. Most were quite my seniors in scholarship and as in previous discussion with them, would have no hesitancy in addressing any assumptions or any precariously pl aced ideas that were presented either by me or by others within the group. As such, then, it was expected that ideas presented by any and differing points of view put fo rward. When there was no dissent on an idea, therefore, it was deemed the homogeneous view of the group The topics of creativity, the artist ic urge, productivity, and finally, advocacy, have been discussed in dep th and go back to philosophers from centuri es ago. The creative urge, in its true spiritual form is and has, for the most part, remained a mystery. It has been approached from a divergence of cosmological and philosophical angles. Yet its true character has continued to evade the most prolific of examiners. Perhaps the singular point of general concession from these examinations is that the artist and his/her urge to create is as mysterious as creation itself that is to say our understandings of the world and how it came to be; how it is sustained, our role in it, and our own eventuality. The simplest and mo st direct way to attempt to present this issue is to say that the act to create attempts to address the very queries presented

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419 here; what it means to be and to become and the sense of identity at tached to existence. John Dewey was at the forefront of the more c ontemporary discussants of the existentialist nature of art H owever, w hile he touched on the function of art, it is Alfred Gell who dynamically explores this topic and leaves us with the de epest philosophical and empirical comprehensions of the art object as narrative and coercive form. This idea is of importance to the social function that The Howard School of Art artist s have played for the African Diaspora n experience in America. More rec ently, the work of Rollo May has provided possibly the most replete discussion of the mystery and the metaphysical natu re of the creative impulse. 6 The Howard School of Art comparticum, while not fully able to explore all meta aspects of the discourse on t his treatise, offered many concomitant and use ful overtones and verifications on the paradigms put forward in discussion. This topic was introduced with a simple set of questions from the moderator; Why do we (people) create? Why do you create? An immedi ate response from one member was, Ask God. This seemed to have encapsulated the whole essence of the findings we hoped to be heading toward. The response seemed a complete and thorough philosophical retort, but its directness and completeness certainly w ould have gone past an 6 It was extremely reinvigorating to see that ideas I had developed on the ontologies of this issue the developed the craft to create, given birth to the conscious become an artist were being echoed I started to talk about these issues in the introductory section to this work. But being an artist my self, I thought it might be regarded as being a pompous step. I stopped short of the one assumption which many, in this

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420 immediate grasping on the part of the audience as well as some discussants. It was necessary and required that we continue to engage in unpacking that precise response. F oremost we resolved eventually, that the ideas put forward b y May are the heuristic interpretations and amplifications from those who have been able to delve into bot h language forms the visual creative as well as th e semantics of language, and who by experience and that alone can best assert a meta level of associ ations with the encounter We concurred on the idea of an assignment of the act of courage in the creative process, and agreed that there had to be a decisive will and the industry to produce and a consciousness of the role that this calling has to pla y within the society and how by being artist e or creator whether in the sciences or in the arts one participate s in establishing the very borders within which we think and operate as a society 7 As we progressed in discussing this topic, it became appar ent that aspects of the issues we were intending on pursuing here were escaping some discussants. Those who were more aware of the meta issue within wh ich the discourse was shrouded kept on the topic and we moved toward and away from the topic however, ev entually being led into the discourse intended for the second segment. In this way we continue d to 7 Western hierarchy of omnipotent deities will consider presumptu ous. That is that the role of artist is divine and that in creating, the artist gets as close to the Divine as she/he has been given the potential to do. Now, having seen these ideas coming from a man who is a scientist, an artist, a psychoanalyst and writer Rollo May, I feel more at ease to continue on with the progression of this thought.

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421 play jazz and allow ed the discussion to have its way as it progressed with overlapping and recall and anecdotes which provided a likely spark of excitement throughout. In the end, or rather, more accurately said, at the point where we had moved entirely into the discussion of The Howard School I conceded that we had adequately considered the subject given that while a valuable part of the process, by itself it was not seminal in the actual data nee ded to proceed with the project. It can be considered that the discussion adequately sufficed to heighten our awareness as we move d into the subject of The Howard School of Art T hese are the major discoveries tha t emanated fr om the discussion with the scholars of the community on the issues of The Howard School of Art itself After these fi ndings have been presented, I will briefly analyze them in the succeeding chapter and reattached them to the major and lesser hypotheses presented at the outset of this project In this way we hope to keep the findings clear and separate then, from any theore tical or hypothetical overtones, as well as from the incursions of my input as community member. I will, then, conclude wi th an assessment of the success of the project in proving or disproving the hypotheses upon which the investigation was built and attempt to place the findings within the current academic discourse on tangential issues. To digress for a short while since t he structuring of the rest of this document is being discussed here, I will follow that proceeding with an epilogue, with an effort to link the entire journey in this process to a place within the discourse on educational and social and economic mobility w ithin the culture of the displaced African the engagement or lack thereof of participation and endorsement in the academic realms of American

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422 society. This becomes the final resting place in which I have desired to place the message from this study, but si nce a full development of this latter engagement requests a full enquiry of its own, I must be content in placing it within this context and in doing so, fulfill, to some degree, my concern with the link between the major topic and the educational achievem ents of the African American in the continued hegemony of his existence. This returning to my partial intent in engaging this discourse on The Howard School philosophy also fulfills, for me, the re engagement with the area of my studies in Education, so th at the plane for an application of the paradigms established in a functional way, becomes constructed and amenable to access. On this note we return to the summarizing of the outcomes of the forum discussions. Consensus on the Claim for the Existence of a Howard School of Art Having eased into the discussion of aspects of The Howard School of art, the members launched into a full discoursing upon the ideas I had presented for discussion. The topic was surely close to their heart and they devoured into the t opic with a hearty appetite. One member was visibly moved almost to tears as she addressed the poignancy of the need for a Howard claim to a philosophy of art 8 There was a unanimous agreement on the centrality of the role that Howard University had played in the cultural and social gains made by the African and African Diaspora n people over the years. Later on visiting one artist in her studio, she continued to express her satisfaction that a claim was being made for a Howard School of art. To paraphrase h er comments, 8 Aziza Gibson Hunter the founding president of The Black Artists of D.C. and former student and lecturer in the Howard Art Department, choked back tears as she stated her appreciation for the opportunity to participate in the discourse on this subject.

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423 she expressed the view that she had always thought that there was something about the Howard experience that made it special and that she had recognized that Howard needed to define the identity of its art department and have it put on recor d. 9 The Howard Art D epartment was accredited with unchall enged contrib ution in promoting African American art as a viable and valuable depiction of the ancestral legacy of the people No one challenged the fact that the Howard University Art Department des erved to lay claim to a school of philosophy of intent and inspiration in the art produced by the members of its community. Forum members seemed relieved that this overdue recognition was being bestowed on the Department The Howard Art Department was cons idered to be central in the formulation of a direct and agency 10 The artist s of the community are seen as being educators foremo s t They are considered to have been functional in educating b oth the local and worldwide communities on the value of their ancestral legacy and of the need to reclaim it The Howa rd Art Faculty is considered as cementing bonds between Diaspora people the world over and the African Homeland. Kwaku Ofori Ansa a nativ e of Ghana and professor of African Art History at Howard is also an artist and a researcher who has written and lectured extensively on the cultural and ed ucational value and imagery in Adinkra cloth symbols reported that in his travels back to his homel and, it has been interesting to see how, as a result of his 9 studio in Takoma Park, Maryland. 10

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424 work and that of many other Howard scholars and others working on revealing the value of African cultural forms, the African people themselves have shown much more appreciation for things they onc e took for granted. The reverence displayed by America n scholars help inform the African people of the cultural worth of their indigenous forms and the way these have generated connections between themselves The recognition of the legacy, he says, is regenerative on many levels. Many Art Faculty at Howard have studied in African communities continuously over the years and there has been close collaboration between Howard Scholars and African educational institutions. Bonds a re easily created through a common base of understanding he says Aziza Gibson Hunter expressed the following sentiments: young talented black people in white institutions literally died there because they are not documenting the power and influence, a nd not just in the US, but in a Africa, Caribbean, and in South America that this institution has had on the aesthetics of all these places. I feel very privileged to be here today. That The Howard Art Department is considered a community possessing some shared bonds, members expressed their views in several ways. Kwaku Ofori Ansa said: This occasion brings memories and reaffirms the importance of art to us as a people. Here he is from the Caribbean and here I am from the mainland Africa and then we ha ve our brothers and sisters who are the offspring of our ancestors. What else can we ask? We are the eyes of the African visual culture and we thank you for bringing us together. And I know that those who came before us are now ve walked in the footsteps of our ancestors who have designed programs, festivals, ceremonies that always remember and commemorate and revitalize the relationships for those who come before us.

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425 Reginald Pointer expressed his view: I want to thank you all for being here because normally I would say that this large gathering of African Americans is usually spurred by some calamities of death or funeral or some calamity is urgency of a call to arms, so for us to come together for something as monumental as t his, my hats off to you. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this and thank you for allowing me to share this with all of you and I hope it continues to grow and inspires many of you as it still to this day inspires me. Roberta McLeod has always su pported the art department and operated the Gallery in the Blackburn Center. She has been pivotal in encouraging young artists in the community. She said: can. I was successful at that in Penn State, also at Queens College, and I founded galleries, teaching galleries, is to afford a place for people of color to display their works. And I have been ve ry successful at least in exposing several artists and critical to people of color or artist practologist a research documentation of our history and culture are my colleagues and I learn from them daily. Dr. Benjamin, Scott Baker, and I essed that he is doing complain about the history being told incorrectly unless we document our own history. So, I am delighted to be here and I hope I have some insight and some input that will carry this on into the future. A former graduate of the Howard Uni versity School of Social Work, Anthea Seymour, who has much professional experience in data collection and statistical analysis both as a student and in her current employ ment, was asked to document each time that certain terms were used throughout the discourse in the forum. The specific instructions were, P lease document the number of times each terminology below or something close to it appears in the conversation The findings are very interesting and suggest, in no uncertain terms, that the idea of a community connected to the African

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426 ancestral past is a vibrant concept in the Howard art community. These terms emerged often and seemed to have been the major concern of most of the forum members. The terms, when used, more often than not would have referred to the members concept of community which in this case would have included along with the University community, the sense of the village the community surrounding and certainly beyond the immediate environs to include state of the people generally. The findings are presented below. Table 8 1 Recurrence of Relev ant Terminology d uring The Howard School of Art Com munity Participant Forum Terminology Number of times u sed Howard artist s/Howard Faculty/the Faculty 28 Alain Locke 0 3 James Herring 00 James Porter 0 2 Africa/African/African Diaspora 11 Jeff Donaldson/ Donaldson/Jeff 12 Sankofa 8 Ancestry/ancestral/ancestors/legacy 7 Culture/cultural 10 Ethnic/ethn icity 14 Identity/self/consciousness 2 AfriCOBRA 4 Education/agency/function 21 Students 14

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427 History/memory/connecting to/past/future 29 People/community 34 Ap art from the fact that this data seems to confirm the acceptance of a Howard school reflec ted foremost in the work and intent of the Art department Faculty (28 times ) we see that an important element of this school seems to be situated in itself relative to the people of the community (34 times) Also, the Sankofa concept of connecting to hist ory and engaging memory are central ideas of the school (29 times) has a clear function which is educational (21 times). Culture, ancestry and legacy which are inherent in the Sankofa principle and which are linked together (25 times ), play an important ro le in the focus of this community Ethnic consciousness (16 times ) combined does also add to the role of the School. And clearly, it seems that the person most associated (by name) with all of these concepts within the Howard University Department of Art is Jeff Donaldson along with the Faculty on a whole. 11 I tried to reverse the process of this inquiry and attempt to see if I could re construct the hypothesi s of the intent, by reading from the data. Of course I have been now privy to the context of the data. However in this vein, it reads: The Howard University Faculty of artist s (28) consider memory and a connecting to the past (in order to prepare for the future ) (29) as important in their search for cultural and ethnic identi ty 11 The absence of the mention of Locke, Herring and Porter is to be re garded not as a lack of recognition of the role of these figures, for there is no doubt about the central role that these fore runners played, as has been made clear in many discussions with community members, in honoring functions acknowledging them and i the social movements of the 1960s and 70s.

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428 and ancestral legacy ( 39) and this is vital in the cultural identity and the education (23) of the people and community of which they are a part (34). Jeff Donaldson (12) was central in bringing this Afrocentric (11) focus to the Faculty the students and the community. Reading backward from this data seems to test the theses and hypotheses with which I entered this program of inquiry. Consensus on the Hypothesis of the Emergent Nature of African American Identity and Composition We entered into the discussion of the hegemonic s tate of the African American people. The forum members were very clear in their belief that the exper ience of the African in America was still emergent in nature. This notion was supported by the fact that it was recognized that the African American was st ill marginally placed within the dominant society. Over the years there has been the continuous need to define and re define the i dentity of this people African American s have been renamed or have renamed themselves in this continuous shifting of identity in a quest to re situate themselves and be accommodated into a system which constantly reminds them of their powerlessness and relative inability to participate ( as a group ) beyond certain levels in this society which carries a bitter legacy for them. As the y are reminded of their history and as they contemplate their participation within this society they cannot help but be reminded of the still liminal state of their existence. Nowhere in America has the African American been made to feel fully incorpora ted into the society. Recent events involving one of the foremost American scholars and university professors who was subjected to stereotyping and arrest for attempting to enter his own home, with little doubt based upon his ethnicity is but one case of t he precarious placing of the members of the ethnicity in this continued race driven society. One participant in the forum passed a

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429 strip of paper to me as we discussed the issue. On it she had written an African in America, and then whispered her explana tion. This is what I call myself, she added. 12 At the outset of The Howard School of Art Community Forum, 13 the discussion of this subject was undertaken by a panel of eleven scholar members of the Howard University Art Community. In situating her place wi thin this membership, Roberta McLeod, the director of the Armour J. Blackburn Gallery (founded in 1980), explained how, though not formally trained in the arts, she came to develop a keen interest in The Visual arts. She tells us that: My mother was an art ist and she always believed that art was the epitome of all to understand that art impacts all of ou r subjects and art opens our brains up to higher was successful in that in Penn State [Pennsylvania State University], also at in 1980. The purpose of those galleries teaching galleries [is] to afford a place for people of color to display their works. And I have been very su ccessful at least in exposing several artist The Arts are critical to the empowerment of this community and the document ation my colleagues and I learn from them daily. ( McLeod 2010 ) Consensus on Structure and Manifestation of a Howard School of Art What is to be consider ed in the concept of a Howard School of Art? T his notion generated an interesting discussion. Discussants, having endorsed the idea of the existence of the school, wanted to be assured that the complete conceptualization of a 12 It is suggested that the reader seeks to connect this anecdote to the sign referred to later in the studio of Aziza Gibson Hunter. 13 The forum was conducted on Friday, October 1, 2010, in the Howard University Gallery.

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430 philosophy, including an aesthetic, a sense of community and collaboration and that of a purpose and intent were clearly enunciated in the idea. We discussed this issue and at the outset the questions was raised by Tritobia Hayes Benjamin: University depart ment of art besides what Azia and Reggie has said, that we can extract and delineate in such a way that individuals who are not cognizant of the internal intrinsic issues that are going on here spiritually and otherwise, can actually walk into say the alum ni exhibit and extract something that says Aha, there is a school that has defined itself even though we have not articulated those issues. How do we go about as historians and artists in putting a palpable ing this approach then maybe Several views were offered on this. Professor Ofori Ansa put it this way: a musical group, a war rior group, a political entity, name of the entity, there are certain identifiable visual and thought processes that are associated with that entity. So, it is important that we recognize that there is always or can be something that can be cal led Howard School. Some ing to, you might as well stand where you are., you might get lost. It is very important that we first lay down the principles that can be and ought to be called mentioned names of us and they know this and they know the elders and know the style and the form and philosophy of Howard Forum members were protective of the way the concept of the school would be portrayed. They wanted to see a sense of a community held together by a shared experience with an intent that is bound up with the welfare of the African experience.

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431 Professor Alfred Smith spoke on this, saying: I would like to respond to the idea of the How ard school where s, I think it was a fundamental movement from what I would call a chiaroscuro aesthetic to a pattern rhyth m mastery and that African American ar tists and specifically at Howard University were leaders in this new aesthetic. To me it was based on pattern and we work ed with that pattern aesthetic. is Jones Pierre Noel, James Phillips, Jeff Donaldson, and Wadsworth Jarrel, Frank Smith, Malkia Roberts. We h ad I will forward that statement that f or me that every act of being is intimately involved in rhythm. Rhythm is omni present and omnipoten t though everything that we do. o extend it into musical forms. Music moves with time and art happens in space. I think there is a spatial element to time and timely element to space aesthetic I call rhythm and all of us here at Howard at the one particular time, tried to form a teachable aesthetic like Bauhaus, like Impressionism, like Expressionism and I lements in strength [support] of [doing] that has happened right here. I think the artists including Jeff Donaldson FESTAC to Africa. We were the first generation to travel in mass and we met many African artists who embraced his rhythm pattern aesthetic and work. If we think about Ed Love, got a Guggenheim, and a great portion of his Guggenheim w as based on a musical aesthetic was ve ry much present in what he did. I found th at to be consistent not only in the look of performance in what we did as African American artists but also in the process also in the way one worked. The issue of the comprehensive application of the term school was raised. The discussion resolved th e issue to the condition that the term be contoured to indicate an intent beyond a mere aesthetic and that it be presented to include a philosophy and a logos that defined school as an ontology and a way of being. At the end of the forum one audience me mber continued the discussion with me even after having heard the clarifications which the forum members were concerned with having placed on the term that there be a clear present ation of the notion of a philosophy and that the idea of a philosophy b e m ade to remind the reader of an aesthetic as well as a consciousness which included the mores of the people ari sing out

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432 of a shared experience, and maintained through stron g bonds of friendship and inter actions and community. The idea of a Howard School cam e to be seen as a communal possession and the establishment of its identity was already being guarded. The manifestation of the existence of the school was happening in quite an existentialist way within the process of the forum. T he unified views of the .discussants and the audience later verified a c onsensus on the dominant issues defining the school. The shared experiences of the audience on how the philosophy of the school affected their lives and their consciousness cemented evidence of t he bearing o infl uence upon them, In addition as mentioned earlier there was the local and even international recognition of the influence and achievements of members of the Howard community in furthering recogni tion of the value of the Sankofa concep t. In addition, the visibility of the philosophy in the work and lives of the alumni and their avowed adherence to a commitment was adequate proof of a tangible product from the over riding philosophy. This manifestation was also referred to in the alumni exhibition of 2005 and in the existence and the composition of such groups as the recently formulated coalition of artist s, Black Artist s of D.C. formulated and membered predominantly by Howard School Artist s and their colleagues Consensus on the Birthing / Emergence of The Howard School of Art I expected to have a vibrant discussion on this issue. As it turned out, going with the flow of the discussion and allowing the discussants somewhat free rein to proceed in a discuss ion along the lines of that which s eemed worth exploration to them and keeping limited confines on the discourse, a full exploration of this issue escaped us.

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433 However we did ascertain that The Howard School as defined and expressed throughout the forum, and indeed as seemingly hinted at in many archival sources, was given birth with the institution of the Art Department and marked specifically with the collaboration between departments the cross disciplinary experience that evolved between the Philosophy and the Art disciplines between Alai n Locke and James Herring along with James Porter. The role of Alain Locke as ambassador moving between Howard University and Harlem, New York during the Harlem Renaissance was later, again, given due credit. T his was strengthened later when, in later di scussions, some members came to be reminded that Locke had actually taught a course within the Art department and thus had quite an impact on the ideology of the Department. However, the role that was pla yed by the central characters, H erring and Porter wa s not to be diminished. They were seen as the architects of the Department both in the sense of it s physical creation and the sustenance of the Afrocentric ideologies within the program The School was sustained and nutrified by the chronological contribut ions of focused faculty and alumni. Its sustenance was augmented by each member and the events that occurred within the Howard Community and the larger society as well. The role that each played has been discussed adequately elsewhere in this discourse. Of course, the notable contributions of Jeff Donalds on were seen as a vital segment in the development of the school. Consensus on a Spark in the Emergence of The Howard School of Art I anticipated interesting precepts on this issue since it was somewhat s pecific. It would likely be dictated by the point in the historical development of the School that one perceived as more central to its recognition and existence. I anticipated that more

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434 persons would consider a spark to be the influence of Jeff Donaldson it was also likely that others could see this spark as occurring from the outset under Herring and Porter. In addition, the spark could be seen as being extended rather than brisk. The consensus from the discussion indicated that Donalds on was definitely a landmark but as we were unable to fully discuss th e issue then, it was included for consensus gathering in the de briefing documents that were forwarded to each discussant, followed the forum. The consensus resulting from this exercise suggests in no uncertain way that Donaldson saw the department through its peak during the years of his tenure as Chairman of the department. Combined with other evidence from archival and other sources, he is seen as the eventual spark to we ha ve strive n to assign The Howard School passion. Cynthia Sands said: I came to Howard in 1966, music major, music teacher was Professor Norris. I had taken music all my life and I kept telling my mother I wanted to be a painter uickly changed my major and Lois Jones was my first teacher and I just adore her, she was an excellent teacher. Howard was a great inspiration to me and I give thanks and praises that I was able to attend this university and receive the kind of training I received. Jeff Donaldson, friends in the end. I really appreciate him because he gave me the opportunity to come back and work on a Masters in painting. I did not complete because I was on my way to Africa where I remained for 26 years. Howard was a great inspiration and I am happy to be here. Scott Baker expressed his appreciation this way: My journey as a student and professional at Howard began with Dr. Donaldson. I was an underg raduate design major and I wrote articles for the Hilltop, art criticism, he noticed that I can write very well. It was he that encouraged me to be an art librarian first, and then it was also he who encouraged me to go abroad to study. I was very lucky in that regard. I was a student worker in the art department at the time. Dr. Donaldson was really, really instrumental in getting me the scholarship to go to England to study at the British museum and getting

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435 dwell on it. Dr. Tritobia Benjamin also added her voice: I felt that was what I wanted to be able to do eventually so I quickly changed from print making to art history and from art history I followed that through my undergra duate degree and my masters here and later the doctorate at the University of Maryland. I transitioned from a young inexperienced student t0 the university to a seasoned person in my field that I have been practicing for ooh so many years. I entered it pri marily because of the interest of one of the persons we are honoring today, Jeff Donaldson as we begin to identify and quantify bibliographical searches. And that began in a c onference that he called together of artists, art historians and art educators to discuss these issues in 1970. Consensus on the Pivotal Ye ars of the Manifestation of The Howard School of Art This is one issue that promised a range of responses. I there fore took the decision to infuse the idea of a period during which the philosophy of the School seemed to become manifested to its height, into the discussion. The idea was not deemed foreign or a matter to be evaded but in the discussion we did not manage to come around to focus upon establishing a period as time did not allow A response to this subject would perhaps resulting in an extended discussion But I still expected that responses would have gravitated toward a particular peri od. Instead of pursuing this issue in the forum, I include d a consensus gathering instrument in the de briefing material so that layers could be built in placing the period suggested by each person against the other and looking for the major period of overlap. In this way also, I could gain the pulse of the respondents on the main run or range of this period. This would then facilitate further questions on the reasons for the fringes

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436 that were represented This line of discovery se emed to have a potential for uncovering alternative views and material, and was considered useful for my study. The number of respondents to this instrument w as eleven The period seen as encompassing the pivotal years of the S ANKOFA philosophy manifest within the Department of Art ranged according to the table below. Figure 8 15 Charting of responses on survey of terminology occurrence in discussion. The actual years as indicated by the participants are indicated in footnote number fourteen in order to present a more precise look at the dates selected. The chart above presents a useful visual representation across the board. Most respondents fulfilled some expectations. The era about 19 69/ 70 (marking the arrival of Jeff Donaldson to the department) was conceded by most as being the beginning of the period of the height of the manifestation of The Howard School Sankofa philosophy and it was considered as continuing to about 1985/86. Three persons had variations worthy of note on one end of the spectr um or the other ; two on the early end giving value to the foundational years. Interestingly, these two persons 1850 1900 1950 2000 2050 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Series2 Series3 Series4 Series5

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437 also saw breaks in the height of Sankofa philosophy being evidenced. One person indicated that the energy has not ceased since it started in 1970 14 Consensus on the Function of The Howard School of Art The role that has been played by The Howard School of Art over the years was considered by forum members as a legacy to the larger community. This legacy was lauded and amplified by the members of t he forum. The members of the art community were configured as gatekeepers of the culture and as Tritobia Hayes Benjamin had suggested, cultural warr iors It could be considered that the manifestation of the school was being evoked and displayed as we cond ucted the forum. The audience along with the discussants continually expressed gratefulness for the occasion through which to have this discussion. Several di scussants extolled the occasion and expressed a desire for us to continue such discussions into th e future. In their view, t he school provides a community and a clearing house for the exchange of ideas and sha ring of experiences. It is a meeting place where shared experience allows for an atmosphere of ease and 14 Respondent Range 1 32 ---------42 60 --72 2 72 ----80 3 70 ----76 4 70 --------------------------------------5 20 ---------------38 58 --------------80 6 70 ---------------90 7 60 --70 8 69 -----80 9 73 ---78 10 69 ----------------------95 11 69 ----------------------96 as a philosophy is organic and evolve

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438 comfort where exchanges build confidence, trust, heighten belief, cement sharing and friendships and collaboration. As such a community within the larger community is developed and becomes the epicenter that both enriches the ideologies of the Sankofa philosophy and exports them to other points of the African Diaspora often bringing poignant issues to others and sometimes serving to ameli orate conditions locally, regionally and even worldwide. Professor Ofori Ansa makes an enduring argument for the function of The Howard School philosophy a phil osophy which has extended beyond the Art Department and extolled by others such as Alain Locke, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey and many others whose work and accomplishments made the whole world bet ter for both Afric an Diaspora people and oppressed Africa n nations as well. The metaphor of the spider s web which he employs wel l embodies the purpose of this H o ward School and its philosophy. one end is touched, it vibrates throughout the whole 15 This, he alludes, has been the role of Howard over the years. It has truly played the role for which it was established, and at some point through the years, most of the brightest and most stalwart leaders, artists, technicians, entertainers, huma nitarians and philosophers, have visited the campus. Most of the leaders of newly independent African and Caribbean countries during the 1950s and sixties were honorees on this campus. In this metaphor, he says, when one touches one end of the web, it vib rates throughout the whole web and affects whatever is happening elsewhere. 15 In conversation at the community forum, October 1, 201 0, at Howard University.

