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Roots of the Black Chicago RenaissanceNew Negro Writers, Artists, and Intellectuals, 1893-1930$
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Richard A. Courage and Christopher Robert Reed

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043055

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043055.001.0001

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Strategies for Visualizing Cultural Capital

Strategies for Visualizing Cultural Capital

The Black Portrait

(p.115) Chapter 6 Strategies for Visualizing Cultural Capital
Roots of the Black Chicago Renaissance

Amy M. Mooney

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the ways in which the portrait was utilized as a tool for social change as it presented the accumulation of knowledge, skills, and consciousness of Chicago’s black entrepreneurs and became a distinctive form of cultural capital. Positioning themselves as models for emulation, Robert S. Abbott, Jesse Binga, and Anthony Overton generated public campaigns that visualized the dignity, style, and progressiveness essential to the conceptualization of the New Negro. They worked to establish an ethic of representation that countered the unconscionable effacement of civil rights. By patronizing African American artists and publishing their portraits in Chicago’s burgeoning black press, they lent their likenesses toward the formation of a modern collective black identity.

Keywords:   Robert S Abbott, Jesse Binga, cultural capital, entrepreneur, identity, New Negro, Anthony Overton, Patronage, Portraiture, Representation

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