Maxine E. Davis
Minority contributions to the cultural heritage of our nation have too often been overlooked and unrecognized in our schools. Minority Artists from America’s beginning have made outstanding contributions to American art history. Paintings, sculpture, graphics, and architectural and decorative art objects serve to remind us of the diversity, aesthetic quality and humanistic strength of minority creative efforts through the centuries.
Despite deprivation and adversity, minority artists and crafts people have made outstanding creative contributions that should be an inspiration to us all. This curriculum unit is a survey of contributions made by African Americans. My intent is to help students develop a richer more complete understanding of African-American culture in America.
This curriculum unit is designed to introduce middle-school students to the art and visual culture of African-Americans. My goals for the students are: (1) to expose them to a wide range of artistic and cultural expressions among African American artists, (2) to enhance their academic achievement and (3) to help develop positive self-esteem.
The unit will show how African-American culture played an important role in mainstream art history. Through the use of books, photographs, slides, paintings, and visits to art museums, students will examine artistic works of masters of American Art. They will also be able to link artistic expression with traditions of Africa.
In addition, students will engage in discussions, observe art forms, construct murals, compare artists works, and summarize reading assignments. These activities will help students develop an appreciation for rich visual heritage and cultural contributions made by African-Americans.