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439 C omments from the audience during the sharing segment of the forum were very supportive of this of this function of the school Several persons commented on the role the School ha d in one way or another, played in reaching beyond its immediate contours. One attendee, himself an artist told an interesting anecdote of the occasion on which he first met Professor James Wells who undertook to assist and support him in making the decid ing to take up art studies He was convinced to pursue art studies by how much he was able to learn about art and his culture from Professor Wells in a short time. One student from another department within the Division said that she had come to have a ren ewed view of the role of art. She stated that she had learned more during the discourse than she had known about art, all of her life and vowed to incorporate the appreciation of art in the course of her education. Perceptions on the Evidence of Advocacy A ttributable to the Howard University School of Art Philosophy How, we might ask, do we evaluate the measure of advocacy promoted by the influence of the philosophy of The Howard School of Art? Is there tangible effect to be had and seen emanating from the fervor, the joined ideological structuring that crowns this school of thought. Some of these fruits we have already indicated above; the motivation that it has given to its members; the conversion of those once outside of its community and its potential to affect the web of the African and African Diaspora n experience, so that gains made in one sector of the community, reverberates to others for the good of this international community have been recorded elsewhere as in the case of Professor Jones who b artist s Within my personal experience, several alumni from the Caribbean islands who studied with

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440 me at Howard have returned home and have had great impact on the local art scenes of their respective countries. Here a gain, the metaphor present ed by Ofori Ansa above reflects the advocacy role of The Howard School philosophy. I just returned from a Fulbright Scholarship Program in Ghana After being here for some 30 years, I was able to get back home and stay for one ye ar because every time I went with students for study abroad I was able to stay for one month or six weeks so the Fu lbright gave me the opportunity to have a deeper insight about what and how Howard has actually made heroes in the eyes of Africa. I make su re while there those students, faculty, administrators, and heads of institutions lear n more about Howard University. there is an institution here in the US that serve s as a web in this part of the world for th e African world. Our elders said, life is like a spider s web, any time you touch one string, it shakes the whole thing. And so, we see how as the center of that web or world I will relate an even mor e concrete event showing agency, that occurred in the life of one member of the community told years before this study was even formulated. This event will show how the particular bearing of the philosophy of the school affected one who was later to become one of its scholars and fearless allies. This accoun t was recorded for us by Monifa Love who eventually married one of the giants of The Howard School art community Professor Edward Love and earned a doctoral degree and who subsequent ly became adopted into the community She tells of a period in her life when she was homeless and actually lived in her car. She seemed hopeless and considered giving up on life. But she had become exposed to Howard Professor Malkia Roberts and her enduring spiritual values and her joi e de vivre a place to which she had arrived, she told me, by reassessing her own life and the values that mattered to her happiness (among which was her sense of cultural reclamation which, in turn, informed her self concept and commitment to serve in perpetuating this legacy among her students and others).

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441 Monifa Love recalls that one day when she had reconciled herself to giving up, s he reflected upon an occasion when she had met Professor Roberts. In this meeting Professor Roberts had shared with her the motivation for a painting with which she was preoccupied at the time. The painting spoke to the regenerative potential of the spirit within us. It was the image of the painting that kept living within her, for she could picture it and the pow er of the colors for which Malkia was well known. The energetic brushstrokes and emphatic manner of the painter had not left her. 16 She revived the energies she had absorbed f rom the painting and the meeting with Malkia, revived herself, and continued on th e path to become the scholar and colleague, earning a doctor of philosophy degree from Florida State University while her husband, Ed Love was a member of the faculty. Some Howard School artist s have made the Sankofa principle a part of their everyday life This means that they have adopted the African principles in such a way that they live Africanis ms N ot only do they collect African art, but they decorate their homes with all kinds of Afrocentric f o r ms They wear Africa n styles design their yards with Af rican forms, spend time within the institutions in the community (such as churches, schools and community centers) lecturing and demonstrating African art for ms Among these persons Malkia Roberts, Cynthia Sands and the fiber artist Januwa Moja stand out am ong the most prolific and resilient. They, along with others, have continued to display the richness of the crossing of the traditional African attire fused 16 As a creative writer of intense skills with words, (see her essays and interviews with artists Ed Love, Malkia Roberts, Allison Saar, Martha Jarvis Jackson Renee Stout and others in My Spirit Pours Secret Libations ) I believe t hat the artist in her connected with the artist in her mentor, Roberts, and she was able to challenge herself to become like her.

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442 with Western fashion and the beauty that this fusion of forms creates, serving the purpose of remin ding others of their allegiance to to their ancestry and serving also to encourage others to do the same. S oon after The Howard School of Art Forum I visited with Sands at her home studio. She, in turn, was being visited by Januwa Moja, the dean of African art fashion of the Washington, D.C. area. She brought me up to date on her work and we continued to discuss the ongoing project and our mutual acquaintances among the artist s of the community. Perceptions on the Time/Social Context E ffect on the Welfare a nd Viability of The Howard School of Art ways, borrows from the aura accorded the object of creation in many indigenous societies, has certainly come to bear on the shifting ex perience of the community of Howard University artist s. Becker suggests that, in the metaphor of the Jazz band, even within changes in no tes and or instruments of play, music will be made. The flavor of the music he suggests and the players may change or shift their beat, but play will continue and the rest of the band will adjust when one player or one condition changes its contribution to the whole. This is the concept su ggested above in the comments Ofori Ansa made in support of his reason for suggesti ng the continuation of the height of the years of The Howard School philosophy to the present. We can also surmise by now, the reason that so many African American artist s especially those of the Howard

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443 community have consistently referred to Jazz as the f orm that both inspires them and becomes reflective of their aesthetic and creative philosophy. 17 There have been notable shifts within the very infrastructures that gave rise to this school of thought. Not only have changes taken place within the larger ins titution itself but within the Department of art, itself. The College of Fine Arts has been administratively reassessed and renamed The Division of Fine Arts being placed as a unit within the College of Arts and Sciences. To many, this has been seen as a m ovement in the direction of reducing the autonomy of the unit and a beginning of the watering down of the entity. Some persons exhibit fear of the slow constriction of offerings within the College/Division the most fe ared tool of a i ntent to eradicate programs within universities and colleges. This plane of inquiry is usefully applied to The Howard School here. With shifts in the social complex of the Washington, D.C. society and even within the campus itself, will the philosophy of t he School find a place for survival, retaining its essence? In fact, we may wonder if the philosophy is still useful for the education of the student body today. Is it necessary that students continue to be reminded of their heritage in the usual way? At a function in an ethnically poised setting, a professor of the University was heard to remark, Howard is not the place it used to be it is becoming very conservative 17 I believe that I might quite accurately say that of the years of my interactions with the Howard School artists, a likely si xty to seventy percent of them have at one time or another likened their work or the impulse to work.

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444 that is why I ha ve to do the things I do here referencing the function that was undert aking discussions on intersections of culture within America. 18 The Bank of America exhibition, Mixing Metaphors: The Aesthetic, the Social and the Political in Afric an American Art galleries, is a testimony to the philosophy of the role of the art image as discoursed in this dissertation. It is accompanied by a lively mini catalogue with an outstanding essay by Clement Alexander Price, professor of history and Director of the Institute on Ethnicity, Cult ure, an d the Modern Experience at Rutgers University, Newark Campus. ( Price 2010 ) In his closin g statements in this essay, Price addresses this issue when he states that: Never deserving of monolithic constructions, contemporary black life is all the of elemental civil righ ts, and an acknowledgement of the essential humanity of through a period in which the monumental experience of Africans once confidently on the right side of history has made way for far narrower concerns and interests that are not having a galvanizing influence on black people or the nation at large (p. 18). makes clear the challenge his thesis presents to the static approaches to understanding events and things. On the eventuality things happening i n a certain way and the outcome he points out that ( Becker 1982 ) : 18 To be sure, such a reference seems directed mostly to the administrative direction or commitments inasmuch as the student body, having shifted to the co ncerns of a new generation, seems to have retained some degree of focus on the cultural milk available to them on this campus. This is to be seen as a liminal time in the history of the institution as well as the Washington, D.C. community as the demograph ics of the city undergoes a rapid transformation with the new generation of European American population who had not experienced the social riots that led to the fleeing of their parents and grandparents to the suburbs, return along with new arrivants from around the world looking for career opportunities and the richness of the culture of the area.

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445 ...the imperatives all operate if the event is to occur in a specific way and no other. But the work need not occur in that way, or in any other particular way. If one or another of these activities does not get don e, the work will occur in some other way...if specific items of equipment are not available, the work will be done without them. Naturally, doing without any of these things affects the work produced. It will not be the same work. But that is far different from saying that it cannot exist at all unless these activities are performed. Any of them can be performed in a variety of ways with an equal variety of results...Access to all the regular means of doing things is a mixed blessing (pp. 5 6) Consensus on the Definition of Black Art and Related Dichotomies The discourse on the unpacking of the idea of a Black Art is deserving of a symposium of its own. This discourse is de e ply rooted in the history and existential experiences of the people. It is entang led within perceptions of self as individual; of self as community and of self as a part of the larger African American and African Diaspora n community. The discourse is also entangled with in the assignment of ownership that is to say who uses the term and how. It possesses the potential for volatility and splintering among communities of artist s because it has been approached without adequate contouring and attention to detail. The tw o basic camps in this discourse argue that a rt has no color. Art is unive rsal and there is no need to refer to the art created by a color caste of` the name assigned that caste. Others argue that Black Art has an aesthetic and a flavor. I have attempted to discuss this matter earlier in this dissertation. In the forum, the essentials for a full discussion of this issue evaded us. This area of hopeful discovery, was not fully recognized from the forum as its complexity could not be unraveled in the time assigned the discourse. Much discussion of this fervent matter has contin ued between me and individual members of the forum. This is a topic to be held for a future forum I have, nevertheless, expressed my view on the subject as

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446 informed by the resear ch I have done in undertaking this project It is clear in my mind that this is a resolvable matter that needs only be looked at by a systematic examination of ite context Consensus on Select Artist s Whose Liv es and Works Usefully Represent The Howard School Philosophy and Intent I deemed it useful to provide a means by which the read er could observe the process of the inspiration and the growth toward commitment, production and sustenance of Howard School artists In this way, I hope d to direct the study again toward its visual basis and to provide tangible models for that phenome non of which we have discoursed throughout these pages. Of all the efforts required in designing this study, this proved th e most elusive that of arriving at a short list of artist s whose work would adequately represent the examination of the work of the c ommunity. To have finally achieved the goal was a triumph and an exercise in craft and perseverance. For me, this was an invaluable ca se study of learning on the job! As I intended earlier in the early stages of the process I took the course of creating a survey instr ument and began the attempt to admin ister it to as many of the more than one hundred artist s who had participated in the 2005 alumni exhibition. I surmised that t his list would be my best hope of reaching the alumni over the years. It would a lso include many members of the f aculty since many had been students of the department The process of undertaking this task proved dauntin g and had to be abandoned after more than one year of close to fruitless effort. Through attempts by mail, by telepho ne and by email, even reaching the population roved a large undertaking, as email addresses and telephone numbers changed from time to time. Those who could be reached failed to reply or follow up on correspondence sent to

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447 them. Still others misconstrued a spects of the instrument instructions and went into a wide circle of the pool from which they drew. There was little or no focus that could lead up to the selection of a group for study. Eventually, I saw the forum as the means to arrive at a consensus and relied on the informed response of the forum members after the discussion. Having determined that the forum members were resolved on the ideas of the study and informed about the nuances of the thesis, I settled on using their informed responses to arrive at the list. With the focus created over the discourse of the forum, I hoped that a better representation of artist s would be made. It was, nevertheless, useful to create a way to corral this wide scope of possible choices so that another process of elimi nation would not become necessary. Here I designed an instrument based on a shared understanding developed from being a member of this community and having experienced the views expressed in the forum. While the instrument is by no means perfect ( in its re presentation ) meaning that there are many other artists who certainly may have been included in the list a nd whose work might have been good representations of Howard School philosophy, practical ity and amenability to study had to be c onsidered essential elements to a successful completion f the exercise Therefore I devised a list to c ontour the breadth of possibilit ies I created and aligned a coding system which portrayed some of the essential characteristics of each proposed member of the artist group This was essential so that an equitable system of representation w ould be present in the group Among the markers of equitable representation were gender, faculty status, alumnus status, overt address to agency in works, points of origin within the diasp ora, manifest ability to

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448 promote shift in consciousness based on application of the Sankofa paradigm to works and the ability to promote cross disciplinary engagements in the artistic discourse. The instrument created was administered post forum along with the debriefing material, along with clear instruction s of how to proceed. Room was allowed for the respondents to adjust the list but to do so with careful thought of maintaining as closely as possible, a similar balance base d upon the markers presented. 19 At this phase I returned to my place as a member of the community and became a respondent to the instrument as well. My response is included in the total number of respondents recorded. 19 In the end, I was very satisfied with the design of the instrument. Only two names included on the shortlist received a doubtful response from two respondents Three respondents added other names and one removed three names from the list in favor of others. Two of the names added by respondents were reflected twice. One coincided with the name I had reserved for a final subjective submission and also for balanc ing according to marker number three Representation of points of the African Diaspora. T names that were suggested by at least two respondents were added to the final list No single name was challenged by more than one respondent. I felt further vindicated as I moved toward the final composition of the list when Associate Dean Hayes Benjamin, the senior art historian and keeper of the Howard School of Artists legacy and a veritable scrutinizer of all documents submitted (who also graciously assisted me with phrasing and contouring some ideas), returned her debriefing material and list with no deletions or additions to the name list. I rested content that the year and a half preoccupation with this shortlist was finally resolved with some success and that it was sanctioned by the community itself!

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449 CHAPTER 9 INDIVIDUAL ARTIST IN TERVIEWS: ENCOUNTER, INSPIRATION, PASS ION, PROCESS, INTENT AND ASSESSMENT The agenda of the criteria used in the interviewing consisted of a careful selection artist ; the process of interaction with the material of the ir craft and their training and development of skill; the choice of direction selected a creator of things and the dominant message selected; the intent of the artist and the purpose in relation to The Howard School of Art and its agenda ; commitment to the intent and the maintaining of focus; classification of self in the canons of the larger art world and finally their vision of themselves and their view of art at Howard for the future. The final list consisted of the following artist s even though allusion s w ill be made to the work of others throughout the process: Akili R on Anderson Kwaku Ofori Ansa Skunder Boghossian (added by four respondents ) James Brown Elizabeth Catle tt (added by three respondents Jeff Donaldson Aziza Gibson Hunter Lois Maillou Jones Edward Love Winnie Owens Hart Malkia Roberts Alfred Smith and Cynthia Sands ( added as explained below ) Though my original in tent was to review only six and certainly no more than eight artist s I decided to play my place in the jazz performanc e and go with the rhythm of I felt assured that the reader would benefit by having a more replete sampling of The Howard School philosophy and form of art and that more opportunities would be afforded to provide a characterization of the cross sectioning of the philosophy that held the members together if the variety of representation was more comprehensive. For this comprehensive symbolism, the number of persons evolved by itself to cover the bases that the historical record sugg ested For the expense of this

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450 wider survey, I will reduce the monograph on each artist but remain true to presenting clearly that part of the experience of each person that contributes particularly to completing the whole I also decided then, that I wou ld not need to engage in a full biographical review of each artist as some backgrounds would be quite possibly similar and therefore overlapping. Neither was this review to become a curriculum vitae a recording of the academic and other achievements of the artist s as their accomplishments are extensive and would be exhaustive to be recorded here. My criteria, then, is: What specifically does the part played by each artist /scholar aggregate to the solidity and completeness of this entity; The Howard School of Art ? Lastly, t heory and p rocess as Paulo Fr i re ( Freire 2010 (1970) ) and Stanley Barrett ( Barrett 1996 ) suggest were brought closer together as ethnography and its emergent delivery of knowledge informed me on the need to include yet another artist in order to paint a clearer presentation of the role o f process in The Howard School of Art philosophical and practical narrative. The artist Cynthia Sands was selected for the wide range of The Howard School that her experience brought to the study. With her we get to take a close look at the didactic or dia logic approach to the creation of the work. I decided to examine and discuss each artist and his/her work based on a general set of criteria. This was done for some general uniformity but with room for departure to highlight meaningf ul applications derived from each case scrutiny I would deviate from this stru cture when there was more information to be gotten from pursuing a particular was of lasting quality and impac t to the growth and sustenance of the School. In this process I also admitted recall memory of personal experiences and conversations held

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451 with these artist s a technique which was especi ally relied upon and useful for those artist s who were deceased. The a rtist s are presented in order as they appear by last name within an alphabeti c order. Ms Sands, because the nature of her presentation in part or in whole is symbolic of most others in the group, is presented last to complete the sphere of the communal qu ality of the School. Akili Ron Anderson Akili Ron Anderson was inducted as a member of the AfriCOBRA Art Commune and has recently become the latest of this group to be inducted as a Faculty member in the Howard Art Department. Yet his presence in the depar tment and in the artist ic communities of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. has been continuous as he has been a Washingtonian all of his life. He has been a close colleague of the faculty and students of the art department a t Howard for many years, being He ha s seen the city change over the years and has placed himself in a good stance as an artist looked to for local public art projects. Much of this drives from his knowledge of the city and its culture and infrastructure. Besides, he is a consummate craftsman and culture worker with an array of civic experiences. On th e early afternoon of November 20 2010 as we drove back from the Columbia Heights Subway Station after photographing his public artw orks Sankofa I and II, as we passed the intersection of 14 th a nd Meridian Streets, N.W., Akili looked Meridian Street and said, This is where I grew up. This was probably just over a mile from the Howard University campus. I recall that when I arrived in Washington, D.C. in August, 1980, I lived three or four block s from Meridian S t reet and just off 14 th Street and that there were buildings along 14 th Stre et black with soot, that were still boarded up from the race riots of earlier years. One, a former theatre was one block from wher e

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452 Ander son woul d have b een living as a young adult, so that there is no doubt that he would have been privy to a first hand experience of the shame of America the dispossession of the builders of the wealth of the Republic as secondary citizens. Figure 9 1. Akili Ron Anderson and me at the 2005 Porter Colloquium at Howard University after serving on a panel together. Field photo. He was to become the first Chairman of the Art Department at the Duke Ellingto n School of the Arts located in the District and has exhibited among District artist s over several decades. Presently he is an active member of the Black Artist s of the District of Columbia (B.A.D.C.).

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453 Figure 9 2. The Tree of Life (1999) pick s up the Biblical theme and repaints the African likeness into the canons of Western ont ology. This re visioning of Judeo Christian cosmological concepts chews at the roots of a Biblical sanctioning of the repression brought to bear on the colored people said to be the descendants of the Biblical Ham, and places African peoples close to the o mnipotence of a Creator. Photo pp. of African philosophies to the African Diaspora experience and intent. As I entered the studio from which he works on these larger p ieces of work, one question came to my helped to photograph, stands at over ten feet. But as I contemplated these pieces at over twelve feet and with wide girth, and almos t fantastic intricacy of forms and surfaces, the question that came to mind was, Why? Why would anyone, I thought, undertake such a task, and not once but several times over? It seems impossible to

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454 conceive of these forms and then to accept the challenge to pursue them. The anticipation of the physical labor involved and the challenges of the mechanics of the structures necessary to support such pieces seemed to evade mortal desire. I concluded that Anderson had explored the realms of creating art objects for a while and that his passion for his message, which comes through just as well in his civic work within the community, had moved him to elevate his work to the realms of the Orisas so that they become immediate as intermediaries between the mortal and the Superior (Olorun) 1 Like the challenge of the African carver who must infuse his masks with mystery and awe for it to be effective in ritual, Anderson has chosen scale, complexity and the metaphysical potential of dynamic anthropomorphic forms and st ates (sometimes incorporating the zoomorphic) to mesmerize the viewer into a form of submission and humility to put him in a place of contemplation. Contemplation has been the central theme in his work for a long time and one deciphers that he might have b een a priest had he been a Westerner in his cosmological beliefs for there is always an element of mortal relative to the spiritual in his portrayals. The spiritual for him is the ascription to cultural consciousness. To him, that is divinity and hence he seems to bring the two together in his monumental figures. It was back in 2005, in fact, that he made the statement, the reasons for AfriCOBRA doing what it is doing is so we can write the history. We want to do monuments monument s that will stand for a long time 1 Anderson has been involved in many civic organizations and founded a number of institutions as alternatives to some Eurocentric sources of educating African Americans. He is co founder of NationHouse Positive Actio n Center and the Watoto School among others. I am aware of one family which commutes its younger children from across the city in Maryland, some thirty odd miles away to the Watoto school so that the children can have a solid Afrocentric education.

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455 And so, from boyhood he started picked up skills at fabricating from his father who was a woodworker He had a cabinet shop so as a boy Akili had the opportunity to learn a lot about putting things together. Pivotal f o r t he way he would use these skills and the direction his art would take, was the fact that for a short time he left the relative cultural safety of the Black District to live in the segregated community of Lynchburg, in Virginia. Ironic as the name is for one with the sensibilities to African American experiences at those times, as he had, it is easy to see why he remain ed there fo r only a short time before returnin g to the District. a .b Fig ure 9 3 Akili Ron Anderson has been working on a monumental s eries of mixed media sculpture. At left he sands Aquaba Doll a momumental piece based on the minaiture fertility sculptureof the Akan peoples. At right (b), he explains aspects of another monument, Creation.

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456 In fact when he later enrolled at the Corcoran School of Art, he soon transferred to Howard, where black awareness was nurtured by a distinguished faculty that included ( Glover 2010 ) To add to his technical and fabrication skills, he managed to work with an architect by whom he became exposed to working in stained glass, thus securing one m ore element to add to his preoccupation with the spiritual. He has used this skill in several public art Fig ure 9 4 Aq ua ba Doll The piece in progress freshly sanded on the lower half.

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457 co m m is s ions including the Columbia Metro Subway Station, The Ran kin Chapel on the Fig ure 9 5 Akili with the monumenta l piece Creation which confronted, dwarfs the human figure

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458 Fig ure 9 6 The artist taking a pause as the conversation continues. As for agency in his work, Anderson says he has never been more pleased or more satisfied as he wa s during the installation of Sankofa at the Columbia Metro Station. I re lived the inciden account of it. She recoun ts incident as reported to her and tells us, Akili says that while he was installing was at that moment that he knew he was doing the right thing. ( Glover 2010 ) Fig ure 9 7 Awaiting the photo shoot at Sankofa I, Columbia Heights Subway Station. The Sankofa bird can be seen in this rendition looking straight ahead, an extended tail continuing behind. The West Entrance art is emblazoned with bright reds, oranges, yellows and warm colors.

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459 Fig ure 9 8. Sankofa I at the West Entrance with Akili in the foreground. Fig ure 9 9 During the photo shoot, Akili, at left, takes a moment t o explain the work to a curious commuter.

