Category: black history month

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God’s Trombones by James Weldon Johnson

This month's final post in our series celebrating African-American artists and writers brings together two greats of the Harlem Renaissance: James Weldon Johnson and Aaron Douglas.  Johnson was multi-talented: an educator, writer, attorney and musician, he was the author of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," a leader of the NAACP, and the first African-American professor at New York University.  God's Trombones is considered one of his most important works.  Douglas was one of the leading artists of the Harlem Renaissance.  He developed a distinctive style that blended modernism with African influences and was highly influential in the development of later African-American artists.

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Posted in Artist's Books, Rare Book Collection

The Black Christ by Countee Cullen with illustrations by Charles Cullen

This post is the third in our series highlighting the work of African-American artists and authors in Special Collections.  Countee Cullen was one of the leading poets and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance.  This book of poetry, published at the height of his career, examines the relationships between faith and injustice.  Cullen draws parallels between the suffering of the crucified Christ and the suffering of African Americans in the climate of racial violence that characterized the 1920s. The copy in Special Collections is inscribed by Cullen to Frank Luther Mott, who was Dean of the School of Journalism from 1942 to 1951.

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Posted in Artist's Books, Rare Book Collection, Special Collections

King’s Letter from Birmingham City Jail with Prints by Faith Ringgold

This week we're highlighting Faith Ringgold's illustrations for Letter from Birmingham City Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.  Produced in 2007 for the Limited Editions Club, the book contains eight original serigraphs by Ringgold alongside a beautifully printed text by King. Special Collections has copies 119 and 132 from an edition of 400.

Title page and frontispiece Faith Ringgold illustration from Letter from Birmingham City Jail by Martin Luther King Faith Ringgold illustration from Letter from Birmingham City Jail by Martin Luther King Faith Ringgold illustration from Letter from Birmingham City Jail by Martin Luther King

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Posted in Artist's Books, Rare Book Collection
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