Bolden, Tonya. 2004. WAKE UP OUR SOULS: A CELEBRATION OF BLACK AMERICAN ARTISTS. New York: Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 0810945274 [Suggested Grade Levels 6 and above]
This work is a visually stunning survey of the history of African American artists in the United States. It covers from the late 18th century to the late 20 the century. Most painters are covered, but some attention to sculptor, photographers and other visual artists is included as well. Three main chapters include color reproductions of 45 works with photographs of artists. Detailed captions provide biographical information. While older readers may get more out of the text, the wonderful reproductions are so great they may stimulate the imagination of old and young alike. The end information includes a glossary, a selected bibliography, a reading list and an index. Artists include the very prominent such as Gordon Parks, Romare Bearden and lesser known public figures.
Highlights of this book include eclectic artists as varied as quilt makers, photographers, and outsider artists all get at least some billing in this book. The result may be this work creates curiosity and encouragement to would be artists who assume artistic merit must fit a certain hide bound template.
Students could create a photo essay book by taking or finding photographs associated with life in their school, their community, or some personal setting. They in turn write poems, or stories associated with what is taking place in the photographs.
Other books about art appreciation and the connection between art and literature:
Butler, Jerry. A DRAWING IN THE SAND: A STORY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN ART. ISBN 1559332166
Finley, Carol. THE ART OF AFRICAN MASKS: EXPLORING CULTURAL TRADITIONS. ISBN 082250788
Greenberg, Jan, ed. HEART TO HEART: NEW POEMS INSPIRED BY TWENTIETH CENTURY AMERICAN ART. ISBN 08010943867
Janson, Dinah. ALL AROUND TOWN: THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF RICHARD SAMUEL ROBERS. ISBN 08055054561
By Andrea L. Williams