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460 Figure 9 10 The East Entrance is rendered in saturated cool tones of blues, indigo, violets and greens. The head of the Sankofa bird can be seen as it moves from left to right. The pieces are engrained into the architecture of the stations and, in a sense, dwell among the people and are lived. More acute reminders of their presence and of the Sankofa message would certainly meld them into th e everyday cons ciousness of the mobile society that encounters them from day to day. Whether working with organic material or industrial compositions like acrylics, resins, glass and metals, Anderson believes that he must commune with the spirit of the mat erials in order to get the best from them. In other words, he believes that the materials serve him inasmuch as he seeks to manipulate them. The material, therefore has spirit, power and force concepts that place him in the role of an African priest or med icine man who can access the power of the natural elements of the land for healing and liberation from negative forces. To get its cooperation it sometimes is necessary to

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461 commune with the spirit of the material. When man and material are in union, the rig ht recipe is cre ated for great things to happen connections are made and one achieves perpetuations of a healthy sort. Skunder Boghossian Skunder Boghossian was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1937 and studied locally as a young man at the Tafari Makonn en School. He had been awarded an imperial state scholarship coming from the Emperor himself in 1955. And as I Continuity and Change: Three Generations of Ethiopian Artist s. T he catalogue was accompanied by several essays which presented an interesting insight into the historical background of the development of the secular arts in the a b Fig ure 9 1 1 At left, Emperor Haile Selassie attends an exhibition opening in Ethio pia during the time when he initiated an upsurge of art progra m s At right, Skunder Boghossian is seen in the fo reground, teaching at the Addis A baba Fine Arts School (late 1960s ) Photo Achamyeleh Debela Ethiopian artist s, over the years, were used to wo rking much as supporters of the sacred order As Achamyeleh Debela points out in an essay on the Addis Ababa Fine Arts School ( Debela 2007 ) :

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462 Early Ethiopian painters initially depicted figures an d events of the Old and New Testaments and then the stories In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, patronage of empero rs and nobility increased so that th e church was no longer the s ole or primary pat ron of artist s. The ne w patrons apprec iated art as a means of affirming their social prestige and artist s came to depend on them for material existence. This was especially evident during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie (1930 for cultural and ar tist ic instruction in the schools some handicraft classes were offered. Art classes were taught at only a 1941 the Ministry of Education and Fine Arts officially acknowledged t he importance of art in the education of children, establishing a Department of Fine By the 1950s many African nations were breaking free of the yoke of colonialism and the newl y independent nations w e re building their infrastructures with all the re sources a vailable to them. Art played a majo r role in signifying and symbolically representing the meaning of nationhood, independence, the history of the colonial legacy and the new dreams and aspirations of the people. Artist s were called upon to illustr ate these ideas from the well of a rich and vast heritage, and many pan Africanist artist s were in the forefront in the creation and celebration of th e independence of their nations (pp.9 11) Congruent with these movements, the Addis Ababa Fine Arts Schoo l was created in 1957/1958. Debela continues to tell us that, The Addis Ababa Fine Arts School soon began to produce artist s of the highest caliber who went on to study abroad. Some received scholarships before they finished their five year program and le ft for eastern European countries as early as 1960 and 1961 (p.14). So it was that Skunder Boghossian eventually sta r ted studies in London From London Skunder moved closer to the richer evolving new intellectual climate of the Parisian scholars and spent time around such thinkers as Cheikh Anta Diop, Leopold Senghor, Aimee C saire, Wifredo Lam, Andre Br ton, Roberto Matta and others. Skunder studied progressive philosophies and the theories of Negritude, Pan Africanism as well as Surrealism. He also met a nd studied traditional African Art with

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463 a b Fig ure 9 1 2 At l eft : Skunder critiquing my work, 1987 At right (b Photo pp. ), Skunder at work, directly applying paint from the tube in one of his eclectic ways of approaching painting. With this techni que he e as ily managed circles, arcs, and blobs or spots with a flaying attached tail. the art historian Madeleine Rousseau (Rebecca Nagy, Continuity and Change: Three Generations of Ethiopian Artists 2007). Later after joining the art faculty at Howar d University, he toured Africa with Howard African art historian and fellow faculty member, Kojo Fosu, as they organized an exhibition of contemporary African art for the Howard Gallery. He collected materials from Senegal and ideas along the way ideas whi ch were to inform his work later. As he taught me at Howard during the eighties, he was still exploring the barks he had shipped to him from his Senegalese connections. Boghossian understood very well what the sojourn of the migrant involved. We spoke at l ength about his feelings of displacement while living in New York; of his reactions to the new place and culture. He was greatly loved by his fellow faculty

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464 Figure 9 13. Ancient Fogs, 1977 shows the jewel like and clustered conglomerations suggestive of excavation and connoting connections to the past Photo pp. Fig ure 9 1 4 Skunder Boghossian. Night Flight of Dread and D elight 1964 Photo pp.

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465 a b Fig ure 9 1 5 Skunder Boghossian Left The End of the Beginning 1972 73 Right, (b). Time Cycle III 1981 Photos pp. members and students today still speak of the enduring influence he had on them. canvasses The traditional archaeological and manuscript quality nev er left the form of Boghossian s work, but his message has been Pan African and Negritude the constituents of the new order of African Diaspora n experience, an existentialist approach. a b Fig ure 9 1 6 Left, (Photo pp.) d etail from the wor k of Skunder Boghossian. Right, (b), t he sink in the back of the main painting studio R oom 2012, over the years.

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466 For as long as I can recall, many students have seen fit only to keep the drain clear. We maintained that it would one day become a painting itself. Skund er as well as others like Malkia Roberts and Edgar Sorells Adewale also admired such naturally formed patinas. Alfred Smith had a sweatshirt on which he continually wiped residues of pain t when he worked, with the intent that it would develop into a being by itself with little help from him. The philosophy behind this application is based on the same corrugated cardboard the use of the ordinary, the rejected, the unclassified in order to regenerate life and new possibilities, a reflection of the very plight of the dispossessed and oppressed peoples. The images above are suggestive of an ideology that transcends the mere plastic imagery of texture and the ritual of use. They sy mbolize a concept that is existentially based and concoct thoughts of the ordinary, the ground, infrastructure, the salt and the wretched of the earth ancestorship and spiritual connections through Mother Earth. Such intents devastate hierarchies. Sk under Boghossian had the uncanny ability to take the existential state of being, of things as they were, as he found them, and find value he could translate into his work. He taught me to see design and beauty in waste materials on the floor of my studio I learned a lot from him as he worked alongside us, his graduate students in the gradu ate studios in likely Parisian S alon style to which he was accustomed Among the greatest lessons I have had from him, is the realization of the depth of the philosophica l processes of creating; re visioning, informing, envisioni ng, transforming and presenting a process he presents as non linear The artist is always at work he used to say, You are gathering ideas and materials and making decisions on what to do and wha t not to

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467 do. By observing, you are working. iconography his somewhat surrealistic creations of cultural and mythical images which capture the folklore and ancestral messages of the African and African Di asporan experience. In its most essential sense then, his ar t is from the most basic of what it means to be Transplanted into the American culture, he often told me of his early responses to the grey winters and the blandness of acres of concrete and bri cks. To situate himself in this new climate, he enlists the nostalgic vocabulary of his home culture calligraphic scrolls and the textile treatment of surfaces that concoct reminders of his homeland. By engaging with the tactile experiences of the culture, he revives and maintains his closeness and memories of the lived experience. But upon this he has also built a myths, past, belief, the supernatural and other forms of embodying the human imagination facets anchored in the established beliefs of the long and enduring culture and its interactions with the deities place within it. Fig ure 9 1 7 Scrolls hallmark imagery 1983 Photo pp.

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468 James Bro wn James Brown is a graduate of the University of South Florida and a 1987 M.F.A Graduate of Howard University. Today, he is a resident of North West Washington, D.C. with his wife Audrey close to the periphery of the Howard University campus. He is an act ive community worker and a practicing artist who produces prolifically Presently, his His wife, after having pursued two doctoral degrees is now engaged along with her husband and others within their academic community, in pr oducing visual works of art exhibiting as well as conducting workshops for seniors throughout the Metropolitan D. C. area. 2 In a very quiet way, the Brown family has come to have an impact in educating the local community in ancestral African streams of consciousness. Brown is a member of the B.A.D.C. and very actively invloved in university events. He was an invaluab le help in assisting me with obtaining follow up information after I had left the field in Washinmgton, D.C. and had returned to Gainesville, Florida. During the years from 1985 to 1987 when James matriculated at Howard University, we shared studios as gra duate students. He was a very close friend of Kay New York that splintered off from the Weusi art commune where she was the sole female member. Brown herself has been a st rong force in combating social injustice 2 Audre She has continued to bring application to her work in Education and now in Art.

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469 and together, they brought a strong experience to the Howard campus grounded in the experience of having lived in Harlem right after the Renaissance had ceased to flourish. I visited Brown at his home studio on vari ous trip s to the District for The Porter Colloquium Conferences to see how his work had progressed over the years. We also talked about the African American experience during those eclectic years of the late 1950s into the 1960s and 1970s and beyond. I kn ew that James had lived in Harlem, New York and wanted to know more about those experiences. Fig ure 9 18 As we enter his studio from the right of this picture, James sits down where he has placed the canes I have asked him to gather to show to me. He p ick s up the one that seems his favorite to use now. The light streams in from the big bay window and wash the colors from the silk scrolls that dangle from ceiling and walls and the window itself, but one can still see maps of Africa, Adinkra symbols and p atterns of the African ancestry. It appears to me that I was of scrolls in my work too. All three of us had worked together in the same studio at one time in the second half of the 1980s

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470 James has an extremely wide rang e of resources from which he draw s for his work. His studio is bulging with books, magazines, catalogues, African sculpture, and images, and his computer which he integrates into his research and imaging for development in to finished pieces. He has honed the skills of working with felt and silk and has taken this expertise into the community teaching the skills to senior citizens and traditional aged students alike. Having produced such a plethora of quality work it is diff icult to see how he manages to engage in teaching and engaging in some of the other activities he undertakes. Over parts of three days, from November 15 th to November 18 th 2010, we met at his studio within walking distance of the Howard University campus. I will introduce the reader to the atmosphere within which we sat and spoke about his work through visual images starting with entering the main door to the home and studio. One enters to a translucent brilliance of scrolls of dangling strips of silk call igraphically transformed with the imagery of Akan Adinkra cloth symbols most of which tell the story of the ontology of the Akan people who are the ancestors of many sons and daughters brought across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and the Americas. Contrast ing with these light and airy scrolls felt papers specially developed by his technique of blending colors in graphic and calligraphic ways to produce narrative for his message usually told through Adinkra cloth sy mbols. These symbols are recurrent in the iconography of Howard School artists. They are symbols use often to teach through proverbs as the Akan are famous for doing in their societies. James Brown credits Ofori Ansa, his mentor, with impressing upon him t he importance of these symbols both for tea ching and for meditation.

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471 Professor Ofori Ansa, he says, had a major influence on him as a gradu ate student and on his career. During his graduate studies, he developed his work around the themes of the tradition symbols that perpetuated African ancestry in Adinkra and Kente cloths. Fig ure 9 19 This is the place form which when we share studi os at Howard. The theme of the narrative of pattern, rhythm, color, Adinkra symbols and the imagery of winged transformation has continued with him through the years. His reference to the wings in his work has been quite literal, as he has declared over an d over again, that when he turned up at Howard to study and found Professor Ofori because of the s uch places as the University of South Florida after his Harlem life.

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472 Fig ure 9 2 0 A cascade of shivering silk scrolls adorned in all things African dance from the ceiling as they filter the window light entering the main room of the studio. The men of the Akan peoples of Ghana are known for their involvement with textiles. Traditionally the men are the weavers of most fabrics particularly the famed Kente cloth which at first was reserved for use within the domain of the royal family and worn ceremonial ly by the king. James Brown is an artist whose life is consumed by his involvement with textiles. His studio greets one with an array of textiles which are

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473 presented in every conceivable way and with such ardor that the pieces take on a presence of their o wn as companions within the space. They force one to interact with them and to note the way they transform in the light as time progresses throughout the day. In some respects the profusion of material, some overlapping and most hanging, reminds one of the multiple layers of the egungun regalia. But James Brown could hardly escape this calling which he has found upon what we could call his second career. Now, he told me, he sees no reason to ever sway from the direction he has taken. Not only does he spend every waking hour stitching, folding, seaming, sewing, attaching appliques, waxing, painting, layering felt to create original textural and visual effects, but he has continued working with the theme of flight, movement, and perhaps growth emanating from t he use of the butterfly a resonant image of development and transformation through stages Fig ure 9 2 1 Straight back from the scrolls is the study area and the thick felt pieces that are molded and stitched to create a unique half quilt, half collaged painted set of for

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474 Figure 9 2 2 The symbol gyenyame referencing the omnipotence of the Great Creator is perhaps the single most pervasive Adinkra symbol seen in use by The Howard School artist s used graphically, even more so than the Sankofa symbol. Brown expounds on its significance for him. Brown grew up in Harlem. He went into the health provision, taking his training at the Harlem School of Nursing. Because he had seen so many people hurting he wanted to help. He wanted to be a healer. Both his mo ther and father were textile workers. His mother was a seamstress and milliner making hats of all kinds. Today James is proud to wear and display his felted hats which he makes following her tradition. His father was also a stitcher working as a tailor and upholsterer, so at age four, James was already creatively engaged in drawing from magazines and high school he took up oil painting and continued with his drawing. At his studio, my eyes explored his altar which displays many aspects of this era of hi arsenal, and the memories in all forms of heirlooms and writings. The assemblage is populated with an array of materials and elements akin to the traditional African al tar or

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475 Fig ure 9 2 3 Above, on this side of the studio are most of his felt pieces Notice the prevalence of Adinkra symbols a carry over, he says from his scholarship with Ofori Ansa. Below, opposi te the felt s are screens of sheer silk and ritually tie d dolls and spirit for .. Figure 9 2 4 They have come to him from particular experiences. His rings were taken out specifically for the occasion. At right is one of many authentic pieces of African artwork that adorns the studio.

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476 ritual site where addition and accumulation become the normative function in establishing this sacred place a place established in honor of and in perpetuation of the spirits of the ancestors. When we shared st udios as graduate students in the 1980s, James was working on a focused project. He had already instituted felt into his visual vocabulary. He was continuing to work with his strong design skills and was transforming a series of drawn images depicting many treasured aspects of the African Diasporan experience into felted piece which involved stitching, applique and several other means of adornment and embellishment. I recall the recurrent use of the motif of the wings of the butterfly in most of his images and that he worked very closely with Professor Paul Ofori Ansa, our Ghanaian art historian and researcher on Adinkra cloth symbols and Kente cloth. In a follow up discussion in March 2011 he told me, At Howard, Professor Ansa and all of his African Art Hi st ory classes gave me my wings to fly. But how did James Brown move from being a healthcare worker to becoming an artist ? I asked him about living in Harlem at such a pivotal time in the history of this country. James was born in 199 and would have been a young man then. The 60s was a very explosive time, he says. that way. James would have experienced the hub of African Am erican activities even vestiges of the Harlem Renaissance as a young man. In the later years he would have been close to such groups as WEUSI, Where We At and others. In fact many of his colleagues were from these groups, including Kay Brown a longtime cu lture worker in New York who also followed to study at Howard during our tenure.

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477 Fi gure 9 2 5 This is the altar James has created around the fireplace. Photographs at the bottom show enlargements of the areas of the altar depicting his line age. His mother is to the far left and his father on the right. The oval picture to the left is of a woman who was of significance in the history of the family.

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478 After leaving New York, James resided in Nashville and while there he took classes in Black His tory and art. He then moved to Florida with his wife who was taking up anthropological studies at the University of Florida. James then enrolled in the art program at the University of South Florida, in Tampa. From there he traversed often to Gainesville w here his wife was studying and it goes without saying that her submersion in the field of anthropological studies further sensitized James to cultural issues he had already noted in his own experiences. It was in 1985 that we entered the M.F.A. program at Howard; I as a continuing student and he as a new entrant. But it was much due to his experience at the University of South Florida that cemented his resolve to follow the path into which he has matured. At his studio he shared some of these experiences wi th me in October of 2010. [While] doing the first day in Art Appreciation class at U.S.F., according to the textbook Egypt was the first chapter of the book. But the syllabus for reading was chapter five; Western Art History, so called masters. My final paper the next semester in Art History class was, The Influences of African Art on Modern Art. By this time he had done much independent research and included it in his paper. The teacher who had taken a disliking to him decided that his paper had to be sent to the African Studies Department to be read. The paper was given an A and he was very encouraged and more determined to continue his work. However, he was told that the work he was intending to pursue could not be accommodated at the university. It was thus that he was convince of where he needed to be, and enrolled at Howard, The uniqueness at Howar d [for me] was Professor. Ansa. ( Brown 2010 ) Brown recalls his encounter with a book by John Henrik Clark, In my Own Image He reminisced on this book a nd realized, a s he said, In my little world b lack illustration did not exi s t So he determined that in his art he could not produce t hings that just do not tell you anything He continues: My Work has abstraction but there are images that pop out at you

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479 average African American about his world. The Adinkra symbols come from [my exposure to the wo rk of] Dr. Ansa. My work is organic to give spiritual ( Brown 2010 ) James Brown has moved on to work with wool and creates daunting textural and colorful variations through layering varieties and colors into an interweaving process to manage a unique array o f effects. But he continues, in a figurative way, to use his wings for he contrasts the bulk and weight of the felt and wool as grounded ness with the freedom of the spirit in flight in the silk scrolls that float, adorned with an array of Adinkra cloth symbols the essence of his message to his audience. Elizabeth Catlett a .b Figure 9 2 6 Works by Elizabeth Catlett project a bold and strong image. She worked to project strong positive images of the Afri can A merican woman. At right she celebrates the s trength of Harriet Tubman while she presents the tender and protec tive care of her sisters. Photos pp. Elizabeth Catlett attended Howard University during the years of James Porter s premier female artists. Her work has endured the

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480 decades of some of the most appealing images of African Americans depicting dignity and strength especially as displayed in her depictions of the African American female. She has often depicted this subject in a symbolic way as an image of strength, of comfort and of survival. Her allegorical statements on the African American experience have helped to transform perceptions of the people themselves, and this is due to her dignified depictions as well as by her own character and her strength. Catlett was born in Washington, D.C. and would have been very aware of educational opportunities for African Americans for in fact, she attended the well known Dunbar High School in Northwest D.C., just a few blocks from Howard University. Not surprisingly, she a tte nded Howard where she studied design and printmaking two influences t hat come through clearly in her work and help to give it the commanding presence and strength that she is able to capture in her range of expressions and messages She studied along with or under the early Howardites such as Porter, Wells, Driskell, Roberts, Thomas and Jones. To des cri be Catlett in one word one would have to think of all of the meanings inherent in the word, strength. This quality resounds in her work and in her very cou ntenance. She is best known for the fearless images she presented in her sculpture, prints and reliefs. For example her Homage to my Young Black Sisters a life sized wood sculpture, done in 1968, (Figure 9 27 ) at the height of the social movements, is onl y one of the many images she created to commemorate her support and outspokenness on racial and feminist inequalities. Her strength was bolstered for she took the move to Harlem, center of the New Negro movement, where she met and married another stalwart of the art movement, the powerful Charles White. Though the

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481 marriage lasted only for a short time, this powerful duo doubled into a massive force in African American and American Art. One can surely see the boldness of form and of course the continuity of the social message throughout their work together Such works as Tired (Figure 9 28 ) and Harriet (Figure 9 26, b) depict the strength and resolution that she saw and celebrated in these women and she did not hesitate to speak directly to the issues. In Neg ro Es Bello (Figure 9 30 ), she succinctly infuses the image of the Black Panther Party and ties this to the struggle for the humanitarian call to be accepted for their innate beauty and abilities. Homage to my Young Black Sisters (Figure 9 27), presents th e famous image of the Black salute a cry for equality and justice that echoed throughout the communities all over the country and indicates the solidarity and active participation of the Afrimerican female with the cause for justice. Figure 9 27 Homa ge to my Young Black Sisters, places Catlett on the senior role of caring for her younger female sisters of the shared experience Photos pp.

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482 Figure 9 28 Tired Elizabeth Catlett, 1946 depicts a tired woman, but still poised with grace and dignity, reflecting on her situation. Photo pp. Catlett remarried and moved to Mexico from where she has continued her work. It is an interesting place for her to have ended her sojourns as she came closer to her much admired great Mexican muralists who carried th e same message in their work. She is one of the most recognized African American female artists today and has been given countless numbers of honors and rewards for the pivotal and fearless role that

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483 Figure 9 29. Elizabeth Catlett now ninety six years old, at center wit h colleagues at Fisk University in 1973. From left are Earl Hooks and Arna Bontemps, Aaron Douglas, the artists who worked with Alain Locke in the Harlem Renaissance and David Driskell. Photo pp. Figure 9 30 A highly politicized piec e, Negro Es Bello ( Black is Beautiful ) invokes the of The Panther. Photo pp.

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484 she has played in the struggle of her people for justice and equality. Though she never joined the fa culty at Howard, her presence was constantly felt and she carried out workshops and visited the campus and department regularly. Catlett was recently honored at the 21 st James A. Porter Colloquium at Howard in the spring of 2010. Her image as a cornerstone of the community is well reflected in the character of her work which is readily evident in its strength and resolve. Jeff Donaldson We have learned a lot about Jeff Donaldson over the course of this study so that we have an adequate characterization of h im and his intent both as painter and art historian In much of his work he resorted to using corrugated cardboard as ground. In doing this, he sought to break dow n hierarchies established in the use of material by artists over the years. 3 He considered this as tantamount to the social hierarchies that existed and which separated the European American and the African American places in the society. Having had to cea se painting with oils after developing adverse reactions to the medium, he turned to water based materials and challenged the use of the canvas as pristine ground. His idea was to use the discarded, the ordinary and to elevate it to new levels of appreciat ion just as much as that was his intent for the African American experience. To work with this material, he had to go through the elaborate chemical process of de acidifying the acid laden boards, but still 3 There has been a place traditionally set aside for oil paint as the material of choice for the fine artist. Other media were considered secondary for fine art production until somewhat recently. Then there came other materials such as watercolor, collaging, acrylic and others. Oil nevertheless, is still the medium considered the he ight of painting materials.

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485 Fig ure 9 31 Jeff Donaldson; Aunt Jemima and t he Pillsbury Dough Boy 1963 64. Perhaps a cunning flip and alli teration of the kitchen docile, flour domestic Aunt Jemima Photo pp. thought it worth the time to do so. His intent and his commitment to the ideology of restoring and upholding the select ed ordinary and mundane for appreciation, in some way reflected for him, the plight of his ethnic ity and dictated that he do so, for as Sharon Patton said, African American visual artist s increasingly expressed their political sentiments in art ; for th em race and politics were inextricably li n ked, and the plight of black people in America was seen as being representative of the plight of people in the Third World ( p 190 ).

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486 a b Fig ure 9 3 2 Victory in the Valley of Eshu (left) and (b), Majorities Photos pp. Fig ure 9 3 3 Jam Packed Jelly Tight 1988 was included in the exhibition I curated at Hood College in 199 4. Photo pp.

