• African American Artists During the 20th Century

    Horace Pippin was born in 1888. His grandparents had been slaves. His parents were poor. As a little boy, Horace liked to draw but his parents didn’t have money for art materials. When he was 10, Horace won a box of crayons in a contest. When he was 14, he left school to earn money for his family. He worked as a porter in a hotel and on a farm. Five years later, he went to France to fight in World War I. There he badly injured his right hand. When he came home, he had a hard time finding work because of his crippled hand. When he was 40, he decided to become an artist. He steered his right hand with his left to make a painting. The first one took three years! But he kept on trying and finally became successful.

    In 2018, African American artist Kara Walker created a woolen tapestry titled “A Warm Summer Evening in 1863.” This tapestry chronicles the riots that occurred in New York City during the summer of 1863. When Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves throughout the U.S., many former slaves headed north looking for jobs. White factory workers were angry because the extra competition. They took to the streets. More than 500 people died during this event and an orphanage for black children was burned.


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