Date of Award

May 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


African American Studies


Joan L. Bryant


art history, Atlanta, black art, black artists, post-blackness

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


Historically, black visual art has held significance beyond its surface value as a source of beauty or entertainment. Black art has a long tradition of connections to activism. Black art advocates promoted the idea that art should be wielded as a tool for black advancement. However, in recent years, cultural theorists have declared that black art history has developed beyond this point and entered an era of post-blackness. Against this backdrop, I analyze the creative practices of contemporary black visual artists in Atlanta, GA to explore the varied ways that their art is a locus for activism and sociopolitical commentary. Their artistry is the basis for my interrogation of the question, what is this present moment in black art history, and what are the features of contemporary black artistic production?


Open Access



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