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487 a. b Fig ure 9 3 4 Left, version of the Aunt Jem ima folk image At right, James ythms and sound waves in staccato style jazz, helps to define a dominant characteristic in AfriCOBRA aesthetics. Visible at top center is the geometricized form of the ever emerging Akan symbol gyenyame. Photos pp. Aziza Gibson Hunter Aziza Gibson Hun ter is entirely devoted to family and her role as an artist An extremely sincere scholar and educator, she has exhibited a lot of concern with issues of justice, education, moral mores and the state of our national and international ecologies. She sees the imbalances and incongruences of our present existence as a result of our having lost our way in seeking our focus on a spiritual life based on the connections to nature and a communal ontology as passed to in the philosophies of our African ancestors. Azi za has worked very closely with Marimba Ani, author of Yurugu

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488 and Let the Circle be Unbroken: The Implications of African Spirituality in the Diaspora 4 It goes without saying that she is completely grounded in the cosmological and ontological understandin g and appreciation of the African experience. She pursues an Afrocentric way of life in most respects. Her accounts here will outline a Howard school artist political events based on an historical and ontological understanding of the structures of the status quo. Her visual references are heuristically based within deep traditional African concepts. This will be illustrated in her work Four Moments of the Sun, inspired by the Congo and Western trained anthropologist, librarian, ed ucator and social scientist Fu Kiau Bunseki.. On November 17th .we met in her studio to photograph her work and to discuss her inspirati ons and her intent as an artist This meeting proved to be useful in filling some of the gaps in this present agenda for I have known and discoursed with her since 2005 when I first met her at the Porter Colloquium Series of that year, at which time I was immediately struck by her passion for her work and for placing art centrally in the human experience. She grew up in Phil a delphia, she tells me. She had a serendipitous introduction to becoming an artist Now, she says: I want my work to be an introduction to ideas introduction that people can us I have a list of books the books that I was reading. I hope that it will prick their interest for all of my work is encoded works] as time capsules so that if I am not here, people can be able to read them and break the codes. I hope that maybe the viewer can learn something from what 4

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489 When I go back to the classroom there will be assignments where students have to work collectively artist s that kno w how to work coll ectively that become effective ( Gibson Hunter 2010 ) She was at the center of the group that created the coalition called The Black Artist s of D.C. which is a vibrant cooperative of artist s working together through workshops, lectures, coo peratives, trips and studio visits, technical skill exchange, mentoring and organizing for young people, exhibiting and sponsoring progra The B.A. D. C. is centered around the Howard University art community and Gibson Hunter was its first President. She s tarted a career in the arts is if there was little choice. Her mother was artist ically inclined. As an art lover, she made sure that her children visit the museum of Philadelphia. She also loved Africa and exposed the children to books on the African exp erience. One of her earliest recollections was a book that was written about Charles White. She was in an environment that was very rich she says and s he always had black dolls. She ended up choosing art education for her Mother suggested that she ne eded to be able to make a l iving. Though she had had ideas of becoming a jeweler, she was dissuaded by the high cost of gold. It was then, at Tyler College of Art that she had a great experience. One day, Howard alumnus Martha Jarvis Jackson turned up wi th her work to present. She was seeking to get into Tyler for more studies. Gibson Hunter took one look at the work and after hearing her talk about her work, decided that wherever Jackson was coming from, was where she wanted to be. When I found she came from Howard, I was on a quest to bet there. Over the years, she has produced and exhibited enormous bodie s of work and

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490 her fixed focus of addressing the African Diaspora n cause has been admirable. She has been a Lecturer in the Art Department at Howard, and only recently completed that to which she ascribes her most worthy feat successfully bringing up four children and getting the last one off to college this past Fall. When you choose to be an artist serious business. You have to be a researcher. You have to do a lot of reading intense. When I get into this studio, I can be here for twenty four hours. The kids used to s days now artist I ( Gibson Hunter 2010 ) Only recently, she completed a one woman show with forty six pieces on a political theme She reminded me I had seen those a month or two ago on my last visit to the site They were large, and I had wondered how she was able to create so many variations on the single theme. She has just finishes one hundred plus small sketches from which she is developing a series of over twenty larger pieces. There were two other series recently too; one with fifteen pieces and the other with more than twenty. The things that I am making are products of the time. The file that I had for those ones [the political series] was this thick [she indicates with her thumb and fo refinger]. listened to a lot of hearings congressional hearings on the war, the Katrina stuff; I wanted to go to New Orleans but my husband woul Armo ry and I interv iewed people that were in Katrina. I want to have the information so when I do the stuff, I can put it in the paintings. 5 ( Gibson Hunter 2010 ) 5 The references made here are to the Iraq occupation by the United States, a war which has remained unpopular for many American citizens. References to New Orleans a re to the ravaging effects of Hurricane Katrina and the much debated issues over the slow response of relief efforts, the process and

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491 Aziza Gibson Hunter is passionate about the role that the art of African Diaspora n peoples should play in society. Sh e is even more passionate about the H.S.A and the community that it has created for artist s and scholars, and for the potential that exists Fig ure 9 35 Aziza Gibson Hunter in her studio at her work desk. therein for the much needed protection of the A frican centered logos within the societies of African descendants all over the world. She possesses a broad understanding of the links that create the chain of the spiritual life. I asked her about the things that inspire her at this time. I see myself som documenting information. A lot of my work has symbols in it. I think we are living in one of the most critical times on the planet; the globalization, the technology, the ecology, people are making dec isions which animals and what else is going be able to look at, you know, like we open up the pyramids and see how things were. That is what I am doing 6 the resulting questionable treatment of the citizenry both by relief teams and by law enforcement groups. Some people disp laced from the area had been housed at the D.C Armory during the relief efforts. 6 The quotes from the artists were all delivered during the same interview.

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492 You are creatin g narratives? I asked her. I am telling it like it is, she replied. I am telling the stories. Well this was indeed the language of the visual art, I thought. Then about knowing how her message was getting across to her audience she added: When my work is being exhibited, I like to be a fly on the wall. I like to be there and I like to watch. My work is not easy to dige s t They are hard works to get at The viewer ha s to reach to get it Let me tell you a story. Remember the show I told you about on the political pieces? Well I was there. I had done up these sheets for people to look at. There were these two women there. They had come to see the show. They were looking at the sheet. And they were these sisters [women]; just ordinary sisters ; like they we re coming from church. And they w e re talking, and one said just smiled to myself, hey got it! 7 7 Over the last six or seven years, a new phenomenon has begun throughout the District of Columbia. During the ethnic responses to the slayings of African American leaders in the 1960s, violent protest took place and many parts of the city were burned. There was a sharp line drawn within the inner city. European Americans did not feel safe and fled to t he suburbs in droves. The inner city remained with little development. Gutted buildings were only slowly restored and mostly only by private efforts. The local government appropriated little resources for parks and civil amenities. Unemployment soared. Sma ll unchanged for decades no one seemed to notice or seemed to care. As the overt voicing of their discontents waned among African Americans, and as the inconveniences of the long commute from the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia multiplied not only due to the proliferation of automobiles on the roads and the horrendo us number of hours of commute necessary to traverse the web of highways surrounding the city, but also for the peaking prices of gasoline, a shift began to take place. The suburban European Americans began to return to the city. Whereas at first they had f ought against expansion of subway systems from the inner city to the suburbs, saying that such arteries would give the inner city violence to move easily back and forth to their communities, when those arteries began to be built, they took advantage of the facilities and soon decided to return to the city. They began purchasing rundown row homes and spending small fortunes to renovate them. Soon most of the North paid, could not pass up on the chance to benefit and more and more of them sold out. Those who are remaining are at the mercy of escalating tax bases as property prices have risen. This return of more affluent suburbanites accompanied by numerous new grad uates and recently unemployed European Americans who flock to the city with the knowledge that they have a better chance of employment as they will be preferred in the proliferation of corporation headquarters within the city has of the city as many see it. Nevertheless, this has brought all of the new civic to the city; new and upgraded parks, bike lanes, road improvements, bike sharing kiosks, fanciful restaurants, new condominium buildings, beautiful gardens, and better day to d ay services. The African Americans, while welcoming the improvements in some respects, have lost in other ways, and again, are reminded that they are secondary citizens and that on their own they are seemingly never able to get the

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493 a b Fig ure 9 3 6 Left : Enfranchisement At righ t Aziza explains an aspect of the work during the interview. This i n one o f fifteen pieces from the series Nia and the Box. best that America has to offer. This changing face of the District is seen by many. They call it

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494 Fig ure 9 3 7 Four Moments of the Sun, 1. The work presents an opportunity to illustrate the heuristic messages in the works of many of The Howard School of Art artist s. This work relies on a heuristic un derstanding of the highest order of African cosmological concepts in this case the K ngo Cosmological order. At the time I was reading Fu Kiau, she tells me. [dishonoring to women]. I wanted to do these paintin gs of these girls and the

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495 [she did fifteen paintings in the series]. We will explain further how the painting came about as this will provide a useful insight into some of the inspira tions of Ho ward School artist s. Bunseki Fu Kiau, an anthropologist, educator, librarian and social scientist/philosopher, has been trained in both traditional African and Western academia and systems of thought He is the author of African Cosmology of the B ntu K ng o Tying t he Spiritual Knot: Principles of Life and Living ( Fu Kiau 2001 ) Th e book provides a graphically illustrated account of the K ngo concepts of spirituality for every day living. Bunseki draws from his lived e xperiences as an initiate of (p.158). We ar e told that the secret societies are: in reality indigenous educational institutions and that Lemba, is of particular relevance because it is the foundation for numerous a[A]frican based religions and practices in the Americas, including Palo Mayombe i n Cuba, Vodou Petro in Haiti, and Candomble Angola in Brazil; brought about through the transport of Central ( Bunseki ) (p.158) As the artist surveyed the landscape of the music she was listening to and thought of the young African American women (she has daughters, one of whom was the model for the painting), she rested on the metaphysical realities of our being and connected this awaren ess to K ngo cosmological thought. ous process of transformation, a going around is kala zimakala, a living dying living being. A being of continuous motion through four stages of balance between a vertical forc e and a horizontal force. The horizontal force is fundamental because it is the key to open or to close, to enter or exit the diurn The vertical force, the dangerous and dominant one, is It i (p. 35 3 6)

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496 The interpretation comes about she says because, That piece is built on a Cosmogram out of the K here are four moments painting is a circle of the sun and the last one is in her stomach, for that is the ancestors about to come again. The four moments of the sun de pict four cardinal points in the spiraling journey of the M ntu the human being (consciousness). Gibson Hunter addressed the sociological the maafa, a discontinuity o r incongruity between the human (m ntu) and the community. She sought to restore the balance by honoring the young women who have been wronged in the lyrics of the music. In this way, she offers a ritual to appease the ancestors on behalf of the errant mus icians and to restore the wholesomeness of the women. The images below are borrowed from presented by this writer in an attempt to clarify the artist for her work. 8 In the painting she represents the four points with whole and partial circular images repr esenting the sun. Placed in the context of Western traditions, the painting also suggests a form of conception and in the African traditions, a regeneration of ancestral beings, as the artist sugges ts. Indeed, we see, that Gibson Hunter asks for the viewer to reach, to get initiated in readiness for her work. 8 This is an attempt on my part to simplify a very complex philosophy for the ben efit of the reader. The images selected are not necessarily progressive in the representational development of the philosophy of K ngo cosmology, but are used to visually simplify the concept of the four stations of the sun and the human sojourn. It is my

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49 7 Figure 9 38 A set of sojourn the Four Moments of the Sun. Photos pp. Bunseki, in visiting Washington, D.C. and being invited to her home and studio, got the message of the painting immediately, then remarked to himself, How did she know? In this he was referring to her use of the correct color to indicate one station o f the sun concealed within the pregnant woman. .. Figure 9 39 At left is studio. These artist s are scholars and have developed extensive libraries throughout their homes and studios. At ri ght, Aziza pauses from her work desk for a picture.

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498 Fig ure 9 40 Above: Aziza Gibson Hunter before one of her altars in her studio. At the bottom of her created altar hangs this sign which captures the spirit of herself and The Howard School of Art community of artist s. At right, she discusses the sojourn of the African American artist in American society. A scholar who is a friend of is very versed in the ontological nature of the African exp erience and pursues her work from a deeply situated sense of spiritual engagement. Lois Jones On the last day of my several year engagement in fieldwork in Washington, D.C., I had the opportunity to visit the current exhibition of Lois Mai lou Jones at the Museum of Women in the Arts in the heart of the downtown area. The exhibition occupied the entire upper level of the museum and continues to draw many visitors. When one considers that Jones ta ught at Howard University for more than forty years and was th e recipient of many notable recognitions including being honored with a reception along with nine other African American artist s at the White House as guests of President Jimmy Carter,

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499 one understand s her place as one of Howard s pre eminent artist /scholars. Professor of art in the Howard Art Department. Perhaps no one creates as vivid and as precise an account of the formulations of the character of Lois Jon es the artist as Romare Bearden and Harry Henderson have done in A history of African American Artist s: From 1792 to the Present, 1993. I will borrow from them in painting an image of the artist They explain that Jones, born in Boston to a mother who was a n expert beautician and milliner, often accompanied her to the homes of wealthy Northern European American s where the young girl got to see works of art paintings which stimulated her to occupy her former lonely times with drawing and coloring with crayon s. where s he spent most summers growing up much as a New England girl. Encouraged by many who saw her gift, (among them Meta Fuller), she heralded a call to teach African Ameri can children in the south. When James H erring saw 1930, he was impressed and recruited her to teach at Howar d, where she would remain for the next forty seven years. She used her sabbatical leave in 1937 to travel to Paris to study an d to free herself from the strictures of the racial stench of America. But as early as 1934 she had started to study and sketch African masks. She had also met African dancer Asadata Dafora in New York and had designed masks for his dance troupe. Thus as s he continued to experience coll ections of African Art in Parisian museums she started to paint them drawing on the uniqueness of the design characteristics to which she was attracted,

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500 being foremost a designer. But she had taken more to plein aire painting and worked mostly painting French landscapes and other such scenes. a b Fig ure 9 41 L eft Les Fetishes painted in Paris, 1948 Right, Jennie 1943. Photos pp. Once she returned to Howard, having had some success in Paris, she caught the eye of Alai n Locke from which the famous meeting ensued. One of her first paintings Jennie painted in 1943 ( Figure 8 39 ). I t is an ennobling and stoic image of a mundane and otherwise unglamorous undertaking given newness and i mportance and honoring the role often played b y the working African American woma n. Her work blossomed into a glorification of the African American experience and broadened to include the African Diasporan nation of Hatians after she had married Vergniau d Pierre No l and adopted his homeland nation.

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501 a b Fig ure 9 4 2 Left : Mob Victim (formerly titled, Meditation) 1944, also stimulated by her conversations with Alain Locke R ight ( b), is Petite Ballerina, 198 2. Photo pp. Fig ure 9 4 3 The l egend ac companying Lois Jones painting provides some background on her development as an artist

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502 Many artist s, as Lynch previously reported, had become teachers. As Bearden and Henderson report ( Bearden 1993 ) : In 1940 Celine Tabary came to Howard to teach. She and Jones converted studio into what they called little Paris, They i nvited other African American artist s to draw and paint with them. n for a model or put up a still life and all worked together. Jones recalled. Many of the black artist s had become schoolteachers and tended to give up their efforts to be arti st s. Jones said (p. 385). Among the artist s were Delilah Pierce, Lucille (Malkia) Roberts, Richard Dempsey, Alma Thomas. Jones was nick named the Honorary Mother when the group wou ld exhibit together 9 Fig ure 9 4 4 Title wall to exhibition at the 9 That the Howard School Philosophy is by no means a monolithic bloc defined by being a Howard art alumnus will be seen in the fact that Alma Thomas, for example, though closely socialized with some of the core members of Howard school philosophy, disclaimed all references to Africanisms in her work. This researcher has never encountered an image from this artist that had reference to the social aspects of the African American legacies or imagery. She be descript application of swatches of paint in flat decorative patterns. As reported before, about 1986, while in the process of contacting alumni by phone from G ainesville, Florida, I placed a follow up call to one alumnus having met with her briefly while attending the Porter Colloquium, to indicate the work I was undertaking and asking for her participation in the. Her response was that she was not involved with teachers it was inasmuch as the predecessors established the continuity of which we speak).

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503 Fig ure 9 45 At left, t wo generations review the work of Lois Jones r esearch in fourteen countries and taking over 1,000 photographic of traditional and contemporary African art images. Her palette was now full. We complete her introduction here with her statement on the course of the painting Ubi Girl from the Thai Region, Nigeria, borrowed from Bearden and Henderson ( Bearden 1993 ) : In another comm ent on this striking work, Jones said, I was so interested and fascinated by this girl from the Tai Region in Nigeria. She was wearing the painted design on her face for a special ceremony. There was something about the deep look in her eyes that impresse d me as being symbolic of Africa so much so that I combined in that painting two masks from Zaire and also the profile of a huge fetish from the Ivory Coast which seemed to me to give an over all feeling of what I consider Africa. 10 (p. 388) 10 Reprinted in Bearden from United States Information Service in Accra, Ghana, Amannee 4, no. 6 immersion in coverage of the life of Lois Jones, consult Tritobia Hayes publication, The World of Lois Mailou Jones (1990).

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504 Fig ure 9 4 6 Ubi Girl from Tai Region, Nigeria (1972) A number of articles, monographs and papers have been written alluding to the transformation that moved Jones from a New England girl, as she saw herself, to the artist she was to become. Her encounte rs with Alain Locke, her exposure to Howard University, Washington, D.C., Paris, Haiti and Africa had a transformative effect on her. Her long sojourn at Howard University as an art educator, suggest that she enjoyed what she did and that she did desire th e new direction of her work which she, in turn, recommended to her students. This, in no uncertain way, attests in part to the agency and the manifestation of The Howard School of Art

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505 Edward Love Edward Love was a man of great inner strength and forthright ness. He was honest and direct in his evaluation of people and issues. He had no doubts about what his role was as an educator and artist He was clear about the message he wanted to convey and in his classes, he made sure that his students developed the sa me clarity in their thoughts and intent. He was known as being anchored in the cosmologies of African cultures particularly that of Egypt. He developed a didactic in teaching he called the second why. In this paradigm which he used during his instruction and his critiques processes, he made the student accountable to responding to answering the question why, not once but a second time; a non biological response as he called it where the spontaneous and often thoughtless response to stimuli the questi on, engenders an intent to fulfill the needs of the interrogator. The second why was meant to formulate an answer for the student him/her self and to provide the impetus for deeper examinations and metaphysical answers beyond those immediately perc e i ved. we were encouraged to think philosophically and to develop responses to queries based on a heightened level of consciousness of materials, form ( aesthetics) and ideas (intent). I was a graduate student in 1986 when Ed Love was featured in a one person exhibition at the Howard Gallery of Art. I participated in the photographing of the monumental pieces of sculpture that were to appear in the catalogue accompanying the show. 11 The catalogue was a masterly piece of literature with an eclectic and insightful introduction/interview with the 11 One piece of work measured a symbolic 100 inches high and all presented challenges to being photographed being chrome in their patina and extremely reflective.

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506 artist by his wife Monifa Love, with an essay by noted African Art H istory scholar Robert Farris Thompson. I believe that the best way to capture the essence of th e spirit of Edward Love, is to do so through the words of these writers, for they have more than adequately captured the pulse of the artist I will look briefly at Ed through the image these scholars present of him as he also reveals himself to them, and through my first ha nd knowledge of him as his student and as a member of the Howard community at the time being a non traditional aged student and somewhat close r to the professors in thought and experience. Because he was able to so clearly articulate and elucidate his dida ctic and analytic approaches to the educational intent, I will use him as a prime example of The Howard School of Art Faculty role and endeavor. This means that I may become committed to undertaking more assessment of his work. Edward Love did his formal s tudies at The University of Southern California He says t hat he got drawn into sculpture because of the the garage, trying to transform no thing into something. 12 ( Love 1985 ) Earlier he had started studies with the intent of being an architect so it was not unexpected that he chose sculpture instead, and went on to work on such a monumental scale. 13 After completing formal studies he had continued t raining in Sweden after which he was offered a teaching position at Howard by then Department Chair, James Porter. 12 All quotes from Edward Love are from an interview with Monifa Love for the catalog to the Exhibition of his work, Soundings, with a further essay by Robert Farris Th ompson. 13 In one faculty exhibition, 1986 he practically filled one gallery with an installation though not included in the one person exhibition Soundings

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507 We should look back at the experiences which he tells us informed the person he was to become. In interview s with Monifa Love presented in t he catalogue to his 1986 exhibition, Soundings he says that he grew up in an extended family of work conscious people and he recalls that: coming er discussions about Dubois and Marcus Garvey on Sunday afternoons when we wou ld all get together for din ner From high school, he had joined the air force which saw him visiting many places within the continental U.S. as well as Japan where he spent two years. He tells us that: The Air Force did lots of things for me. While I had been in the South before as part of a family trip, my experiences in Georgia, without any kind of family, enabled some very serious lessons learne In Japan I experienced people with a clear and focused sense of how they could control their environment. I witnessed people who were r eally became exposed to a lot of music. Having Black men around me from different parts of the U.S. meant I was constantly be ing turned on to other sounds. This account is to be noted for it was to provide the answer to his undying dedication to paying ho mage to musical forms such as jazz and reggae and the personalities attached to them. Ed Love talked about his first encounters with welding. He was tau ght by being exposed to the process then left on his own to explore. I had to teach myself the re s t He told me about the existential recognitions he experienced as he continued the process of welding 14 Monifa Love too, alludes to this in her statements about the process ( Love 1985 ) Sh e says that: 14 In conversations with Ed Love circa 1982/3.( Love, Monifa.

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508 The welding process implies a belief in the many levels of realit suggests a philosophy in which construction and de(con)struction are partners in s closing and opening is a though t. Each thought builds to a complex of ideas and each complex of ideas builds to a formal presentation of a new reality. Talking to me about th is experience, Ed Love said that he was enthralled to find that a material he had handled (as tools) and thoug ht to be so permanent so stable, he was able to manipulate with heat to bend it, shape it even to pour it as if it were a liquid. He used to refer to the process as figurative of the transformative powers within us. To be able to manipulate steel in thi s way helped him realize the potential within us to modify the things around us, even the seemingly solidified social and political structure s and constructions This realization was very empowering to the perception of self. 15 Robert Farris Thompson says o f Ed Love ( Thompson 1981 ) The ancestors speak in the broad strong hands of Love. He could no more hold back condemnation of oppression and cruelty in his work than a hawk could be denied its flight He continued, There is something quintessentially manly and brave and aggressive in the art of working metal. In Nigeria I met a blacksmith whose praise name (oriki) was: like an elephant, breathing with confidence. Among the Bamana of Mali smiths are re garded as nyama tigi men with a literal handle on ultimate powers. 1985 Epistrophe. In Soundings. H. Univer sity, ed. Washinfton, D.C.: Howard University Gallery of Art. 15 In the summers of 2006 and 2007, I involved myself with welding and working with steel in order to produce some working forms and can attest to the alchemic character of the process. The mere ability to join two pieces into a bond that is as permanent as a welded bond is invigorating, and seems to suggest to one that anything can be accomplished, and the smell of burnt steel becomes like a primordial repatriations to the soil to beginnings. I welded and repaired many things and know that I will return to my welder soon even if only in honor of my teacher. The forge and the fire become a test of endurance, resilience and re fashioning.

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509 metals of tools and farming implements, and weaponry. He was physically built for this warrior role and psycho logically prepared for the intellectual battle. At Howard, he had arrived at the right place. Even th ough when he got there sculpture major (p. 2), he set about to establish teaching the discipline. He says that: Being at Howard i s very important to me. I think my teaching has lots to do with my believing that the environment can be affected and changed by people who care. And caring requires that you not be afraid of being critical, that you not be afraid to work, and that you believe second why is most important in seeing. (p. 2) He tells us about how he selected simple and cheap materials with which to work. and a bumper re plating factory near the university. They became our primary source of materials. ( And I knew this junkyard very well, though efforts to retrieve an image of it in the archives have so far proved fruitless ) That which I a rack of b umpers collected from this and other sites stored in his backyard in N. W Washington, D. C. (Figure 8 46 ). His statement about his use of the bumpers for the material that would become the hallmark of his career as a sculptor and culture worker is quoted h ere from the catalogue to the Soundings exhibition. He told Monifa : I discovered what may be best called an affinity with the material. The bumpers seemed to be metaphors for so many aspects of the lives of African ion and capable of withstanding (p. 2).

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510 core of his influences and his message music; jazz and reggae; two forms of musical expression that grew out of the response to oppression, neglect and vision. I will pr esent his own words on his inspirations. Through his voice we see the image of the man forged from the ores of the earth the forerunners and ancestors standing on their shoulders to create new possibilities as an educator and artist within the philosophy of a cultural warrior and creator of monuments of courage I will present his words and the images from his portfolio of works that materializes forms of this narrative. He also never failed to mention the Mexican muralists in conversation and in class. He says: have a lot of openings, places to go, things to think about sense o f structure, the passion of his work, his understanding of his people in standard bearers. I som ehow learn most from them. I hear them like great echoes, reminding and informing and guiding me through, where some fell or were side The conductor has to do with electricity, with wind, with fire, with water and earth. With music, with undergrou nd railways, with this journey and all its side trips: with all the folks directing, giving, risking, dying, living, loving, hating, suffering dreaming, working, dreaming. All moving and moving from o ne point to the next. Conductors are fats, Trane Duke, Miles, Bird, Diz, Marcus, Malcolm, Martin Harriet, Robeson, Du Bois, Booker, Moses, Mamo, Dad, Mom Sis, Nick, Bro, Couz, Wheel, Honey, Winada, Scott, Lori, Beam, Taifa, Mollye, Winnie, Winston, Neeley, Pancho, Skunder, Clay, Malkia, Oscar, Ornette, Eric Monk, Dina, Sojourner, Fannie Lou, Osiris, Isis, Horus, Chaka, Jomo, Patrice, Mkrumah, Lang ston, Richard, Benin, Giza, Timbuktu, Ife, Menis, Angel a, Nzinga, H arlem, Watts D.C. Clifford, Max, Chancellor, E. Franklin, Sterling, Bessie, George, out, surging, pulsating, On his pieces form his musical series he is very clear and continues his philosophical intents. s when I started doing totem s, he tells us.

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511 Coltrane Thelonious Monk, Eric Dolphy, Charlie Parker, Ornette Coleman, Recently, I have been working o n pieces for Bob Marley. Robert Nesta M arley was an amazing man. Imagine how he was able to transform himself from a child playing on the streets in Trenchtown to an international poet and prophet. 16 He was full of love. And that Love was profound. I am finding in him places visited a different time ago. I find a clarity that calls for codified rebellion against convulsive mind lessness I have been studying someone becoming an segregated and u njust society as he saw it coming through the years. He was crystal clear, like Marley, about his role as a culture worker. He named several of his pieces for Get up, st and up; stand up for your rights and appealed to him, and as I supplied the reggae music against which background we worked as students in most studio classes, we seemed to develop an unspok en one ness when he drew these inferences in his work. Professor hope for the dashing to pieces of Babylon system, (injustice, racism and dispossession ) often echoed the African American and the worldwide cry of all people of the underclasses both within their respective societies as well as within the large systems of colonization. (Owens 1976). 16 Trenchtown, an area in western Kingston in Jamaica, is the most choked and dilapidated area in the city limits. Though urban, its amenities are often worse than those of the poorest rural areas except for a makeshift abodes often fabricated from reclaimed zinc sheets, board slabs (end cuts from the saw mills), flattened metal containers, cardboard and more. Crime is most times rampant as there is little means of employment. Most people subsist by working arou nd the homes of the middle and upper classes far on the streets in the close by Victoria Park at the center of the City. This is the ultimate image of artistes whose work emanates from their lived experience. For a visual representation of the Trenchtown infrastructure, view the movie, The Harder They Co me available on DVD with protagonist Jimmy Cliff.

