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ArtsTalk: Afrocentrism and African American Thought and Art

  • Broadcast in Art
The Outsider Artist Speaks

The Outsider Artist Speaks


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How did the principles and practices of Afrocentrism, that begin in the late 19th century but was popularized in 1980s and 90s, affect African American thought and, by extension, art? How was it the same or different from Black Nationalism? Who were its thought leaders and what were they saying about who African Americans are and should be?

What is the basis of these often heated and frequently scholarly debates about the nature of black identity? Who were the movement's detractors? How did Afrocentrism affect the culture, especially art education?

As we continue our Black History Month ArtsTalk series, Prof. Dana C. Chandler, who taught African and African American Art from 3000 BC to the present at Simmons College in Boston, for 33 years, will discuss, from his artist's perspective, the influence Afrocentrism on African American thought and art.


Called "controversial", a "Black Power Artist", "activist artist" and "Outsider Artist", Chandler, 70, was born in 1941 in Lynn, MA. He is best known for the edgy, colorful, controversial and hotly-debated artistic statements of his 1960’s-1980’s works. 

Because he continues to evolve, his messages change to reflect his personal evolution, he is still an interesting, provocative speaker who can speak and/or lecture brilliantly about the historical relevance of his art and his activism to the worldwide struggle for race and gender equality as well as bridge the generation gap that is confounding this country’s leadership and confronting America as we move into the “internationalist” phase of our own evolution.

The show is co-hosted and produced by Chandler's daughter and artist agent, Dahna M. Chandler, an award-winning journalist.

(c) 2011. The Outsider Artist, LLC and BAPsody in Blue, Inc.