A UK–US “Black Lexicon of Liberation”: A Bibliography of African American and Black British Artists, Artworks, and Art-Making Traditions


  • Celeste-Marie Bernier Temple University Press




The Western canon of art history exerts a stranglehold that generates almost insurmountable problems for artists and audiences of Black art. It is shaped by gatekeepers who are committed not only to deciding which art is studied and which artists are worthy of inclusion but also to controlling the images and image-making traditions in ways that are structured in dominance. African diasporic artists have mobilized art-making traditions in an individual and collective fight for “a new visual language” that destabilizes and demythologizes any and all such prescription in definitions, theories, and ways of seeing. But at the heart of any and all difficulties in doing justice to them and their struggle is the very real problem of accessing their artworks, artist statements, exhibition histories, and biographical materials. Working with artists, artists’ estates, and galleries over the past few years, I have put together a bibliography for the benefit of researchers, consisting of artists’ archives, websites, repositories, exhibition histories, statements, interviews, and criticism. Conceiving of this compilation as a weapon in the arsenal of social justice, I have assembled this bibliography as a tool for artists and audiences who are dedicated to heeding the rallying cry of African American painter Winfred Rembert as he insists that we all must go “back into the battleground.”