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512 a b Fig ure 9 47 Edward Love a contemplative and intens e ly intellectual artist is a constant introspective evaluator of social and political develo pments in the society Ed love geared for burning metal, at left. oriki fashion, places in poetry the forces people, places and events through the ancestors and the shared experience. His recallin g of these names and places is the oral African tradition of remembering, honoring and empowering. He evokes the combined power of these living and lived links of the chain in nommo like ritual a heuristic ancestral undertaking that can transcend into high er levels of cognition and connections. He left on me, one of the greatest senses of self empowerment that comes through clarity of thought, of education and of understanding. I recall my experience taking his classes. A student would hardly get an answer from him until he was convinced that he/she had clarified in his/her own mind, the issues stimulating the question and the precision of the existentialist formulation of the query in narrative form. This process of reasoning would

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513 often include an explorat ion of the paradigm of the second why, and often, by the time the student had clarified the question and its source for him/herself, he/she had all but arrived at the answer. In this way he often revealed to us that the very solutions dwelt within us and that we had the inner potential to proceed. a b F ig ure 9 48 chrome automobile bumpers which he translates into metaphors of the African Diaspora experience. Photo Robert F. Thompson. A t right, Mask for Mingus 1974 17 Photo pp. The large work ReMan narration of the African American plight. Forged from the material he has already declared, this taller than life survivor, battered and ma imed, still advances, standing tall, and in the end becomes more than a symbol for people of African descent more than 17 I never got a chance to discuss this issue with Professor Love during his life time, but now I recall that I y the title, I believe that he would have been elated about this, as he often was when a piece of work was found to draw references other than that seen by the author/maker. It would have been useful to know if he intended this double entendre. This we mig ht yet discover in future research.

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514 the Black male, and comes to represent all people who have been disfigured for whatever reason. The figure represents the universal su rvivor and may yet, when the story is all written, become the healing image of the long American saga Fig ure 9 49 ReM an 1980; a graphic image of resolve and determination Photo Jarvis Grant

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515 But still, in another chapter of his work, he does obeisan ce to some of those who have rallied people together all over the world. After his Jazz themes, he turned to the uniting world music of Robert Nesta Marley. He saw a continuous thread running through the concerns of African American s and down pressed: peo In the series of pie ces that followed the transformation of Garveyism into Rastafaria nism into reggae is narrated. Love realizes every aspect of the Marley intent. He strove to capture th e the Rastafarian, and after various attempts, accomplished it in the piece, Natty seen in Figure 8 49 (b) 18 The piece The Wailers, attribute to the group that accompanied Marley in song, recognizes and h onors the nommo ; the dirge recorded above sung by Ed Love in interview, resemble the strident wails of Marley and the Wailers as they recount the lost ancestors how long shall they kill our prophets, While we stand aside and look. Ed recalls, in this wai ling dirge those who were sacrificed for the cause of breaking down oppression. He, in fact, becomes a Wailer a speaker out for justice. message of Robert Nesta Marley and the Wailers (B ob M arley and the Wailers ), and commem orates their efforts as culture workers in a series of sculptural pieces presented within these pages. (Figures 9 50 to 9 51). 18 in Soundings Howard University Gallery of Art, pages 23 24).

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516 a b Figure 9 50 At left is Mosiah, named for Marcus Mosiah Garvey who was seen as a prophet and hero by the Rastafarians, a nd as a scholar and hero by most Jamaicans. Garvey paved the way for the emergence of Rastafarian Jamaica At right, Nyabinghi (f or Nesta Marley), b oth done in 1984 Photo pp. a b Figure 9 51 The Wailers dreadlocks At right in Natty he captures it w hile also turning the entire he ad into the shape of the small axe that is capable of cut ting down the big tree as Marley philosophized. ( 1984 and 1985 respectively). Photos pp.

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517 Ed love had a great love and admiration for Skunder Boghossian as an artist and friend. Skunder to him represented the essential artist a man who had works hanging in the Museum of Modern art in New York and in prominent museums in Paris and who might have become a celebrity would he have compromised his values and pursued corporate representation for marketing his work. Ed Love saw in him, a man who was clear abo ut his goals and his intent, and he created a piece for Skunder as he did for others for whom he held special admiration. Indeed, he was a child of Ogun. a b Figure 9 52 Boghossian, Mask for Skunder with raffia, and at right is Ogun (Big O Series), both 1972 and 1973 respectively. Photos pp.

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518 Kwaku Ofori Ansa Kwaku Paul Ofori Ansa has often proven to be a refuge for Howards graduate art students seeking to clarify their visions of bri dging the gap in the ambivalence of their cognition of placement here in America and their allusions and references to the homeland. His genteel and amenable character has easily attracted many students Figure 9 53 Professor Ofori Ansa and Harold Burk e who often assists him with setting up audio visual lectures, discuss Adinkra symbols in one of Ofori publications.

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519 over the years. He has been able to help guide many graduate students to clarifying their intent in reaching for African connections and to inspire their curiosity to know more. His ability to do this successfully probably comes from his ability to look at the picture from both sides since he is both African and African American. He is situated in a strategic place metaphorically wit h shared experiences that drive most of the artists of The Howard School of Art. He is a Ghanaian scholar who has lived in America for several decades, attending Howard University and joining the faculty in 1980, but returning home on scholarly exchanges regularly over the years. He has recently returned from a one year visit as a Fulbright Scholar during which he got to re situate himself among his native people and to synthesize the dual consciousness or set of sensibilities that he has now come to deve lop 19 Ofori and has carried out research on Adinkra cloth symbols for many years. In addition, he is an alumnus of the Howard University Department of Art, and an avid researcher a nd writer. He is, therefore, situated in a unique position of having lived on both frontiers and gifted to be able to make and articulate useful connections to edify the souls of the dispersed Black folk in America. 19 The work with which he was involved may be accessed at

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520 Figure 9 54 Professor Ofori Ansa t alking about the role of the cowrie shell in many African cultures and its appropriation into works of art. Having such examples on hand during his lectures, allows him to use a more didactic approach to teaching. Down the stairs from his office and the le cture hall are hundreds of rare pieces of African art and he regularly takes his students to experience them firsthand. Ofori Ansa puts his time into creating visuals of the ancestral symbols and images of the Akan culture notably symbols used in creating Adinkra cloth. He has written and lectured on these topics and taken his scholarship on this all over the globe. He is adept at the application of his native countries well known application of proverbs to teaching and discourse and he uses the technique f requently and most effectively.

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521 Figure 9 55. Oh Spirits of Our Ancestors, Help Unite Africa 1974 completed one year after the artist arrived here as a student from Ghana. Figure 9 56 Kwaku Ofori Ansa Our Sun Will Also Shine or In Our Textured Wor ld Every Dot and Every Color Counts 1994

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522 In the work above he artfully employs the cloths of Africa in keeping with his theme of his preoccupation to create the rich tapestry of the landscape so of our societies. He often alludes to the richness of th comprise the human family portrayed here by the varieties of patterns in the composition. In using these materials, he also perpetuates the long African tradition of men working with cloth as well as the rhapsody of the collaged and additive element in improvisation, often seen in African visual forms. In a way, this use of all things, without hierarchy and reification of plastic elements is a consorting with Sankofa who, in other African creation myths, was also given th e sands to be scattered to create the earth. Finding creative usefulness for the small things of the earth as Jeff Donaldson also used corrugated cardboard in his work, appoints the artist to a position of priesthood arth who is the mother of all life. His intent has always been to present to the world, the uniting forces that tie us together and to show that we are one people, he says. This has been a con s tant message from him, both in conversation and in his research and publications. Kwaku researches and publishes material on the role and value of proverbs taught best through Adinkra cloth symbols, posters and audio visual material of which he distributes and lectures. Through his website, he works to achieve the goa ls and values of the African village. His purpose is one of great commitment to the spiritual health of the society on any level. This has been demonstrated by what he has brought to the students over the years. Like Malkia Roberts and others, he has si mply lived the African experience and extended a hand to the student in very special ways.

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523 Of his intent, he says that: We [I] see culture as the most potent force to ensure the survival of the human race. Our mission, therefore, is to help educate the world to various aspects of the Ghanaian culture and their relevance to the search for global peace and context of the African experience and her future. ( Ofori Ansa 2009 ) Winnie Owens Hart Growing up in Falls Church Virginia as a little gir l, Winnie Owens Hart knew early that she was a maker of things. Early, her parents bought her plasticine clay which she enjoyed. Others in the family were also creators and her family was a steadfast people. Her mother taught her pride in knowing who she was and they were not trained, like others, to step aside for other people. Her grandmother had built her own house and her cousin was the one who painted the murals at her church. In our church I ha d Black History befor e it even got to the schools, creativity and she started pinching the sticky yellow clay she encountered as the adults dug away for the foundations of houses they were building, making little pots which her mother displayed and showed to others. Winnie knew early, that what she liked to do most was to mold and make things from the sticky yellow clay around the house. Her experience, here, will demonstrate to us the making of a culture worker and ed ucator from a more feminist perspective. Our interview took place in October, 2010. She enjoyed escaping the sedentary work inside the house to be on the move outside with her father Her creativity was encouraged by her parents and the rest of the family and when she got to the integrated high scho ol in Virginia. But her high school was not a nice experience though, there she did get exposed to the wheel, She was also able to gain experience exploring all kinds of materials but she still loved clay mos t of all. For a high school project she recalls creating a large clay figure.

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524 When she decided to go to college, h er parents supported her through a private art school in Philadelphia, while others her age were being steered toward disciplines which promi sed lucrative careers. Her parents believed that they would let her choose that for which she had the passion and supported her throughout In c ollege her e ncounter s constantly reminded her of the experi ence of being African American in the larger prejudic ed society. Her work was reviled for it allusions to African aesthetics. My teachers had a hard time dealing with my imagery. My work had become Afrocentric I had started the Black Arts Union She was castigated in critiques and was shown no respect b ut fought back by tricking the critics into unwittingly admitting the brilliance in work she had presented concealed. S he continued to find working with clay therapeutic and stuck to her commitment after visiting Hampton Institute and meeting with Gill iard who she says taught at Hampton for forty five years. He became her mentor and he knew everything there was to know about clay, she told me. She became politically sensitized and after her encounter with Gilliard developed more confidence in recon necting to this age old African tradition of pottery. Gilliard had told her everything about burning and turning and the old traditions. Owens Hart went on to teach in the school system, but her interest in Africa picked up pace as she kept recalling, a s a little girl, seeing an adobe hut which she thought was a large clay pot s encyclopedia, as she recalls it. I am a very political person and during the 60s when all this stuff was going on,

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525 lessons. My work in grad school was very polit ical. 20 ( Owen s Hart 2010 ) She lapses back into her childhood days and reminisces; The Blacks in the Uni ted States had the most cruel treatment. We were not allowed to sit at the counters She re calls how when in college, she had found a tape which she had watched more than fifty times in order to learn the technique of traditional pot making, had built the pot, and it had exploded into a thousand pieces when she tried to fire it. So w hen she v isited Nigeria in 1977, as she went t raveling outside of Lagos with other colleagues, she was taken to the village of Ipetumodo. She saw an adobe granary and the ancestral nostalgia of the large clay pot came to a peak within her as she the granary reminde d her of the adobe hut she had seen years ago and of the pot she had lo s t She decided there and then, she would have to build a large pot that resembled the forms she had become used to Amidst the children and women, she took to the task ( See Figure 8 5 1 ) 21 The women of the village were amazed at her technique They said she must be one of their d aughters who had disappeared, ( as the story had been passed down through the generations ) who had returned. One older man told her that the story had been han ded down through the generations that there were people who had been taken from the village and never returned. 20 suspects by taking their clothes off in a public venue. She hate d the humiliation and racist overtones. All other quotes from Owens Hart in this section are from the same interview. 21 She recalls how she had found a tape which she had watched more than fifty times in order to learn the technique, had built the pot and

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526 Having travelled to Africa as part of the FESTAC United States delegation in 1977, she recalls that when the American contingency entered the venue for the parade of attendees, crowd went crazy. She continued: could never have seen all of those people in everybody. I was in the stands. It was the first time that I realized how important we are to the rest of the world. We are the role models. Unfortunately, [many] do not see the connection that Howard artists have made to the rest of the world. a b Fig ure 9 57 Winnie Ow ens Hart at work on a ceramic piece at left Photo pp She has embedded her likeness in the clay the soil that connects her to her ancestry. At right, on her first visit to Nigeria in 1977 she work s on a large vessel in the traditional skill of women in Ipetumodo village. Photo Marilyn Nance. At this point she pauses then she closes her eyes for a moment. She continues to paint on her tiles. For a while she does not say anything, neither do I. I wa tch her paint.

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527 Then I recall some of her earlier words. working I did my thesis at Howard on drums and slips 22 Owens Hart has named the facility she has built in suburban Virginia, for training and discoursing on pottery traditions and techniques, Ile Amo Research Center There she conducts workshops has vi siting artist s, demonstrations and lectures. When I took her course in 1982, we were given a final assignment in which we engage d in archival research on the pottery techniq ues of any African people and replicate d a piece of their work utilizing all of the techniques we had learnt over the co urse of the semester the single piece I have kept from my ceramic experience in college. Figure 9 58 Winnie Owens Hart at work p reparing p i e ces for the kiln. Others of her students have continued the direct line of the tradition. Terry deBardelaben and Reginald Pointer are now members of the Howard Faculty her work, 22 the body of a piece of pottery to create decorative forms and patterns.

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528 she summed it up saying, So my work is kind of based in a reclaimed traditional vein. 23 a b Fig ure 9 59 Owens Hart at her kiln with a glazed piece of her work As she interviewed with me, she worked on the tiles at right, preparing them to be fired These tiles, she said were for use in her bathroom. Compare to Cynthia Sands tiles on her kitchen counter arrived at in similar fashion of artist ic pe rsonalization T he zoomorphic form on the piece in her hands reappears in the tiles. Settling in rural Virginia as she has, Owens Hart has indeed displayed her resolve for ancestral connections dwelling not far from her African American roots and simultane ously re crossing the Atlantic to reconnect to her African roots and looking to the soil, earth, as the physical element of that reconnection. I have introduced her activities in the legends accompanying the images of her and her work and left room for 23 Pre sently Owens Hart also partners with one of her former students Joanne Henson on projects.

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529 th em to engage in direct discourse with the audience. They seem to need little interpretation. The final statement about Owens of her experience working with the women of Ipetumodo. She continued to return to the village for several years, until, she says, the village has now completely changed. But for her, the experience of having found her place and her pottery technique among these women, seems to have fulfilled her sojourn Thus when asked about the intent in h er work, she summed it up saying, So my work is kind of based in a reclaimed traditional vein. 24 Settling in rural Virginia as she has, Owens Hart has indeed displayed her resolve for ancestral connections dwelling not far from her African American roots and simultaneously re crossing the Atlantic to reconnect to her African roots and looking to the soil, earth, as the physical element of that reconnection. I have introduced her activities in the legends accompanying the images of her and her work and left room for them to engage in direct discourse with the audience. They speak directly to social events and problems that continue to arise from time to time in the society. She looks on closely and is a spirited culture worker on this front. 24 Presently Owens Hart also partners with one of her former students Joanne Henson on projects.

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530 Fig ur e 9 60 In conversation Professor Owens Hart referred to her Mutilation Series a series in which she worked on a smalle r scale with various narrative statements on the female body. In these she addresses cultural responses to the female sexuality and the female body as social construction. Her theses center, of course, on the various exploitations and appropriations of the African American female body over the y Figure 9 61 Reclining Nude #1 from the Mutilation Seri es Photo pp.

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531 Fig ure 9 62 Professor Ow ens Hart explains a piece of her work in progress. The piece is untitled as it is still in progress, but alludes to former exploitations and violations of the African Diaspora n female body. Malkia Roberts Among the Faculty of the Howard Art Department, per haps hardly one overtly lived the syncretized African American experience as did Malkia Roberts. She had changed her name from Lucille to Malkia meaning beautiful So much did she influence me as an artist y derived from her own and came to mean, the light of dawn as Malkia was for so many of us her students.

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532 Fig ure 9 63 T his picture accurately captures the emphatic gestural style and intense intent of Professor Malkia Roberts as an educator and arti st Photo pp. In the respect of living the Afrocentric aesthetic, there was no one as explicit as The Little Red Hen as she affectionately dubbed herself. Malkia Roberts was the living imagery and intellectual consummation of the Afrocentric aesthetic. A dopting the name Malkia she had a special way with students giving warm understanding to their circumstances and individuality. Perhaps as a result of being a teacher in the District of Columbia system for many years, she had developed useful ways in und erstanding the experiences of young African Diasporans. She was so grounded in the culture of the city and the Howard experience and a belief in the Historically Black Universities that she effortlessly wove the African experience into her teaching. She t ravelled extensively in order to come to appreciate Oceanic and Native cultures. She developed an extensive library of books on the arts of other cultures and a collection of African and African Diasporan art. In her studio classes, she brought pieces of a rt from these

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533 collections for the study of students. We worked from artworks from the Dogon, Bambara, Mende, Maasai, Owo and other peoples, which she brought in from her collection s Figure 9 64 Maasai Spirit was created in honor of her adorations of t he people and thei r communion with the land. always at once African or neo African, as the blend of direct African fabrics and metals and accessories were blended with American or Western styles of attire. Her large and resplendent jewe lry was usually directly African or if made locally, African styles. A fashionable and beautiful woman of great articulation and endless energy and emphatic and stylish gestures, her students had no recourse but to attach beauty and honor to Africa and to things African. She stood for such and her very

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534 image was symbolic of the richness and articulation of the African art forms and philosophies. She was enthra lled with indigenous populations the world over for their connection to the land and their focus on spirituality. She was especially fond of the Maasai of Kenya/Tansania and collected on them extensively. Nature, she regarded as the greatest designer and as an artist looked to it for much of her inspiration. She never ceased from insisting that her stud ents engage them selves with a study of nature, and often she would conduct her classes outdoors or send the students in search of design elements within the natural environment around the campus. Figure 9 65. Walk Together Chillun, invokes the vernacul ar language of the culture. With this, she often relaxed her students and got close to them in didactic ways. She delighted in connecting with hers students at all levels and employed tested techniques in getting the best from them. Photo pp.

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535 Figure 9 66 Sun streams by Roberts captures one of her philosophies of life. Photo pp. Above all things, was the level of her spiritual engagements, and this height was always expressed in her paintings which were of a transcendental nature. At that level, she conn ected with students, shared their joys and comforted them in their sorrows. So kindly and engaging was she, that often she would turn up with art supplies for particular students because after the last class she had learned that a student was having diffic ulties and may not have had the resources to get the necessary materials. Almost always, the class was allowed to freely use from her cart of supplies that she was never without. When Roberts learned that I was very skilled at building canvas grounds, in order to help furnish me with money for art materials, she stopped purchasing her canvases at the store and had me build them. Roberts was a true ally for the students in any matter and would represent them with great understanding, during difficulties th ey experienced. One of her statements, in

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536 particular, captures this aspect of her character. She once said, Each of us has a vital core of warmth and energy, a zest for life. When images, sensations of color, temperature and excitement coalesce, a paintin unfolds, to awesome and mystical levels. This spirit comes through in all of her works and is the subject of many of her works such as Sun streams (Figure 9 66) and Maasai Spirit ( Figure 9 64). She lived and shared the cultures of people on all the continents excepting Antartica. Figure 9 67 Guardian, 1986 This image captures the spiritual essence of the Native American people the Navahoe.

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537 Alfred J. Smith Alfred Smith does not paint African masks. He does not pa int cowrie shells or African ritual scenes. I cannot recall a work of his using Adinkra cloth symbols; no title that say, African ancestry, yet his adherence to the principle of Sankofa is replete. What he does paint is the essence of Africa rhythm. For as long as I can recall Alfred Smith has been concerned with rhythm. My first classes in drawing with him at Howard were based on rhythm. The model would move in chronological and spatial rhythm. Those were our exercises. And one of his enduring assignment s was to conn ect rhythm and pattern together within translucent forms as a means of raising sensi ti vity to nuances of value change. Little did we know the degree to which we were drawing Africa (n) back then. Fu Kiau Bunseki ( Tying the Spiritual Knot: Afric an Cosmology of the B ntu K ngo, Principles of Life and Living says that: Life is fundamentally a process of perpetual and mutual communication; and to communicate is to emit and to receive waves and radiations (minika ye minienie) This process of, receiv ing and releasing or passing them on (tambula ye w aves is to be able to react nega tively or positively t o those waves/forces ( 1980: cover) This rhythm in life is that which Smith has occupied his self. He talks of planes/levels of existence, vibra tions, time and space, rhythms of time, rhythms of space ; movement, reality, fuzzy logic, physics, being and becoming. In practice then, he seeks for the essence of himself by returning to the source of his coming to be, the very rhythms of life forces and life processes. That essenc e is amplified on the African continent where the philosophy and the cosmology re side at its riches t. Once retrieved,

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538 he synchroniz es his grasp of it into his Western realities to produce such works as we see in his portfolio. He has stated that he tries to: paint man in nature rather than above it. Realizing that all things are made of the same thing space attempt to paint w ha t we can perceive of space its movement. s our interaction with and [our ] experience in space I am no t a figure painter instrument maker, or pattern painter, but rather a man using visual expression as an instrument to gain direct experience with vibrations ( Smith 1978 ) His portfolio addresses the existential partnershi ps we encounter in everyday life. A sister sits across the table from a brother whose bohemian style suggest s ease and the flow of a spiritual energy between the two. There is a cosmic flow of communicative radiation between them. The space between the m is pregnant with life energy Her articulated hand on her cup vibrates a tenuous rhythm of acceptance of/ to him and somehow, we know that a union will be formed, life will be perpetuated and the rhythm that brought the m together to this table will contin ue to flow. And there is rhythm all around them rhythm in patterns; the pattern in his sweater, in her blouse, in the blinds which reveal another world beyond. In another work we see the mundane rhythm of walking used to define grace, beauty and fem ininity An African American male in particular understands and reacts to this rhythm in the gliding grace. A series of patterns and rhythms accompany their movement; first the curvaceous grace of their slender bodies, accompanied by the rhythm of th e folds and ripples in the cloth of their attire and greatest of all, that rhythm in the placement of their hands and this rhythm communicates vibrations of an expressive sophistication we are unable to miss. So as Bunseki has shown and as we see in the wo rk, the subject is about communicating a non verbal kind which is celebrated through rhythm. (Figure 9 68).

