RoleModels of Past and Present: Artists #BlackHistory

Today we begin to explore role models of past and present for Black History. The hubs and I decided to share with Little Man and Little Lady the importance of those that paved ways for us just like Dr. Martin Luther King and Bessie Coleman.

Our first lesson was in the Arts. We explained to the kids how not everyone was allowed to do certain things like be friends or be a teacher because of their skin color.

Then Little Lady pointed out how she was “blacker” than Little Man.  I reassured her that it made her  special and the Little man was “lighter” because of momma’s skin color and she was “darker” because of daddy’s skin color. It was a perfect time to mention that others will still point out their skin color but that they need to remember that it doesn’t change who they are or what they can do. Pretty interesting conversation to have with preschoolers.

We also discussed the word FREEDOM. Little Man seemed to understand it a bit more than Little Lady. Still this will be a constant word they hear during Black History.

Role Model of our past: Alma Thomas

We talked about Alma Thomas (1891-1978), an African American artist and educator. She was raised in Washington D.C. and was the first African American Woman to graduate with a Masters Art degree in Art education from Colombia University. She is best known for her colorful canvas paintings.
“Wind, Sunshine, and Flowers,”

“Creative art is for all time and is therefore independent of time. It is of all ages, of every land, and if by this we mean the creative spirit in man which produces a picture or a statue is common to the whole civilized world, independent of age, race and nationality; the statement may stand unchallenged.”- Alma Thomas

Her paintings can be found at Howard University along with the White House  where her painting hangs for the Obamas to enjoy!

 Role Model of our Present:

 Trenton Doyle Hancock

Trenton was born 1974. He was raised in Texas and dreamt of being a comic book artist. He received a Masters of Fine Art from The Tyler School of Art at Temple University.  He was  also one of the youngest artist to participate in the 2000 and 2002 Whitney Biennial Exhibitions. 

“A Hello Hollow Lullaby,”

He is best known for his paintings and drawings in storytelling his life as Torpedo Boy(his alter ego) and that of Mounds (his fictional characters) He merges Biblical stories told to him as a child and allows them to influence his storytelling through art.

“Painter is a spirit energy who is kind of mothering energy any time you see color in a painting that is as a result of painter’s presence”- Trenton Doyle Hancock

Kids explore and recreate

The kids loved seeing how bright colors were used in different forms but yet had similarities  We discussed the what the pictures looked like and much like both artist the stories seen through their art had both Little Man and Little Lady’s imaginations flowing.
Here they recreated the paintings I showed them from both artists.
Black History role models of past and present ARTISTS
I am grateful for Alma Thomas for paving the way to not only be an artist but an educated artist. I am grateful for Trenton Doyle Hancock for being creative and fearless in his work. .Thank you for creating art that allows my children be inspired and for your great contribution to Black History!
I look forward to sharing more Past and Present Role Models during Black History. Stay tuned!


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