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Black Post-BlacknessThe Black Arts Movement and Twenty-First-Century Aesthetics$
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Margo Natalie Crawford

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041006

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252041006.001.0001

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Black Inside/Out

Black Inside/Out

Public Interiority and Black Aesthetics

(p.167) 6 Black Inside/Out
Black Post-Blackness

Margo Natalie Crawford

University of Illinois Press

The sixth chapter examines the role of inner and outer space in cultural productions of black post-blackness. Crawford develops a theory of black public interiority (a theory of black cultural movements’ ability to create a sense of shared interiority within the public space of the collective). She argues that the Black Arts Movement was aspiring for public art that could be experienced as both a black interior and an open space created by a collective. This chapter analyzes a range of installation art and other visual art, film, and letter writing that dramatize the black interior being experienced as the black outdoors. Crawford demonstrates that the BAM set in motion a vital process (that black aesthetics continue to engage) of refusing to allow black interiority to be defined as the province of the black bourgeoisie. The art examined includes installation art created by Kara Walker, outdoor murals, the film Night Catches Us, the letter writing of Carolyn Rodgers and Hoyt Fuller, and more.

Keywords:   the black interior, public art, installation art, Kara Walker, Night Catches Us, outdoor murals

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