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539 Figure 9 68. Im p rovisational Str u t 1977 a painting o f female figures but a subject about rhythm and improvisation and continuity. Photo pp. I sat down in his office in the Art Department at Howard University on November 18 th for a final talk about his sojourn as an artist I had asked him to talk about how he became an artist and when h e first started to paint. He told me that his grandfather was a sign painter and had painted a set of murals at the church which the family attended. He had watched his grandfather paint them and he said, My mother used to spank me because instead of paying attention to what was happening ahead, I used to turn aro und to look at them behind me. Smith says that his father who had the jobs of painting these large and somewhat graphic images on trucks over which lettering would then be superimposed, as well as store and shop windows and that at the age or three

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540 or fou r, he would accompany his father and to keep him occupied he would be given a brush with paint and pages of newspaper on which he painted circles! I had listened to him continue to tell me about later when he would actually help his father with the actual work on these trucks. I would do the shapes and he would do the lettering, and I would come home from school an and he would say yes, painting today. So as an artist Alfred Smith has been building upon the technical sk ills started from the time before he was able to read or write. In fact when he was discovered as a recruit for the Howard University Department of Art, h e was still a young man and often the youngest artist in the department. And the influence of this e arly experience with the graphic depictions of one of the rituals of life in the communication world that continues with us today, is often evident in his work clean sharp lines and forms, and the lettering which he often uses to add another layer or stran d of rhythm, with which he is consumed as a painter. These influences have continued with him and he has worked in various media over the years developing a love for wood. He often speaks about his travel to Nigeria to observe local carvers at work. He has continued to focus on the rhythm in the process of creating which, for him, is transmitted through the rhythms of life. He engages himself quite often with that mystical presence space and describes it through human relationships, juxtapositions of form s, and the eliciting of spiritual presences within materials and forms. Smith is innovative in his ideas for exploring the relationship between student and teacher. He ascribes to his own approaches in engaging the student. As an

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541 example of this we see him forming the Geomonic Band, spoken of earlier in this document. This allowed him to create with the students in a community within a community, as this group became a microcosm of the larger Howard experience and art community. This village or band of arti sts as Smith refers to it, applied to art production, the concept of that Howard Becker prese nts later Figure 9 69. Detail from The Back Forest, measuring 90 concert played by The Geomonic Band Photo pp. We have seen how recu rrent the theme of music, especially Jazz is in the influence and the work of these artists. Ed Love for example, was completely taken with the jazz musicians, then reggae, and he created many works to laud them and their work. Of course jazz is that one genre emerging from improvisation and hybrid mixtures within the Afrimerican community. Like the experience lived by the people, it was developed from a mix of Diasporan inputs and a blending of Western instruments

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542 uniquely African American. This connectio n to music underscored the whole concept of the Geomonic Band as Smith explained it This series, the Black Forest based on the musical concept of Cecil Taylor, attempts to relate the discipline of musical expression to visual expression. Music is compos ed in units of time in the same way art is composed. One thing that I have always admired about musicians is their ability to communicate with one another through the use of pure sound. In addition, they perform their art in communion with one another, thu s experiencing a force which fuses their individual expressions into one harmonious whole moving in time. As we border on the threshold of sound and sight, we compose through the use of geomonic, (Geometric harmonic) shapes as a form of visual orchestrati on, moving in space. ( Smith 1980 ) He then goes on to say that he had assembled the band with students and himself as instru ment. I recall that by the time I joined the band, the number of players had been reduced Each player had a certain rhythm to be played which would consist of creating a certain from, a certain texture, a placement as dictated by the composer. On one o ccasion I had the instrument to play to create t he silhouette of a translucent bird in flight at a prescribed tempo (rhythm placement), superimposed over rhythm s already created by other players. As a technically proficient craftsman, he pursues level of spiritual connection with his materials and asks of them more than most artists dare to. In his sojourns with chasing after the metaphysical aspects of meaning, he has worked cross disciplinarily with other scholars in an effort to arrive at the place he seeks to be. More recently he collaborated with a colleague on the campus who is a theoretical physi ci st in exploring the time/space/rhythm phenomenon et more As he is never satisfied with ease, he

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543 continually pushes the borders and shares his findings an d discoveries eagerly with his students inciting their own passion for deeper examinations. Fig ure 9 70 Some students from recently ended Drawing class with Professor Alfred Smith as they have more inquiries about a piece he has brought in to demonstr ate the idea of movement, rhythm, planes and levels of seeing, and probably fuzzy logic as a concept of physics and physical reality. I n class the students had explored this idea working with the human model. Like I have used the example of Aziza Gibson Hunter and her interaction with scholar Fu Kiau Bunseki and Kongo cosmology in her work, Four Moments of the Sun to show the depth of the connections that some Howard School artists go to reclaim and present their African ancestry; and the case of Cynthia Sands to show process and

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544 source of inspiration for a particular work, Loads I use the experience of Alfred Smith to present a first hand case of a Howard School scholar who returns to the African Figure 9 71 Al Smith continues his legacy of joint v entures in this painting in which his son models and provides the lyrics that become an integral part of the painting. Here he engages a conversation with the single plane of the canvas generating several overlapping and integrated planes of narrative. Is this the visual representations of fuzzy logic concepts, and does it illustrate those many levels of our consciousness that constitute being?

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545 homeland for training and for reconnect ing to the skills of the ancestors. I have shown that many members of th e Howard art community have at one time or another returned to Africa to reconnect to their past. Many have gone by way of FESTAC, some by fellowships and grants, and some from their own resources. There is something quintessentially spiritual and symbolic about having the desire and sagacity to want to (re) cross the Atlantic and to become trained by those who have directly continued the parents! It becomes a reclamation of the culture to a h e igh tened degree. In the community forum, Smith spoke of his return within the context of what d efine s The Howard School philoso phy. [Talking about] m y experience with Lamad e Falake the Nigerian wood carver The first time I met him was at Boston University, he d id a carving demonstration. T hen th e next year I met him here at Howard University. I was very much influenced by music always have been because artists and musicians practice and perform in time. I was trying to learn how to play a tenor saxophone and I saw Lamad e do a wood carving demonst ration. He carved with an adze and at that time I thought it was a hatchet and he took this block of wood between his legs and he carved rhythmically and in such a way that it was percussive and in such a way that you could record it as music. And then I c ame to Howard and I saw him do that demonstration again. The next summer I spent my time in Ibadi, tinent was that the way that you put your vital force into what you do is you put your energy and you put your rhythm in w carving village where a group of artist s [come together] just like you at the barbershop they carve i n an open pit. And the elders who are the master wood carvers are carving in the open understand what they were saying it was a social act. A social act in that it was just like at rhythmic message of working. Weaving kente! if you go into the kente village, before yo u even get up into the V illage different looms and every Dr. Ansa, and I taught a

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546 Dr. Ansa lect ured for that class on specifically on weavers and how the weaving i dances and the pattern specifically related to the rhythm of the feet, related to the dance and related to what m anifest s in the cloth. Even pounding fufu! I just did an installation of fufu pounding sticks at the [D.C.] Convention C enter. 25 And the whole principle is [that] the male principal is the fufu pounding stick and the female principal being the mortar and t of the installation I wanna do, but I wanted to do the recording of the fufu pounding y of what you do in everything. I think you should attend your mind to the rhythm of the act. And it was the only way that I survived and Dr. B [Hayes Benjamin] can talk about that. extended period of time ... (Smith, 2010). Figure 9 72 Imag e shows a spiritually engaging depiction of Black male/female relationship. The space that exist s between them seems to be the subject of his painting and it is created in a sublime and convincing way. Photo pp. 25 Fufu is a traditional food material made by pounding dried yam (a t uberous starch) into a flour like powder which is then cooked and most often rolled into balls or pinched and eaten from the mass.

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547 Cynthia Sands Cynthia Sands finds a place in this examination of the artist s in order to demonstrate, in a general way, process and experience within The Howard School of Artist s. In this presentation of her work, we will see how the research process is usually undertaken, how a particular piece of work is conceived, processed, given life and matured to be delivered to the community. We will get to see how the lived and shared experience is stored and retrieved for application at the appropriate time that it becomes necessary for it to be given life in the context of the narrative with which the artist wishes to create a message in the present time. We will also see, from sharing her experience how The Howard School community is maintained socially spiritually and intellectually. Cynthia Sands has li ved in several countries throughout Africa and the African Diaspora and during that time, has engaged herself in an in depth study of the land and its peo ple and the ir culture Her husband has been an agricultural economist whose skills continue to be dema nded in various aligned countries and she has had the opportunity to spend years of he r life living in these diverse places to become totally engaged in the exploration of her artistic interests as she has been released from the role of bringing up childre n pouring I had to raise four children so I could not do much work then and there was this pent up energy. I h 26 26 As stated in conversation with Sands at her home studio on November 18 th 2010. Indeed, this is so, for on my visits she sh owed me works with which she was presently engaged some four series of pieces

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548 Figure 9 73 Cynthia Sands at the gate to her backyard. The recurring Adinkra symbol, gyenyame has been crafted by an ironworker for prominent placement to announce her spiritual c ommi tme nt. As a result, while she has been living in these different countries, she has been able to choose either to teach her many skills to local populations, to learn from them as she undertakes classes, or simply to engage herself in observing the rhythms o f the lives of the people, the flora and the fauna, and the textures that ties the people to the land and their environment. A fastidious photographer, with eyes that see patterns and beauty in the colors, the patterns and rhythms, the movement, the solit ary moment, the emotion and joys on simultaneously in addition to creative projects in Ghana which she manages from her home here (while in the United Sates). The volume of her work is amazingly expansive and her e xperimentation could be likened to that of a genius in a laboratory. The same prodigious outpouring was seen for Aziza Gibson Hunter who has only recently sent her last child off to college. She has recently finished and exhibited a series of forty three l

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549 the faces of people who live with little, the celebrations of live in massive carnivals and the little individual triumphs, the generation and re generation of life and the markings that we leave on nature as we sojourn in her places, she has built up a collection of thousands of images between herself and her husband who is also an ardent photographer. S he has academically developed a symphonic library of images that capture the essence of those places in the recording o f the existence and the sprit in which she has lived; Guyana, Ghana, visited Nigeria, Morocco, Uganda the Republic of Congo (Zaire) and Egypt While most of the artist s have not had the opportunity to live for as many years i n so many different countries, m any have shared similar opportunities to visit and live for extended periods either through study exchanges, study grants and fellowships, or visits on their own, as well as through the often arranged trips to the African contine nt arranged by individual s like James Hill 27 and of course, the memory of the visit of African American s to Nigeria, most of them from the Howard community (under Jeff Donaldson) still lingers with many of them. Cynthia was born i n Augusta G e orgia a nd grew up in Washington, D.C. It was not until she decided to enter college to study music that she realized that instead of studying music, she wanted to design and paint. ). I announced it to my mother; I said Her mentor Peter Robinson, then encouraged her and helped pave the path for her to proceed. 27 James Hill has over some twenty years, arranged and overseen many trips to various parts of

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550 Fig ure 9 74 Sands work shows strong influence by the Ethiopian artist her professor Skunder Boghossian. For this piece she borrows from hi s use of bark cloth as ground. Photo pp. a b Fig ure 9 75 Sands pauses to share the experimentation she is doing sewing pieces as small as an inch and a half by three of four inches together in a quilt like fashion Here she shows us the jazz like f eel of the front of the piece. In the very foreground is the back of the piece which she says is nice too. I might just work with this side and do something with it. Here she exhibits a standard J azz band and Skunder Boghossian approach to creating wor ks of art ; spontaneity! At right is a piece from her cut out series.

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551 a b Fig ure 9 76 Corners of Sands home are adorned with pieces of African art. In the picture at left a painting by AfriCOBRA artist James Phillips, is partly seen. Fig ure 9 77 D uring the interview, Sands works on one of her pieces Loads This piece in her sketch book. and has just been able to get back to making it a reality.

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552 As she works, Sands proceeds to tell me about the piece she paints which is titled Loads This piece is being developed from her past sojourn s and from her original intention s B oth sojourn and intent are engagements with rhythm and pattern and arrangement (which now infuse her work T he concept and drawing were done in 1975 while in graduate school at Howard, she told me. I notice that her ring c onsists of a cowrie shell set in metal and African beads and shells are suspended throughout her naturally formed hair Her spirituality and the atmosphere around her home take me back to the Malkia Roberts aura and I consider how productive it would be for her to be in the classroom. Figure 9 78 Cynthia making us dinner as we talk about her experiences travelling throughout the Africa n cou ntries and her workshop in Guyana

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553 a b Fig ure 9 7 9 Sands lives her work as an artist by placing it into function At left Adinkra cloth symbols and Egyptian forms have been painted on tiles and glazed to make her kitchen counters. diverse places to become totally engaged in the exploration of her artistic interests as she has been released from the role of bringing up children which she says now has allowed me to just come with this pouring out of energy, because it is as if all this time I work. [create as an artist] I had to raise four children so I could not do much work then and there was this pent stop working now. As a result, while she has been living in these different countries she has been able to choose either to teach her many skills to local populations, to learn from them as she undertakes classes, or simply to engage herself in observing the rhythms of the lives of the people, the flora and the fauna, and the textures tha t tie the people to the land and their environment. defined or objectified as one has only to be within her environments to fell inspired by the multiplicity of images and African forms that are incorporated in her liv ing spaces. Her love for and presentation for things African, surely is contagious and her quiet enthusiasm inspiring. And sure enough, as a very social person, her environment gets to serve as great inspiration to the artist of the

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554 community for she delig hts in having social functions for the closely knitted group of artists/scholars and other colleagues who roughly approximates the Howard School Artists meaning that most of her friends and colleagues are in some way affiliated with the University or the B .A.D.C. of which she is a member. Figure 9 80 kitchen cabinets and cupboards have been stenciled with African designs and patterns in a su btle blend of earthy colors and rhythm and crowned by a collection of African dolls and figures; at rig ht h er ha ndbag hangs casually while we talk in the kitchen, and I c ould not help but notice that it, too, has been spiritualized.

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555 Fig ure 9 81 Sands discourses on one of her works. Notice the influence of the work of her mentor, Skunder Boghossian on this piece. Until she identified it as her work, I had held it to be Bogho 28 28 I brought to her attention that the hemispheric forms above her hand keep re appearing throughout her work as over the course of three evenings with her, I had come to see it time and again. She was startled when I pointed out the recurrences. The forms emerged even when she composed and took photographs in different places. When a they were meant for the protection. When we traced them to some of the photographs she had composed ee them. I was just painting even realize that I was doing this, I just liked them for they reminded me of umbrellas; you know to

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556 CHA PTER 10 SUMMARY OF RESEARCH FINDINGS From hidden histories come radical futures! Dan Berger If you wish to understand the psychological and spirit ual temper of any historical period, you can do no better than to look long and searchingly at its art. For in the art the underlying spiritual meaning of the period is expressed directly in symbols Rollo May A review of the data collected, and ob servatio ns made on the voyage of this research, leave s me with some clea rly synthesized findings allusions from my earlier theses and hypotheses. I have been fortunate to have concluded this study with the possibility of arriving at such resolutions. That I have been able to confirm most of the issues I had taken into consideration. I have been content with my obse rvations and my findings on most if not all of the formulated enquiries and notions with which I approached this topic. I am sati sfied in relegating any un reconciled issues to the at large quorum of s c holarship for continued examination and discussion As Rollo May hints for us, the search need not be for some kind of truth an absolute, for there is no reconcilable truth but only a quest for satisfying t he courageous desire to explore into the unknown, and tru th is a pathway to greater self awareness and the unlocking of the boundless inner human potential. The essence of this preoccupation with pursuing any form of truth an investigation, that is reco ncilable, is the defined role of the researcher. Hence I consider myself as having successfully completed the research goals of this process and acknowledge that I have only now prepared myself to enter into the next spheres of the examination of issues un covered in the process of this sojourn. Operating against this b ackground, I admit not having been able t o ascertain unanimously from the population of the community of examination all of the factors that define and contour the definition of a Black art t hough indications are that, for the most

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557 part, many tend to ag ree with the notion of a period specific art w hich contouring may be extended to apply to art of a similar emergence and construction, a return to this t opic might be necessary and it is deserv in g of a period of full discourse It is likely that some issues will be better addressed to a wider audience of artist /scholars even on a national level. This will constitute studies to b e further pursued. Based upon my expl orative studies as well as on the lived experience, however, I proffer the idea that with respect to some past and current issues, the human factor in our examination is inescapable as it is with even the most assumingly scientific inquiry. If we allocate some room for the role of the unspoken syntax, as well as for the heuristic and colloquial knowledge of our social and cultural forms, we can arrive at fairly sophisticated levels of meaning and understanding that conglomerate into fair based knowledge. On this assu mption after this research I present the views that I have found sufficient evidence to make the following conclusions : The Howard University College (now Division) of Fine Arts has a philosophy which is indicative of an aesthetic and an ethos and encompasses a community of Howard Faculty, alumni, and community colleagues The shared experien ce and focus of this group is centered upon the Ghan a ian concept SANKOFA and places and defines it as a thematic group of artist s whose primary intent is to educate others about their African based culture and its worldview along with the mores of human spirituality and community. The community of these scholar/ artist s represented in this research by those who participated in the forum, believe that Howard University has a right to ide ntify, de lin eate and claim this school of philosophy or a e sthetic inasmuch as Howard has, through the various eras of the history of African Diasporans and especially that of African Americans, played the central role in both educating the leaders of the c ommunity and fashioning and directing the course that they have taken, either directly or indirectly. The forum members see the condition of African American s and African Diasporans as still being neg otiated in America. As such, t he y are still in the proce ss of negotiating their cultural synthesis and as a result the ir need to continue to adhere to ancestral cultural legacies is poi gnant and central to

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558 maintaining their sense of self in order to fashion their hybrid identity and define their existence. The Howard School Sankofa philosophy developed primarily with the influence of Alain Locke but was pioneered by James Herring and James Porter and grew with the support of the faculty and alumni over the years. Locke was central in the role that Howard played during the height of the era of The New Negro the Harlem Renaissance. The death of Martin Luther King harkened a new era and had a notable effect not on ly in the response of the African Diaspora population in the United States, but also on the work of Afri can A merican artist s particularly those of an d around the Howard community who had become established as activists and agents of cultural fortitude and resistance to racial supremacist attitudes Jeff Donaldson, the third chairman of the Howard University Art D epartment was resourceful in ushering in a new era of concentrated soci al and political agency addressed within the w ork of the Faculty and students, and the philosophy which he amplified was also a merging of some ideologies of the group AfriCOBRA. He furthered the Afrocentric character of the department with a reorganized curriculum and with the hiring of faculty to meet the demands of the students for African focused scholarship and teachers with a similar intent and sensitivity. The place and role of the philosophy in the department today may b e in a liminal state as there are ongoing shifts within the department as well as throughout the larger University society. As such the eventuality of t he school as it existed may be in tran s position and its outcome in need of close observation This app arent stage of transition is a reflection of the state of the larger society and the socio political and economic factors that have brought about some change in the focus of the Africa Diasporan population in America today. There is urgent need to provide much greater facilities for the care and art which contain s a vast repository of narratives of the historical sojourns of the African Diasporan experience This invaluable sou rce and record of the narratives of a people, in all of its sublime and heralded forms, is to be likened to a n unrivaled cultural library. 1 1 This refere nce has been indicated in conversations with Assistant Director of the Howard University Gallery of Art, Scott Baker and Gallery Registrar, Eileen Johnston, Tritobia Hayes Benjamin, Associate Dean of the Division of Fine Arts, as well as many others within the art community of the university

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559 The members of the Community of Howard University School Artist s are poised and willing to underta ke assisting in de claring this s chool of art a Howard University legacy and in promoting it as such. Rollo May concurs that : if you wish to understand the psychological and spiritual temper of any historical period, you can do no better than to look long and searchingly at its art. For in the art the underlying spiritual meaning of the period is expressed directly in symbols ( May 1975 ) Expanding on this a bit further, and considering the creative visual expression an object of cultural transmission if not actually taken from the past, representing it tangibly, I present art as cultural artifacts and material objects, and posit that objects are witnesses of the pa s t They are spiritual connections to events and actual happenings. Their physicality and their character which testify to having been are capable of re enacting the events to which they are connected rendering them more real. They can be touched an d if fabricated from actual elements of the time they address, they were there at the p lace, in the time that they rep resent. This fact constitutes a metaphysical philosophy and reality of enormous proportions for the spirituality of those concerned with t hese objects. The cosmology and ontology of the audience may assign them designations as vehicles of transmission through transcendence in the same way tha t the egungun mask transforms the mortal wearer/dancer into spiri t representative and the ritual inv okes the presence of the ancestors to connect with, affect, inspire and move the observer. Such metaphysical applications of the role of the work of the created form may escape Western notions of that which is considered art. But the Afriasporan (African Diasporan) by the blending of cultures into the hybridity of which we have been discoursi ng can, and have retained

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560 these heuristic elements and placed them upon Western forms and elements of oil based paints, acrylic and plastics, canvases, even lasers. 2 By associating with these forms in ritual we are able to compress the passage of time that between th eir first use or place of being and the present t h em, so that like the Christian crucifix, they become symbols. Objects preserve the past as they live wit h us in the present and speak to the future. Objects stabilize memory because memory is unstable people forget things and events and their vision of the past becomes adulterated. Objects solidify the comprehension of the state of having been re establishin g a reality. 3 In this study I hypothesized that the Afr ican A merican population was still engaged in the process of acculturation and that this idea of Afri can A merican examination is emergent. The hypothesis concurred tha t the creation of the art departme nt at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and its development became particularly reflective of the social and cultural realities of the American society, both locally within the Washington geography and infrastructure as well as nationally. I proposed that an examination of this art form and its accompanying philosophy would be a fresh and enlightening way of examining the process of acculturation among this group and that it might be reflective to some degree of the African Diasporan experience on a wh ole. I also claimed that the path of greater benefit to this examination would be through the lens of anthropology as a discipline and that the route of entry to this cultural study, 2 religions. 3 Some ideas aired October 29, 2010.

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561 the visual arts, also offered the potential for agency in cultural retent ion and positive the potential to foster spiritual upliftment and educational growth I hypothesized that the form and function of advocacy ascribed to and characterizi ng the Howard community of artist s gave it a notable quality worthy of being accredited into a genre to being a type or unit within the larger of meanings in both American and Afri merica n art. I called this type The Howard School of Art and character ized it as an art contextualized to a time, a function, a response and an intent. I gave it its own recognition and place within the annals of the study of the history of American art and the Afrimerican experience We looked at its impact both within its immediate community, nationally, and even internationally. We examined its present state of existence and its eventuality. In the process of the research, I uncovered new knowledge in many spheres and ended with a neatly synthesized package of the traversi ng of The Howard School of Art philosophy and spirit. Among the new realizations I uncovered are the fact that Howard University was created with a special mission extending tha t envisioned for other H.B.C.Us ; t he Howard Department of Ar t had both direct a nd indirect i nfluence of monumental importance on the social movements in America from before the time of the beginning of the Harlem Renaissance up to its pivotal years and its waning 4 4 This period is selected by many historians, even though it is sometimes hard for them to agree on when the period started and ended. Certainly, it was in the making from about 1919 and continued, at least in some vestige, till the early 1930s. But the height was a more concentrated time when it had gained momentum and lasting up to the cash of the stock market.

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562 I learned that there was an intimate connection between the Howard Un iversity Art Department and the Harlem Renaissance movement in a bi lateral exchange of influence and that this cross pollination was primarily carried on by Alain Locke who traversed the planes bet ween Howard University and its Art D epartment and Harlem, New York where he exerted great influence on the philosophy and operation of the movement. The influence of Howard has continued throughout all of the lapses. Howard University, by virtue of the major roles played by its scholars in advancing the welfare o f the African American locally, helped in the liberation of African peoples the world over in places as far away as South Africa. I was able to reinforce my convictions that the study of the visual art form is multi dimensional and interdisciplinary and deserves placement centrally within such fields as Ethnic Studies African American Studies ,History, Education and S ociology and Political Science among others. In t his process of examination I looked at a variety of sources and employed a range of anthro pological theories and methods. These have included widely known and utilized techniques and lesser known ones. I have dared to use techniques that push the border s of ethnography. In the long run, I crossed disciplines a nd structures to arrive at the m ean s best suite d to achieving a more enriching discourse on the topic and, as indicated before, have been fortunate almost never having had to be preoccu pied with infecting the views of my colleagues in the study. My colleagues have been my teachers, my senio r scholars and the very people who I have be e n describing as the stalwarts who have stayed their course in addressing social and cultural issues. The y are fearless innovators who speak directly to inconsistencies within the established structures as well as on academic issues and also claim a n elevated place in scholarly

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563 discourse. By having them as colleagues, in this study, and by the material having been filtered through them, my findings have become automatically edited and established within the comm unity My dedication to shifting between the roles of investigator and observer/interpreter and that of insider/researched has been cushioned within this context. As stalwart and astute critics of external examination of their work and intent, at the same time being guardians of the purity of the ideology of their School of Philosophy, they have always been the defining filters of that which emanates from an engagement with them. In other words, I mean that this community can hardly be said to be spoken f or. I have been able to draw several conclusions based upon this research. Many of these are reflected in the responses of members within and without the community. In addition to those comments recorded from the Community Forum, I have garnered other res ponses from others given at different times, in order to present a n extended first hand account of how this School has been viewed and how it has impacted the members of its communit y. Richar d J. Powell a 1977 M.A graduate say s that : The story of Howard U niversity' s Department of Art in its layered history, illustrious faculty, distinguished roster of students, and the wide influence that its educational programs have had on the world of art in the twentieth century has yet to be told in its entirety. Occa sional newspaper articles in the '70sand '80s made note of the excitement and creative energy that seemed to proliferate in and around the department, especially under Jeff Donaldson's chairmanship Akili Ron Anderson expresses the view that: so we can write the history. We want to do monuments monuments that will stand for a long time e monuments are in the church permanent edifice to be seen and kept for the perpetuati on of the people.

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564 Yvonne Pickering Carter, in direct conversation with me said: You [One] may look at my work and not see Africa in it, but if you [one is] are doing performance, music, movement as They ( [the Howard Art F aculty] are concerned with the meaning of culture historically and functionally in our daily lives Tritobia Hayes Benjamin has written much on this art department and its artist over the years, and says there is an, political and cult ural legacy that permeates the and that they are, Kojo Fosu, Ghanaian art history faculty member said that t intent and work releases the accumulated within the socio logic al context of their existence and they address the challenge of how to effect change on a social and humanitarian level Constance Porter Uzelac, ( Uzelac 2005 ) daughter of James A. Porter a nd current Executive director of The Dorothy Porter Wesley Research Center 5 makes reference to, ...Howard's pioneering role in enlarging opportunities for Negroes in the visual arts saying that : We have made a big contribution...We were th e first to sen d exhibitions to the South to schools whose students were allowed admission to the museu ms We've sent our graduates to teach in those schools. We've exhibited works of Negro artist s here purposely to help them have a hearing. Also, by meeting the high stan dards of the College Art association, the American Federation of artist s, and the National Association of Schools 5 The Dorothy Porter Wesley Researc Porter, the prominent Howard University art Professor and second Chairman of the Howard Art Department.

