Zig Jackson; “Entering Zig’s Indian Reservation”

"No Picture Taking

 No Hunting

 No Air Traffic

 New Agers Prohibited”


Historical context: The ancestors of the Somali people


Ancient rock paintings in Somalia which date back to 5000 years were found in the northern part of the country (Somaliland), depicting early Somali life. The most famous of these is the Laas Gaal complex, which contains some of the earliest known rock art on the African continent and features many elaborate pastoralist sketches of animal and human figures. In other places such as the northern Dhambalin region, a depiction of a man on a horse is postulated as being one of the earliest known examples of a mounted huntsman.


Inscriptions have been found beneath many of the rock paintings, but archaeologists have so far been unable to decipher this form of ancient writing. During the Stone age, the Doian culture and the Hargeisan culture flourished here with their respective industries and factories.

The oldest evidence of burial customs in the Horn of Africa comes from cemeteries in Somalia dating back to 4th millennium BC. The stone implements from the Jalelo site in northern Somalia are said to be the most important link in evidence of the universality in palaeolithic times between the East and the West.

In antiquity, the ancestors of the Somali people were an important link in the Horn of Africa connecting the region’s commerce with the rest of the ancient world. Somali sailors and merchants were the main suppliers of frankincense, myrrh and spices, items which were considered valuable luxuries by the Ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians, Mycenaeans and Babylonians.

(via dynastylnoire)



Paul Robeson

Photos: Nickolas Murray

Robeson spoke out against racism, facism, and became an international activist fighting for the labor movement, trade unions, Welsh coal miners, the Spanish Civil War, and the civil rights of Africans everywhere.

Robeson became the first African American celebrity to pose nude. 

The well-known Italian-American sculptor Antonio Salemme invited the actor to pose for him after seeing Robeson perform in “The Emperor Jones.” More than an actor, he saw an awesome body “beautifully formed and glistening with sweat.”  He approached Paul Robeson backstage and told him he wanted to sculpt a life-size, seven foot tall nude statue of him. Paul eyed him and they both grinned like adolescent schoolboys.

He went home with Salemme and posed for the first time that very night. It was his first time among the radicals, the avant-garde, the renegades, anarchists and libertarians.… Paul would pose after performances sometimes up to three hours. Antonio Salemme called it “the highest achievment of my art.”

… In 1930, when it was finally going to be seen publically in Philadelphia, all hell broke loose.  It was recrated and returned to Salemme after they saw there was no figleaf to cover what couldn’t be covered, and race and politics blocked the inclusion of the statue in the exhibit.



(Source:, via earthshaker1217)




Haiti: Ulirk Jean-Pierre’s Paintings

I have dreams about what happened the night that the vodou ceremony took place at Bwa Kayiman.

(via kreyolcoco)


The fascination of our White counterparts with Black hair has always attracted mixed emotions. While some find their interest to be humorous and even natural, others find it annoying and offensive. In an interesting collection called, Can I Touch It?, photographer Endia Beal rounded up a group of middle-aged White women and took them to a hair salon to get hairstyles typically worn by Black women. The hairstyles were free, the ladies simply had to agree to have their photographs taken in corporate attire after, even if they were unhappy with the style afterwards. Interestingly, Endia did not allow the women to choose their hairstyles, instead, the styles were selected for them.

“I said, ‘I am going to give you a black hairstyle,’ and they were like, ‘You’re going to give me cornrows?’ ” Endia toldSlate.

“And I said, ‘No, we’re going to do finger waves.’ ‘Finger waves? What’s that? You mean from the ’20s?’ And I said, ‘These are a little bit different type of finger waves!’ ” she continued.

Endia revealed that she went after women who were at least 40 years old, but that she was really hoping to get the baby boomers.

“I wanted people that had a certain idea of what you’re supposed to look like in the workspace, because it would be a challenge for them to understand what I experienced in that space. And to a degree, many young white women have shared that experience, but for older white women it’s an experience they haven’t necessarily had,” she said.

She went on to reveal that the idea for the shoot was inspired by her experiences while interning in the IT Department at Yale, where most of her co-workers were White males. A big red afro was her style of choice at the time and one coworker tipped her off to a rumor that had been going on around the office about her male coworkers wanting to feel her hair. She allowed them to and then recorded their reactions on camera a week later.

“I wanted to allow someone to feel something different, to experience something they never had before, and through that experience, they felt uncomfortable. And then to talk about it kind of amplifies that feeling,” she expressed.

(via Madame Noire)


(Source: gadaboutgreen)

Tags: art black art


Aimé Mpane

(Source:, via tzunuun)

Tags: art congo

Black Scream, Anton Kannemeyer, 2009


Black Scream, Anton Kannemeyer, 2009

(via messynefertiti)

Tags: art


Lorraine O’Grady
Untitled (Mlle. Bourgeoise Noire and her Master of Ceremonies enter the New Museum), 1980–83, printed 2009
 Silver gelatin print
 7 ¼ × 9 1/5 inches Courtesy the artist and Alexander Gray Associates, New York

Mlle Bourgeoise Noire first won her title in 1955. After 25 years of maintaining a lady-like silence, in 1980 she began invading art openings to give people a piece of her mind.

She wore a gown and cape made of 180 pairs of white gloves, 360 gloves in all. Here is a brief version of MBN’s “backstory,” taken from the signage for the Wadsworth Atheneum installation of the performance:

On the Silver Jubilee of her coronation in Cayenne, the capital of Guyane, MLLE BOURGEOISE NOIRE (Internationale), who could still fit into her coronation gown and cape of 360 white gloves, celebrated by invading the New York art world. During her anniversary tournée, she attended several openings unannounced: while all eyes were on her, she smiled, distributed four dozen white chrysanthemums and removed her cape. With the whip-that-made-plantations-move, she applied 100 lashes to her bare back, then shouted out an occasional poem.

The first time MBN invaded an art opening was at Just Above Midtown/Downtown, the black avant-garde gallery, in June 1980. JAM had just inaugurated a new space in Tribeca. The invasion was her response to the tame, well-behaved abstract art that had recently appeared in the “Afro American Abstraction” show at PS 1, an exhibit to which JAM had contributed a majority of artists.

The “occasional poem” she shouted at the JAM opening was:

No more boot-licking…
No more ass-kissing…
No more buttering-up…
No more pos…turing
of super-ass..imilates…

Her next invasion was of the New Museum, at the opening of the “Persona” show in September 1981. The exhibit included nine artists using personas in their work. Mlle Bourgeoise Noire called it “The Nine White Personae Show.” When invited to give the outreach lectures to schoolkids for the show, she’d replied, “Let’s talk after the opening.”

The poem shouted on the occasion of the New Museum’s Persona opening was:

wait in your alternate/alternate spaces
spitted on fish hooks of hope
be polite wait to be discovered
be proud be independent
tongues cauterized at
openings no one attends
stay in your place
after all, art is
only for art’s sake
THAT’S ENOUGH don’t you know
sleeping beauty needs
more than a kiss to awake
now is the time for an INVASION!

After the opening, she was dis-invited from giving the outreach lectures to schoolkids. (via WACK! Art & the Feminist Revolution)

Tags: art black art
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