Racial Formations in the United States & Aesthetic Resistance in the 21st Century Open Access

Mitchell, Morgan (Spring 2019)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/1n79h520d?locale=en


This thesis provides a framework for looking at Black aesthetic practices as a form of resistance. I present an investigation of Black art that details the unique perspectives of Black people. The proclamation of Black life that arises out of Black aesthetics demonstrates the ways in which the unique experiences and perspectives of Black people are showcased as a means of affiliation and a form of cultural praxis that is harnessed in its depiction. Cultural formations and assemblages perform a resistance, as they express how the recognition and the thoughtful depiction of culture complicates racial binaries.  

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Introduction: Becoming Black and its Beautiful Journey                                                              1                                      


Chapter 1: Defining Black Aesthetics: Neal, Gayle, and Taylor                                                   3


Chapter 2: Normalization and White Supremacy as a Political and                                                9

Epistemological System in the U.S                                                                                                                                                   


Chapter 3: Blackness and its Social and Cultural Construction                                                    13                                        


Chapter 4: Racialized Aesthetics and “Aesthetic Racialization”                                                 17


Chapter 5: The Twentieth Century and Black Arts Movements                                                  20


Chapter 6: Kerry James Marshall and his Aesthetic Practices                                                      24


Chapter 7: Fahamu Pecou: Contemporary Art with a Yoruba Perspective                                   33

on Ritualization, Identity, Culture, and Race

Chapter 8: María Magdalena Campos-Pons and Diaspora Identity                                            38

Conclusion: Art History and Art/Painting as Love as                                                                  46

Revolutionary Resistance


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