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565 of Art, we've gotten the kind of academic recognition that has won us respect from white and Negro alike 6 As some of the artists in the commu nity have shown, art should be explored for its agency its potential to go beyond mere aesthetic pacification. Desmond McFarlane says it well. Unless art gives something more than pleasure, it hardly justifies itself as being worthy of serious considerati on or critical study. It must open and reshape the mind, foster the intellect, educate, and encourage inquiry by bringing to life a greater sense of the human condition. Ofori Ansa has said: In the spirit of my African tradition, art, to me, is life and life is art. The creative arts are at the core of the soul of humanity and are the vehicles for ensuring that the world retains its humanity. My art seeks to reveal the hidden truth of our African experience and preserves the wisdom of our past in order t o build a firm foundation for a brighter future. Edward Shaw says that: Our art is the language in which we speak for the psychic restoration and the bolstering of our spirituality which never left us. Together, these give us the physical strength to endu re and the vision to create intellectual missiles to affront imperialism, and we do so with love. Percy Hicks said: I intend to communicate social experiences on a visual level that speaks of the ist is the spiritual source through which humanity is expressed As we perhaps can see, the do minant concern here is that of coming to the realization of what it is to be and that the acculturation process is about the quest to become. Since becomin g begs a process, acculturation and becoming are synonymous, and since becoming is perceptual and contingent on two poles or 6 In a letter reprinted in A Proud Continuum: Eight Decades of Art at Howard University p. 24.

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566 reality self and the world of which self is a part, becoming represents no more than a psychological journey into a state of being but which experience is dependent upon tangible choices and functions of operation. As such then, The Howard School of Artist s has been agent of the exercise of the human quest to be. As a select prototype of individuals, they have had the encoun ter, developed their craft, committed themselves as culture brokers, decided to educate their communities, and have sometimes even forfeited potentials for social and material advancement for the voice of being the watchman. As Rollo May says, their rol e is to The artists thus express the spiritual meaning of their culture and if we can read their meanings, we come to the discovering of new forms, new symbols, new patterns on which a new s ociety can be built. (May 1975: pp. 22 23). The Howard School of Artist s, faced with a challenge to their sense of the world and what it was, contriving a sense of self and finding the roots upon which to anchor the vestiges of this consciousness, set about to search for a truth one that would make beauty and splendo r out of horror and despair; to give hope and to introduce potential where there was apathy; to educate where there was ignorance, and to replace ancestral and aesthetic disdain w ith accepta nce of self and the knowledge of one's rootedness with the pa t In this way, they set the course in educating the American culture into a civilized way of perception.

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567 Figure 10 1 Figure Drawing, Fall 2010, modeling the foot a symbolic image of the journey and course ahead. At this time t here seems less of the observable passion for the African and ethnic centered element in the philosophy and practice of the department as it is within t he larger society The larger society has been transformed There has been a relaxation of African American social and political clai ms. Some gains have been made and there is seeming contentment for the time being. The gains that are left to be made by African American s are the eradic ation of the insidious and institutionalized forms of racism that continue throughout the structures of the American society. But it is difficult to galvanize protest against such except in the case where the centralized federal or regional authorities are involved, as in the recent outcry and discoveries of issues surrounding the handling of matters in the wake of the hurricane destruction in New Orleans Seemingly, opinions become stirred again on the age old issues of race and injustice in America, but t he events now have been either too localized, too temporal, or too

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568 promised to a resolution, to attract mass action. In this way the local communities have become dormant, in a seeming contentment, and a shift of energies has moved concerns to a more comm e rcially viable direction, or has reverted to commentary on examination of the self and that to which we might call auto bio i dentification. The becoming of things has run its cycle and must follow the rules of the cultural phenomenon sustain itself and r eside, or morph into dormancy to contemplate change. This confrontation wit h eventuality is a direct reflection of the artist s' contemplation of life and of being and of the quest to perpetuate the experience of having realized and given form to present tr uths.

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569 CHAPTER 11 EPILOGUE The auditory and the visual worlds are different. The former s more linear and the latter more holistic Edward T. Hall Almost at the end of my research I came to the realization that this engagement had in fact taken me full ci rcle over the past several years I had been awarded the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship to pursue study of the collection of art then held by the parent administra tive body of the Fellowship awarded me The Florida Education Fund. The collection had been acq uired by the vision of Israel Tribble the then President and Chief Executive Officer of the Fund. His vision was for this collection to be used as a teaching and educational inst rument for Floridians. He had the vision for art being a tool of education and especially so for the African American population in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. As a result of this purchase The Florida Education Fund seceded into created to house this collect ion. The history of this collection, the Barnett Aden Collection is notable. The purchas e was made from Adolphus Ealy a onetime school teacher in Washington, D.C. who had inherited the collection and had sought to have it remain in Washington, D.C. if gove rnment officials would provide a place to house and display it to the public. He would have the collection available for permanent loan to be viewed by the public But a fter lobbyi ng to this effect for some time, Ealy was afforded a somewhat temporary spac e for the collection in Boca Raton ., south Florida. It was during this housing of the works that Israel Tribble The First President and Chief happened to see the collection and with his vision, decided upon acquiring it for the Florida Education Fund. Ad olphus Ealy had been a mentee of a man already introduced to us in this study.

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570 Ealy was an art teacher and cared well about art and its place within society. This man who bequeathed the collection to Ealy in his will was the founder of the Howard Universit y Art Department, James Herring! Herring had developed and shared the collection jointly with his friend Alonzo Aden who was the first curator of the newly instituted Howard University Gallery of Art The two friends had pioneered the opening of the small not far from the Howard University campus. On the death of Aden, the aging Herring had come into sole poss ession of the collection and sought for someone who he thought had the commitmen surprised to come to the know ledge that he had inherited a collection of that magnitude. Though eventually The Florida Education Fund had to sell t he collection, for some years it remained, and still is evidence of the organization and ing that art was one of the significant ways of educating the people. By acquiring the collection, in the first place, he had displayed the conviction in the belief tha t art was an educational tool. So as I studied the impact that this small gallery had in the Washington, D.C. community and the Howard University art community, offering exhibitions to dispos sesse d artist s who would not otherwise have had their work seen in galleries at the time, I realized that I had had the opportunity to present a phenomenon that had taken me on an adventure that had gone full circle. I had returned to the very place I had started in a route as circular as that suggested by Sankofa.

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571 A PPENDIX A INITIAL COMMUNICATION PACKAGES SENT TO POTENTIAL PARTICIPANTS OF FORUM ( After having discussed the outlines of this intended research with members of t he community over some months, I found it useful to standardize the approach and prepared an i ntroductory packet of material with an introduction of the project which could be read with more attention and focus, and to which they could respond if necessary The packet was forwarded both by hardcopy mailing and delivered by hand, to the commun ity mem bers. The material below rep resents the packets forwarded.) The Howard School of Art I have studied the group of African American artist s associated with Howard Uni versity in Washington, D.C. and have selected to work with them as colleagues because they are notable and admirable for their attempts at seeking to retain aspects of their African ancestral past while presently living as a marginalized people within the United States. In an overt way, t hey continue to recognize and laud their ties to their Af rican homeland seeing themselves as migrants to this country by way of the forced expulsion of their African ancestors from Africa They adhere to a dominant Afrocentric ideology and similar deep structured cosmological and ontological perceptions. I refe r to them as The Howard School of Artist s. They cognitively express their Afrocentric ideologies w ithin their visual works of art and I hold their art readable as literary works encompassing aspects of their history, and socia l and political struggles. T hey have made their works into literary agents for the perpetuation of ancestral legacies Having spent several years living alongside these artist s, I formulated this research project based on this preliminary series of observations. Over the years the w orks of these artists have been pivotal in the coalescing of a community of some of the

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572 most astute a nd culturally aware scholars on the African American experience as exists anywhere in the world. Collectively, they have succeeded in placing the Howard U niversity Department of Art as the central magnate and premier place of recovery of African American and African Diaspora cultural heritage and aesthetic. They have fashioned themselves into cultural griots and cultural wa rriors according to Tritobia H ayes Benjamin and Akili Anderson, and fostered and nurtured several generations of intellectually and culturally prepared students for the perpetuation of the legacies of their heritage. Several of these artist s are now much older, have retired as facult y members, and remain rich sources of knowledge an d experience that needs to be recorded and preserved. (Updating to the present, five of thes e scholars Professors Skunder B oghossian, Jeff Donaldson, Murray Depillars, Edward Love, and M alkia Roberts) have passed on. It is poignant that the history and intent of this Institution of the Black community locally and nationally, be recorded and kept for the posterity of the African Diaspora populations and for all those who are scholars of the ideologies and s truggles as well as the contributions and successes of people of African descent in the United States. The contributions and impact of these artist s, was not solely centered on the production of works of art. Instead, as educators they advocated the re vis ioning and re examination of representations; a move toward more Afrocentric education (Asante, 1987) They are educators advocating a culturally re levant ideology relying on the Sankofa paradigm suggested by Alain Locke. They model and integ rate the philo sophies of such unrepresented scholars as Carter G. Woodson, Alain Locke, W.E.B. Dubois, Marcus

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573 Garvey, Malcolm X, Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglas and others, while recognizing the contributions of others such as John Dewey, Howard Gardner and thos e who had opened their discourse to connect artist ic expression to the lived experience. In this, they educated their students for acute cultural awareness, for agency and for life Through my discussions and interviews with this community of scholars, I h ope to collect information to present a reconstruction of the historical, social, cultural, and political climate of the era during which the work of th is community artist may have reached their height in agency within the social struggles of the black ex perience in America This will inform on how this era shaped them or how they helped shape it. What was the social climate like around the Howard campus then and what role did the general ideological inclination of this institution play within the struggl es for identity and recognition among the African American population ? This understanding will provide the context within which these artist s emerged and work I will use this study as a template for future studies of other diaspora peoples.

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574 APPENDIX B STUDY ABSTRACT Abstract How Diaspora people negotiate their social, cultural, and ethnic identities within their new environments will be evidenced within the work of the artist s in the society. On examination it appears that a group of African Diaspora vi sual artist s whom I have dubbed The Howard School of Artist s (HSA) in Washington, D C existing within and around Howard University, while conforming to some norms of the processes of acculturation, collectively and cognitively seeks to resist cultural a bsorption holding fast to a retention of the legacies of their ancestry, and utilizing these legacies to divulge cultural cognition to their audience. Their art, therefore assumes the role of agency in a social and cultural way. Given the creative visual e xpression (art) as a viable and resourceful route to investigating cultures, this study of The Howard School of Artist s focuses on the application of art as advocate or cultural retentive agent. The research seeks to discover and document agency in the wor k of this group of artist s. The visual form as seminal narrative of cultural expression is pursued in this research across several anthropological theories applicable to the study of cultural processes related to Diaspora issues. The study examines the lar ger questions related to migration and displacement, and its strategy of entry is a dialogue in visual culture through the lens of visual anthropology. The methodologies pursue a historical contextualization of the emergence of the Howard School of Art. This is accessed through archival archeology,

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575 ethnography through interviews, participant observation, community groups, seminar and conference participation, recall, and cros s disciplinary historiography. The study provides a useful template based on crea tive artist ic expression as material culture, for the continued examination of the experiences of diverse Diaspora people. In this way it opens another page within the Diaspora discourse a discourse defined by cross disciplinary studies, and praxis for eff ect ing social change. The template, here, is especially useful for applied anthropological ventures.

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578 APPENDIX D PARTICIPANT FORUM CORRESPONDENCE Howard School of Art COMMUNITY PARTICIPANT FORUM The Howard School of Art community participant forum is one stage of an information gathering process examining the role of the creative visual phenomenon (art), the emergence of this school its philosophy, its structure and it s po tential as agent. The forum bring s together a rare group of artist s, art historians, administrators, writers and art critics, alumni and professors of the Howard University (Department) Division of Art, and introduce s members of the group AFRICOBRA whi ch philosophy helped galvanize the pivotal years of the flourishing of this Howard S chool. The forum is, therefore, comprised of a representative community of the Howard art experience and includes scholars who have contributed to its formation an d existen ce; written on its personnel, its structure and characteristics, and lived aspects of its existence over a period of over half a century. This project is an attempt to place on record the immense contributions of these artist s/scholars to the education of their students and to the local, national and international communities, as well as the recognitions they have brought to themselves and to th e university in recognizing the superior and persisting value of the visual creative form as narrative and agent o f the cultural experience. We also suggest this forum as a tribute to those who were pillars of this community who have passed on into new phases of life: Professors Skunder B oghossian, Murray Depillars, Jeff Donaldson, Edward Love and Malkia Roberts. We fondly recall their contributions and seek, through this and other avenues, to continue their scholarship.

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580 1. 2. 3.

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582 Meeting Agenda Dr. Tritobia Hayes Benjamin and Ed Shaw Monday Sept 27 th 1.30 p.m Dr. Benjamin: These are some of the immediate issues I am hoping we can discuss at this time. 1. Scheduling of HSA forum options and probabilities: day of week reduction to half a day durati on, continuing more in depth interviews at a later date 2. Audience participation: students; (already addressed with Everett) colleagues who have exhibited interest in attending 3. Facilities and acquisitions: tables and dressings by catering team (forum ch airs?) audience? chairs ? location of catering/lunching 4. Permission to access and perform quick review of archive of past issues of Faculty Exhibition Catalogues ( The following letter was dispatched to all forum members two hours follo wing the meet ing with Hayes Benjamin).

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583 September 27, 2010 Dear Howard School of Art Community Forum Colleague: This communication is with respect to the scheduling of the HSA forum which we are anticipating will be realized very soon. Subsequent to my meeting wi th Benjamin earlier today, we have moved to make the following arrangements. These arrangements are based on the campus calendar and the busy schedule that has been established for the use of the gallery for various meetings and functions. As such, I regre t the brevity of the lead time, but request that you make whatever effort you can to participate so we can benefit from your valuable input as your place on the platform has been specifically hand picked to balance the voice of the community. These are the present arrangements and we have so far been able to confirm these with several colleagues. The duration of the forum has been reduced to a half a day. Date: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2010. Time: 1.00PM, to end at 5.00pm or as the momentum dictates. Place: THIRD GALLERY, Howard University Gallery of Art, Art Department. Facilities: Notepads, sketchpads, refreshments beverages and snacks. I am including a floor layout of our proposed conferencing site. Also, please be reminded that there will be a video te am present as we intend to utilize this footage for future production of a documentary on The Howard School of Art. The video team has asked that we try to avoid attire in bright red and highly contrasting bold stripes. There will be one rotating table mou nted microphone between two persons. We anticipate a small audience of students and fellow colleagues who will likely wish to ask questions after each session. Please note the three problematized areas of discussion proposed. We anticipate that major emp hasis will be placed on the second topic. I have noted some thoughts in each category which I hope will be useful in triggering discussion. Please be prepared to give us a brief statement on your affiliation to the Howard community and, probably, your ant icipated contributions to the forum discussion. Since the program will be edited, we may feel entirely free to ad lib as this will be an unscripted venture. We will especially value (humorous) anecdotal material. I would appreciate your confirmation in me eting this arrangement as soon as possible, and thank you immensely for sharing your time and knowledge both for myself and for Alma Mater. Sincerely, Edward Shaw (352) 275 6582 edshaw@ufl.edu

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584 HOWARD SCHOOL OF ART (HSA) COMMUNITY PARTICIPANT FORUM October 1 st 1.00pm, Howard University Gallery INQUIRY NUMBER I IDEAS ON ART AND CREATIVITY All of the cosmological, ontological and metaphysical conceptualizations of a cultural group or society will be recorded implicitly or explicitly within the work of its artist (e)s. Art is culture and the best way to examine the innermost patterns of a culture is through an examination of its art. Any study of a culture or society should begin with the examination of its art. The arts are like the food for the nourishment of the soul of humanity, Ofori Ansa Creativity is the highest form of cognitive expression known to humankind. Creativity begins with the encounter. The creative experience (art) is making somet hing meaningful from nothing creating order and beauty from chaos. To be creative is to challenge the gods (Rollo May). (Rollo May) pure courage courage to step outside the controls and refractory borders placed aroun d various spheres or orders of our existence. No artist has his /her complete meaning alone. artist ; name unrecorded : PBS show September 2010 One of the greatest gifts one can get is to be able to make something that can carry on for people to see an d dialogue with through the generations even after one is long gone. Making things with our hands is as old as civilization (and older) and is one with our very existence. To make something beautiful and original as well, is to combine the most ancient wi th the newe s t But to create s omething totally new is godlike, (Paraphrased from Rollo May). In the process of c reating, the artist seeks for immortality.

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585 Culture, now, does not much beget one pursuing a career in the arts. So why do we continue to do it? (Paraphrased from Rollo May) Is it because the artist in creating, is neither about seeking a career nor denying him/herself one but must fulfill the existential role of being a creator answering to that for which she/he has been called? INQUIRY NUMBER II IDEAS ON THE ARTIST S OF THE HOWARD UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY There is an identifiable Howard Schoo l philosophical ( and aesthetic ) style If anyone had any doubts about there being a Howard aesthetic, this should show them, Patrick Swygert in o pening remarks at the opening of A Proud Continuum: Eight Decades of Art at Howard, 2005. Process in the HSA Sankofa experience: encounter; recognition; practice/training (technique); existential awareness; sociological, cultural and political consciou sness; heuristic language development; vision for utility and agency toward application and praxis; Sankofa synthesis. They (Howard Art Department Faculty) are cultural warriors Tritobia Hayes Benjamin The pivotal years of The Howard School were the The HSA that was to mature during the pivotal years had its foundation laid from the inception of the Department under James Herring and James Porter. The Sankofa paradigm became most prominently engrained within the philosophy and the nucleionic pivotal years of the HSA under Jeff Donaldson. Jeff Donaldson is undoubtedly the charismat ic figure in the HSA drive into its pivotal years. The way to account for agency in the work of the HSA artist Howard University can be said to have played a pivotal role in the struggles of African and African Diaspora n peoples all over the world from before the Harlem Renaissance to Brown vs. Board of Education and beyond; and the Howard culture has revolved, to a large degree, around its art and aesthetic philosophies.

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586 Howard has assumed the responsibility for procuring and m aintaining the kernel of the cultural soul of all peoples of African descent. That charge is essential to the continued existence of a liberated African consciousness. Its core potential lies within the liberated minds of its brightest and most courageous advocates in the most essential sphere of African consciousness its culture, realized through the arts. Howard University must uphold this charge, and we, her sons/daughters, are her agents to carry on this struggle. The question becomes, Can we and will we? INQUIRY NUMBER III THE PROJECTED PATH OF THE HOWARD SCHOOL OF ART The growth and existence of The Howard School of Art philosophy and aesthetic, has been a cultural phenomenon. Cultural forms are developed, grow, and are either sustained unadulter ated, sustained with adaptations, or become un sustained and retreat or are wholly modified A careful study of history reveals all of the essential truths about any phenomena. To best understand cultural phenomenon, St Clair Drake suggested the use of th e Historicist Paradigm a system of examination which is existentialist and phenomenological. The historicist paradigm is the mother of the Human Materialist paradigm set out below. Cultures are developed through interactions with geographical and ecologic al infrastructure, begetting a social structure which, in turn, begets an ideological structure. The ideological structure informs and requests the social and conceptual needs of the society from the infrastructure gnarel la, Human Materialist Paradigm ) Hence culture is dynamic, always evolving; never static. Such transformations are reminiscent of cultural processes The state of hegemony of the African American people predisposes them to transitions in transac ting their cultural identities. This is Du double consciousness, the dichotomic stance that must seemingly and unwaveringly accompany every didactic response of the African American to experiencing life. It becomes a constant psychic monkey on the back and devours much of the energy in the short life spans of its hosts. With this background in focus: Is The Howard School of Art a transforming phenomenon, which we will lose in our still ongoing process of acculturation or transition? Are The Ho ward School of Art and its philosophy and aesthetic as it matured, still as sustained as they were in earlier years?

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587 Does The Howard School of Art have the potential to maintain its role as the culture brokers for African Diaspora n people? Assuming t hat it is of value to retain the philosophies of the Sankofa paradigm and The Howard School aesthetic, how is this best accomplished given the present social, cultural, economic, and academic climates and trends? What is the future of a philosophy of cult ural and socio political agency within the Howard Art Department? FLOOR SITE LAYOUT H.S.A. FORUM Gallery II I HU Gallery of Art Se

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588 COURAGE TO CREATE What if imagination and art are not, as many of us might think, t he frosting on life but the fountainhead of human experience? What is the relationship between art and culture? What does it mean to create? THE HOWARD SCHOOL OF ART Social and political agency and the quest for cultural synthesis COMMUNITY FORUM DISCUSSION A panel discussion to include audience participation Discussants to include: Tritobia Hayes Benjamin, Professors Winnie Owens Hart, Alfred J. Smith, James Phillips, Frank Smith, Akili Ron Anderson, Reginald Pointer, Floyd Coleman, Ofori A nsa Aziza Gibson Hunter, Scott Baker, Roberta McLeod, James Brown Cynthia Sands FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1 AT 1.00PM Gallery III Howard University Gallery of Art _____________________________________________________ This is a private research project and is independent of Howard University the Howard University Department of A rt and its Gallery of Art. The inquirer, Edward Shaw (M.F.A. is conducting this forum for dissertation research at the University of Florida _________________________________ ___________________________________________ __ Please join us as we re visit relevant and poignant issues on art and the Howard University Department of Art. Refreshments will be served

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589 NOTICE This function is being videotaped. This taping will be used for educational purposes and for future use in a documentary on The Howard School of Art. By entering into Gallery number III during the filming of this program, you are simultaneously giving your permission for your image o r any likeness thereof, record ed here, to be used for this intent and for fut ure progra mming Your response to this notice in being a part of the audience c onstitutes your written agreement with the notice given above. If you would like to benefit from the contents of the program, bu t do not wish to be recorded in the audience, please leave your name and contact information on the notepad provided and you will be contacted at a later date Thank you. Edward J. Shaw (edshaw@ufl.edu)

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592 Please document the number of times each terminology below or something close to it appears in conversation throughout the discourse Howard artist s/Howard Faculty/the Faculty Alain Locke James Herring James Porter Africa/African/African Diaspora Jeff Donaldson/ Donaldson/Jeff Sankofa Ancestry/ancestral/ancestors/legacy Culture/cultural Ethnic/ethnicity Identity/self/consciousness AfriCOBRA Education/agency/function Students History/memory/connecting to/past/future People/community

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594 APPRECIATION OUTLINE Sp ecial thanks to forum panelists: Akili Ron Anderson Ofori Ansa Reginald Pointer Winnie Owens Hart Roberta MeLeod Tritobia Hayes Benjamin Cynthia Sands James Brown Alfred Smith Aziz a Gibson Hunter Scott Baker Thanks for administrative support Tritobia Hayes Benjamin Gwen Everett Floyd Coleman Ofori Ansa Scott Baker Eileen Johnston Video team Kamau Hunter, Chief camera operator Dalton Salmon, Jr., sound and camera operator Anthea Seymour recorder and statistician Graphic advisor Mark Bartley Logistical support Sonia Salmon, Yvonne and Walther Gayle, Beverley and Carlton Mcfarlane Filming AIYE EMI STUDIOS

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595 APPENDIX E DEBRIEFING AND FOLLOW UP CORRESPONDENCE TO FORUM MEMBERS TO : H.S.A. Forum Participants SUBJECT : Thanks, debriefing, and requests DATE: October 3. 2010 Thank you so much for giving of your time and your knowledge in being a part of the Howard University School of Art Community Part icipant Forum on Friday, October 1 St We are appreciative of the fact that you saw the need to make this a part of your agenda and we appreciate you sharing your insights with us. We benefitted immensely from your presence as a part of this panel of scholar s and our joint commitment to this effort was well received by our audience. The program was very successful and I have had commendable feedback which I pass on to you. I feel sure that the knowledge generated from this discourse will add to the breadth of the scholarship within academia. Below are several pieces of information I would like to share with you. I will make copies of transcripts available to all p articipants as soon as they are generated. Each participant will also receive a DVD copy of the f irst cut edited program for review and later, up to four copies of the final edit. You will recall that in lieu of offering you an honorarium, I had asked you to participate with me in a donation to the Porter Colloquium Fund through this giving of your time and your intellectual capital. While the amount in no way reflects the value of your gift, I have committed to and made a donation of $5 00.00 to the fund. I have asked Everett to acknowledge each participant for his/her contribution to the combined ef fort. You should receive a note to this effect soon. As a requirement for my matriculating institution I request that you sign and return the consent form enclosed earlier with your packages. I am enclosing a new form for your convenience, and would be grateful if you would include the signed copy with the other material below. Panelists who have already returned this form, please overlook this request and I thank you. Again, I want to express my appreciation for your assistance. Please be assured that this forum has set the stage for a series of developments geared at benefitting our Howard Art Department and the larger Howard community as well as the African American and African Diaspora communities en mass. Your presence with us at this

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596 forum has esta blished a firm foundation for these events to come, and your gift to the community will be noted Sincerely, Edward Shaw

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597 PLEASE ATTEND AND RETURN Please give the following your consideration and return by way of the envelope atop the Faculty mailboxes in the Art Department. I had continued the dialogue with Everett on the issue she raised toward the end of the program. As I gave it more thought, I decided to present it to you, the forum members, to get your response. The con cern is that in referring to t his Howard phenomenon as a school of art, I may be relegating it to consideration as often used to address a group aesthetic and that the aspects of a larger philosophy, spirit and community, might be under read or lost in the response. As such I have g iven consideration to this and though the idea of a philosophy seems inherent within the idea of a school of thought, since we intend to create a realm of discourse on the topic, the references must be explicitly clear. Thus I would like to have your inp ut on this matter on two levels: The first is: Does the present term of reference school accurately represent the intent? The second is: Do you perceive that the present term, may become misconstrued? Would the term Howard (Sankofa) Ar t Philosophy be a better semantic choice? Please indicate your perspective by placing an X for no or a Y for yes to the left of each statement. Please s trike out or allow Sankofa to remain if you agree to the use of this term Please also indicate below the years in the history of the Art Department that you would consider pivotal years or the years of the height My final request is to ask your assistance in arriving at the ev er evasive short list of artist s whose work represents a sufficient breadth of the work of The Howard School of Art artist s within the paradigms of discussion. This list is to serve as a sample for immediate examination. For the purpose of the future docum entary, a much wider survey of artist s will be included. I suggest a sample below for this short list and indicate the reasons for the selections. Please indicate your agreement with each selection by placing a check mar k to the left of each nomination T he choices were made to provide a balance in: 1. Representation of gender and African ethos among the other aspects 2. Representation of The Howard School of Art as faculty and students among other aspects 3. Representation of origin in the African Diaspora among o ther aspects 4. Representation of topics of interest and entry to cross disciplines

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598 5. Representation of overt address to Sankofa paradigm among other 6. Representation o f the cultural retentive agency the manifestation of the potential to affect and re direct foc us and connections To each name in the suggested list is attached one or more of the indicators of balance stated above. Some criteria are applicable to everyone and are sometimes not necessarily attached to a name as I have done with number one (1) re presentation of gender and number two (2) representation of faculty and students. If you eliminate a name from the list you are asked to write in another which approximately fulfills the same ( numbered ) criteria The list set out here is somewhat p recariously balanced and has been long deliberated. It has been challenging because this has had to be a short li s t Please be reminded that this study does often allude throughout to other artist s and that the extension of this study into the documentary will be extensive and more inclusive. Edward Love 1 5 Malkia Roberts 1 2 5 Ofori Ansa 1 2 3 Alfred Smith 1 4 Hunter 1 2 5 1 2 5 1 2 6, James Brown 1 2 5 Jeff Donaldson 1 5 Thank you for your continued assistance on this project. Please enclose your r esponses in the envelope marked The Howard School of Art COMMUN ITY PARTICIPANT FORUM RESPONSES, placed atop the faculty mailboxes in the Art Department. Sincerely, Ed Shaw

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599 October 4, 2010 Gwen Everett Chair, Art Department Howard University Division of Art 2455 6 th Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20059 Dear Everett: I wish to thank you for your cooperation and assistance in realizing the success of Th e Howard School of Art Participant Forum on Friday, October 1, 2010. There have been many favo rable responses to the project so far. I have continued to consider your suggestion for problematizing the term school as used to describe the Howard philosoph y of which we discourse, and have placed it before the forum participants to get their views on the matter. I have attached a copy of the debriefing communication to them for your information. I am enclosing a check in the amount of $100.00 to complete th e promised total of $500.00 however given the expenses of the filming of the forum I request that you place this check on record for later deposit on advice. In the meantime, however, I ask that you acknowledge the participants of the panel for their part as joint contributors as indicated in past correspondence. The participants have been Tritobia Hayes Benjamin, Ofori Ansa James Brown, Aziz a Gibson Hunter, As s t Reginald Pointer, Professor Alfred Smith, Roberta McLeod, Akili Ron Anderson, Professor W innie Owens Hart, Scott Baker, Cynthia Sands and Floyd Coleman and Frank Smith in absentia (they were unable to make the schedule and will forward their input in time). Thank you again for your kind assistance along the way and I will certainly apprise you of the consensus of the forum members on the issue you raised. Sincerely, Edward Shaw

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600 October 4, 2010 Dr. Tritobia Hayes Benjamin Associate Dean and Gallery Director Division of Fine Arts Howard University 2455 6 th Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20059 De ar Hayes Benjamin: It is hard for me to thank you enough for the role you have played in helping me realize this successful coming together of such a cadre of scholars for the Howard Art Forum. There have bee n a considerable number of favo rable comments o n the program and the audience seems to have benefitted a lot. Without your support all along the way, it is unlikely that I might ever have been able to get such a program together in this way and I am especially grateful to you for the gracious way in w hich you have accommodated my requests. I must mention especially your role in assistin g me to get the permission from Ms. Steiner at the Bank of America for filming against the backdrop of the exhibition. Also I thank you immensely for helping me to acces s the Faculty Art Exhibition catalogues and especially for the great bit of oral history you shared with me on the 1975 catalogue which so enriched my study. The anecdotes surrounding the faculty group photograph in the catalogue and the metaphor of the tr ee along with the placing of Jeff Donaldson relative to the others surely heighten the meaning of the image. It will be presented within my dissertation. I am happy to add these useful meanings to my understanding for my dissertation document. Thanks for all of your valuable assistance. Sincerely, Edward Shaw

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601 LIST OF REFERENCES Adams, Moni 1989 African Visual Arts from an Art Historical Perspective. African Studies review 32(2 (September)):55 103. Aguilar, John L. 1981 Insider Research: an ethnography of a debate In Anthropologists at Home in North America:Methods and Issues in the Study of one's own Society. D.A. Messerschmidt, ed. Pp. xyz zxq. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1996 Breaking the Chains o f Psychological Slavery. Tallahassee: Mind Productions & Associates. Alexander, T. M. 1987 John Dewey's Theory of Art, Experience, and Nature. Albany: State University of New York Press. Andrews, E. A. 1836 Slavery nad tthe Domestic Slave Trade in t he United States. Boston: Light & Stearns. Ani, Marimba 1980 Let the Circle be Unbroken: The Implications of African Spirituality in the Diaspora. New York: Nkonimfo Publications. 1994 Yurugu : An African centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior. Trenton, N.J.: Africa World Press. Apidta, Tingba 1998 The Hidden History of Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C.: The Reclamation Project. Baker, Scott 2005 From Freedmen to Fine Artists. In A Proud Continuum: Eight Decades of Art at Howard University. Washington, D.C.: Howard University Gallery of Art. 2009 2010 Conversations on The Howard schoolof Art. E. Shaw, ed. Washington, D.C.: Unpublished. Banks, Marcus Howard Morphy, ed. 1997 Rethinking Visual Anthropology. New Haven: Yale Univ ersity Press. Barnland, Dean 1992 Art and the Cultural Unconscious. In Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication : Portland, Oregon.

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602 Barnwell, Andrea 1999 The Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art. Find, ed. find: find. Seattle : Univer sity of Washington Press. Barrett, Stanley R. 1996 Anthropology : a Student's Guide to Theory and Method. Toronto ; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press. Barthes, Roland 1981 Camera Lucida : Reflections on Photography. New York: Hill and Wang. Bearden Romare and Harry Henderson 1993 A History of African American Artists: From 1792 to the Present. New York: Pantheon Books. Becker, Howard S. 1982 Art Worlds. Berkeley: University of California Press. Bee, Robert L. 1974 Patterns and Processes: An I ntroduction to Anthropological Strategies for the Study of Sociocultural Change. New York The Free Press. Ben Amos, Paula 1989 African Visual Arts from a Social Perspective. African Studies Review 32(2):1 53. Boas, Franz 1955 Primitive Art. New York: Dover Publications. Bolles, Lynn 1996 Anthropological Research Methods for the Study of Black Women in the Caribbean. In Women in Africa and the African Diaspora. R.T. P.a.A.B. Rushing, ed. Pp. Pp. 43 54. Washington, D.C.: Howard University Press. Bond George 1988 A Social Portrait of John Gibbs St Clair Drake: An American Anthropologist. American Ethnologist 15(4):762 781. Braithwaite, Edward 1981 Folk Culture of the Slaves in Jamaica. Kingston, Jamaica: Sangster Book Stores. Brown, James 2010 I nterviews on The Howard School of Art. E. Shaw, ed. Washington, D.C.

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603 Bunseki, Fu Kiau. 2001 African Cosmology of the Bantu Kongo Principles of life and Living. New York: Athelia Henrietta Press. Burns, Allan F. 1993 Maya in Exile: Guatemalans in Flor ida. Philadelphia Temple University Press. Cephane, Walter C. 1900 The Local Aspects of Slavery in the District Of Columbia. Records of the Columbia Historical Society 3:237. Coleman, Floyd 2003 Highlights from the Howard University Collection. R.A. Museum, ed. Rockford, Illinois: Rockford Art Museum. Collier, John and Malcolm 1986 Visual Anthropology: Photography as a Research Method. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Crowther, Paul 1993 Art and Embodiment: From Aesthetics to Self Con sciousness Oxford Clarendon Press. Davis, Ermina 1978 In Honor of the Ancestors: The Social Context of Iwi Egungun Chanting in a Yoruba Community. Anthropology Brandeis University. Debela, Achamyeleh 2007 Find. In Continuity and Change: Three Gener ations of Ethiopian Art History Harn M useum o f Art, ed. Gainesville, Florida: Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art. DeVos, George A. 1992 The Dangers of Pure Theory in Social Anthropology. Ethos 3:77 91. Dewey, John 1934 Art as Experience. New York Minton, N alach & Company. Donaldson, Jeff 1981 Background Statement. In Jeff Donaldson: 1961 1981. H. University, ed. Washington, D.C.: Howard University Gallery of Art. Drake, St Clair 1990 Black Folk Here and There. 2 vols. Volume 2. Los Angeles Center for Af ro American Studies, University of California.

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604 Driskell, David C. 1989 Introduction. In Black Art Ancestral Legacy: The African Impulse in African American Art. D.M.o. Art, ed. Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art. Du Bois, W. E. B. 1903 The Souls of Bla ck Folk. New York: Barnes and Noble Classics. 1898 The Study of Negro Problems. DuToit, Brian 1975 A Decision Making Manual for the Study of Migration. In Migration and Unbanization. B.D.a.H. Safa, ed. The Hague: Mouton Press. Fallico, Arturo B. 19 62 Art & Existentialism New Jersey Prentice Hall, Inc. Fanon, Frantz 1961 The Wretched of the Earth. Middlesex. England Penguin Books. Francis, Jacqueline 2010 What is African American Art History to Me?: Towards a Critical Race Art History. In 21st Annual James A.Porter Colloquium. Howard University, Washington, D.C.: unpublished. Franklin, John Hope 1947 From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negroe Americans. New York: Alfred A. Knoff. 2005 Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Fran klin. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Freeman, Mark 1993 Finding the Muse: A Sociopsychological Inquiry into the Conditions of Artistic Creativity Cambridge Cambridge University Press. Freire, Paulo 2010 (1970) Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: The Continuum International Publishing Group Inc. Gaither, Barry 1989 Heritage Reclaimed: An Historical Perspective and Chronology. In Black Art Ancestral Legacy: The African Impulse in African America Art. D.M.o. Art, ed. Pp. 17 34. Dallas, Texas: Dall as Museum of Art.

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605 Gardner, Howard 1982 Art, Mind, and Brain: A Cognitive Approach to Creativity New York Basic Books, Inc. 1983 Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligence New York Basic Books, Inc. 1990 Art Education and Human Developme nt Los Angeles : The Ghetty's Center for Education in the Arts, Occasional Papers Series. 1994 The Arts and Human Development: A Psychological Study of the Artistic Process New York Basic Books. Garvey, Amy Jacques 1986 The Philosophy and Opinions of M arcus Garvey, or Africa for the Africans. Dover, MA The Majority Press. Gayle, Addison, Jr. 1972 The Black Aesthetic Garden City, NJ: Doubleday. Gell, Alfred 1998 Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory Oxford: Clarendon Press. Gibson Hunter, Azi za 1985 An Afrocentric Creative Process: Feeling and Form Washington, D.C. 2010 Interview on The Howard School of Art. E. Shaw, ed. Washington, D.C.: Unpublished. Glover, Jenne 2010 Akili Ron Anderson, AfriCOBRA Artist. In Voicing Art: Jenne Glove r from the Heart Art Gallery. J. Glover, ed, Vol. 2011. Washington, D.C.: Jenne Glover http://www.jenneglover.com/akili ron anderson africobra artist Greenberg, Clement, ed. 1961 Art and Culture: Critical Essays Boston Beacon Press. Greenberg, John 1973 Ways of Seeing. New York Viking Press. Griffin, Farah J. 2003 Introduction. In The Souls of Black Folk. W.E.B.D. author, ed. New York: Barnes & Noble Classics.

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606 Hall, Ed ward T. 1977 Beyond Culture. Garden City, NY Anchor Books. 1986 Forward. In Visual Anthropology: Photography as a Research Method. J.a.M. Collier, ed. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Halloway, David 1990 Africanism in American Culture. Hansen, Judith F. 1979 Sociocultural Perspectives on Human Learning: An Introduction to Educational Anthropology New Jersey Prentice Hall, Inc. Harrington, Charles 1979 Psychological Anthropology and Education: A Delineation of a Field of Inquiry New Y ork: AMS Press. Harris, Marvin 1979 Cultural Materialism: The Struggle for a science of Culture. New York: Random House. Harrison, Faye V. 1992 The DuBoisian Legacy in Anthropology. Critique of Anthropology 12(3 (September)):239 260. 2007 Fernando Ortiz. In International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Pp. 80 81, Vol. 60. 2009 Ann Tanksley: Images of Zora. A.F.A. Gallery, ed. Marietta: Avisca Fine Art gallery. Hastrup, Kirsten and Peter Hervik, ed. 1994 Social Experience and Anthropologi cal Knowledge London Routledge. Hatcher, Evelyn P. 1999 Art as Culture: An Introduction to the Anthropology of Art Westport, CN: Bergin and Garvey. Hayes Benjamin, Tritobia 1977 What Are African American Artists Doing? In Africa Reports Magazine. 1999 in research. 2010a Discussions on Faculty Exhibition Catalogs. E. Shaw, ed. Washington, D.C.: unpublished.

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607 2010b Howard University Community Forum E. Shaw, ed. Washington, D.C.: unpublished. 2004 Foreward. In Remembering Jeff: A Celebration of the Art and Legacy of Jeff R. Donaldson. H. University, ed. Washington, D.C.: Howard University Gallery of Art. Herskovits, Melville 1952 Some Psychological Implications of Afro American Studies. In Acculturation in the Americas. S. Tax, ed. Chicago : University of Chicago Press. Indritz, Phineas 1953 Post Civil War Ordinances Prohibiting Racial Discrimination in the District of Columbia. Georgetown Law Journal 41(3):298. Jackson, Michael, ed. 1996 Things as They Are: New Directions in Phenomenolo gical Anthropology Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Jacob, S.H. 1984 Foundations for Piagetian Education. New York University Press of America. Jahn, Janheinz 1961 Muntu: An Outline of Neo African Culture London Faber. Jones, Delmos J 1982 To ward a Native Anthropology. In Anthropology for the Eighties: Introductory Readings J.B. Cole, ed. Pp. Pp. 471 482. New York The Free Press. Joyner, Charles Find Find. In Encyclopedia of Southern Living. Lasry, J. C. 1977 Cross cultural Perspective on Mental Health and Immigrant Adaptation. Social Psychiatry 12 49 55. Lewis, David, L. 1976 District of Columbia: A Bicentennial History. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. Lewis, Rupert 1987 Marcus Garvey: Anticolonial Champion London: Karia Press.

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608 Le wis, Samella 1990 African American Art and Artists Berkeley: University of California Press. Loewen, James W. 2009 Teaching What Really Happened : How to Avoid the Tyranny of Textbooks and get Students Excited About Doing History. New York: Teachers Co llege Press, Columbia University. Love, Monifa. 1985 Epistrophe. In Soundings. H. University, ed. Washinfton, D.C.: Howard University Gallery of Art. Lynch, Acklyn 1993 Nightmare Overhanging Darkly: Essays in.Black Culture and Resistance. Magnarella, Paul 1993 Human Materialism: A Model of Sociocultural Systems and a Strategy for Analysis Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida. Maquet, Jacques 1964 Objectivity in Anthropology. Current Anthropology 5(1). Marley, Bob 1992 (posthumously) Song s of Freedom Island Records (Tuff Gong): Kingston Marris, Peter 1974 Loss and Change London/New York: Routledge. May, Rollo 1975 The Courage to Create. New York: W. W. Norton and Company. McLeod, Roberta 2010 The Howard School of Artists Forum. E. Shaw, ed. Washinfton, D.C.: unpublished. Mintz, Sidney Wilfred, and Richard Price 1992 The Birth of African American Culture : An Anthropological Perspective. Boston: Beacon Press. Myers, Gibbs 1944 Pioneers in the Federal Area. Records of the Columbia Historical Society 44 45. Nader, Laura, ed. 1993 When They Read What we Write:The Politics of Ethnography. Westport, Connecticut: Bergin and Garvey.

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609 Nessen, Susan 1993 Multiculturalism in the Americas. Art Journal 52 (Summer):86 91. Noddings, Nel 1 995 Philosophy of Education Boulder, Colorado Westview Press. Ofori Ansa, Kwaku 2010 Discussion on The Howard School of Art. E. Shaw, ed. Washington, D.C.: unpublished. Ogbu, John U. 1974 Minority Education and Caste: The American System in Cross cultu ral Perspective New York Academic Press. Ortiz, Fernando 1945 Find. Find. 1982 Wifredo Lam: Arte Contemporaneo Internacional Tamayo. Mexico City Museo Rufino Otten, Charlotte M. ed. 1971 Anthropolgy and Art: Readings in Cross Cultural Aesthetics New York: The Natural History Press. Owens Hart, Winnie 2010 Howard Community Participant Forum. E. Shaw, ed. Gainesville, Virginia: Unpublished. Parkin, David 1999 Mementos as Transitional Objects in Human Displacemen t. Journal of Material Culture 4( 3 ):303 320. Patton, Sharon F. 1998 African American Art. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press. Poynor, Robin 2011 Continued Discussions on the Ben Amos/Adams Papers. E. Shaw, ed. Gainesville: unpublished. Price, Clement A. 2010 The Foundations of Contemporary African American Life and History. In Exhibition title: Mixing Metaphors: The Aesthetic, the Social and the Political in African American Art Works from the Bank of America Collection. H. University, ed. Washington, D.C.: unpublished.

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610 Ros ado, Renato 1993 Culture and Truth: The remaking of Social Analysis. Boston: Beacon Press. Russell, H. Bernard 1995 Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches London: Altamira Press. Scherer, Joanna 1992 The Photographic Document: Photo as Primary Data in Anthropological Enquiry. In Anthropology and Photography: 1860 1920. E. Edwards, ed. New Haven: Yale University Press. Schinneller, James 1968 Art: Search and Self Discovery. Scranton, PA: International Textbook Compa ny. Shaw, Edward 1988 Setting Down Roots: Fibre Ritual Assemblages as Visual Expressions of an Afrocentric Aesthetic, Art, Howard University. Sheehan, Elizabeth A. 1993a The Student of Culture and the Ethnography of Irish Intellectuals. In When They Re ad What we Write: The Politics of Ethnography. L. Nader, ed. Westport, Connecticut: Bergin and Garvey. 1993b The Student of Culture and the Ethnography of Irish Intellectuals In When They Read what we Write: The Politics of Ethnography. Find, ed. Wes tport, Connecticut: Bergin and Garvey. Sieber, Roy 1967 Art as an Aspect of the Reconstruction of Cultural History. In Reconstructing African Culture History. C.G.a.N.R. Bennett, ed. Boston: Boston University Press. Simpson, George 1972 Afro American Religions and Religious Behavior. Caribbean Studies 12(2):12. Smith, Alfred J. 1978 Biographic comment. In Eight Annual Faculty Exhibition. H. University, ed. Washington, D. C.: Howard University Gallery of Art. Snethen, Worthington C. 1848 The Black C ode of the District of Columbia. New York: unknown.

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611 Spindler, George and Louise Spindler 2000 Fifty Years of Anthropology and Education: 1950 2000 New Jersey Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers. Spindler, George D. ed. 1987 Education and Cultur al Process: Anthropological Approaches Illinois Waveland Press, Inc. Stocking, George W. 1983 Observers observed : essays on ethnographic fieldwork. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press. Straw, Will 1999 The Thingishness of Things. Switzer, Les 1993 Power and Resistance in an African Society: The Ceskei Xhosa and the Making of South Africa Madison The University of Wisconsin Press. Szwed, John F 1974 An American Anthropological Dilemma: The Politics of Afro American Culture In Reinventin g Anthropology. D. Hymes, ed. Pp. 153 181. New York: Vintage Books. Tax, Sol, ed. 1952 Acculturation in the Americas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Thompson, Robert Farris 1983 Flash of the Spirit: African and Afro American Art and Philosophy. New York Random House. Thompson, Robert Farris and Joseph Cornet 1981 The Folur Moments of the Sun: Kongo Art in Two Worlds. N.G.o. Art, ed. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, National Gallery of Art. Trueba, Henry T., and George and Louise Spin dler, ed. 1989 What do Anthropologists Have to Say About Dropouts. New York The Falmer Press. Uzelac, Constance Porter 2005 find. In A Proud Continuum: Eight Decade sa of Art at Howard University. H. University, ed. Washington, D.C.: Howard Universit y Gallert of Art. Van Maureen, John, ed. 1979 Qualitive Methodology.

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612 Wallace, Anthony 1956 Revitalization Movements (Introduction). American Anthropologist 58: 264 281. Wardlaw, Alvia J. 1989 A Spiritual Libation: Promoting an African Heritage in t he Black College. In Black Art Ancestral Legacy: The African Impulse in African American Art D.M.o. Art, ed. Pp. 53 74. Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art. Webb, Ronald 1999 In class lecture:Course Philosophical Foundations of Education Gainesville, FL: Un iversity of Florida Department of education. Weld, Theodore D. 1969 Slavery and the Internal Slave Trade in the United States. New York: Arno Press and the New York Times. Woodson, Carter G. 2006 (1933) The Mis education of the Negro. Drewysville, Vir ginia: Khalifah's Booksellers and Associates.

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613 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Edward Jesse Shaw was born in Cornwall Mount ain, Westmoreland, Jamaica on February 28, 1953 to Dorothy H. and Edward Jesse Shaw. The fourth of five children, he grew u p with his sisters and his cousins who lived next door as well as in the nearby districts His mother made sure that her children engaged in active re ading from an early age and made them pay rapt attention to their school work. At the age of eleven years, he earned a gover nment scholarship to high school but not in time to be shared with his father who died just a few months earlier. Nevertheless he took up matriculation la mar, the parish capital, in the fall of 1965. A he oft en felt misplaced but excelled, heading his classes most semes ters and continued to study t o the Advanced Level of the General Certificate of Education under Cambridge University in England. After high school, he worked with Kingston In August of 1980 he arrive d in the United States to enter Howard University, in Washington, D.C. Edward earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Howard in 1984 with minors in Design and Photography, graduating summa cum laude. In 1988 he comp leted the Master of Fine Art s degree and stayed on to work at Howard as the S enior Dent/Med. Photographer in the College of Dentistry. Duri ng his matriculation at Howard, as well as after his graduation, Edward exhibited his works in many individual and gr oup shows He also curated several art exhibitions including two of the works of Howard University Faculty. In 1990 he was appointed to the faculty of Hood College, in Frederick, Maryland, where he was to remain till 1997 when he was awarded the prestigiou s McKnight Doctoral Fellowship administered annually, and that year,

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614 promising minority scholars interested in entering the professoriate. For this he relocated to Florida with his wife, Lorna who m he had met at Howard Univer sity and married in 1988, along with their seven year old daughter Khahilia. At the University of Florida he took up studies in Cultura l Anthropology and pursued the visual t rack so that he could continue the interest he had developed, in the cultural, soc ial and political dimensions of art. He pursued minors in education along with that which came naturally to him; Art History, with the intent of bring ing art as an educational tool, to augment the edu cation paradigms employed today. His dissertation topic grew out of his lived experience that of being often e xposed to experiences of cultural shifting and dislocation He c onsiders using the potential of art as a tool to facilitate examining the cultural sojourns of diverse people and desires to har ness this agency to study and ameliorate the condit ion of Diasporan people especially so, with respect to education As a result of this intent and his exposure to Applied Anthropology, Edward has directed his research toward the service of the group with which he is engaged. His plan is to facilit ate the means through which the work of the artist s he studies becomes housed with in a museum and educational research center devoted to them and in which the educational agency inherent in their work can become applied to the cross disciplinary education of their people He believes that one of the direct ways in which the demonstration of how the human mind makes sense of the world around it, is revealed in the art of a people because within this expression are imbedde d the myths, the cosmological beliefs, the language, history, mores, aspirations and hopes of a people. His goal is to return to becoming an educator.