Tales from The b.a.SKET: Black Art Sketches for the Contemporary Art Lover
By D. Amari Jackson
This week, we reach into the b.a.SKET and pull out David Hammons’s The Door…
Ironically, schoolgirl Linda Carol Brown attended the excellent all-Black school, Monroe Elementary, in Topeka, Kansas in 1951. Nonetheless, Oliver Brown—her father and the lead plaintiff in what would become the historic Brown v. Board of Education suit against Topeka—knew his daughter’s school was far from the norm and hoped, like many African American families, that all children had access to well-trained teachers, well-equipped facilities, and adequate educational resources.
The Brown case ultimately incorporated five separate class-action lawsuits brought by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) on behalf of Black schoolchildren and their families in Kansas, South Carolina, Delaware, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The landmark case, commonly regarded the most significant aspect of the civil rights movement, pushed to desegregate schools across the country and, in this process, sparked a violent and physical backlash to the opening up of schools to Black students. This response was literally embodied by elected leaders and threatening white mobs physically blocking the doors of educational institutions in numerous states to prevent students of color from entering.
Renowned artist-activist David Hammons effectively captured this historical moment with his 1969 offering, The Door (Admissions Office). In his compelling piece, Hammons contextualizes the tumultuous civil rights era by depicting a wooden door labeled “Admissions Office” on an acrylic, transparent center with two inked hands, a face, and a body pressing against it.
The poignant work symbolizes the inequitable tactics of a nation challenged by its own hate and years of legal discrimination through the struggling Black imprint of an excluded African American student.
Browse and shop for fine art from our growing network of artists, collectors, estates, galleries — specializing in works by Black American artists with great values on premier art.
START COLLECTING ART
Sign up for our free email course on how to begin your collection.
Amari Jackson is a creator, author, TV/web/film producer, and award-winning journalist. He is author of the 2011 novel, The Savion Sequence; creator/writer/coproducer of the 2012-2014 web series The Book Look; writer/coproducer of the 2016 film Edge of the Pier; and current writer/coproducer of Listen Up! on HBCU GO/Roku TV. He is a former Chief of Staff for a NJ State Senator; a former VP of Communications & Development for the Jamestown Project at Harvard University; and a recipient of several writing fellowships including the George Washington Williams Fellowship from the Independent Press Association. An active ghost writer, song writer, martial artist, and journalist, his writings have appeared in a wide variety of national and regional publications.
Would you buy stock in BAIA if you could? Well we invite you to join us in becoming a monthly supporter, starting at just $3 a month YOU become a stakeholder and begin to help us transform lives through art. We are growing the BAIA team and will use your contributions to hire more team members for the purpose of creating more educational and marketing resources for schools and universities about african american artists both past and present. Such art initiatives and educational programming like Blacklite with Steve Prince, Relating to Art with Dr. Kelli Morgan, and BAIA BITS would not be possible without the ongoing support of our Patreon members. Please consider becoming a monthly Patreon member today!
Review our list of rewards for becoming a BAIA Patreon / patron supporter. Your monthly contribution has lasting benefits. — “What will your legacy be” – Dr. Margaret Burroughs
Thank you new and recurring monthly Patrons
Deloris and Eddie Young, Esther Silver-Parker, Eugene Foney, Zadig & Voltaire, Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art, John and Melanie Guess, Frank Frazier, Houston Museum of African American Culture, Leslie Fields, Jim Nixon, Dr. Michael Butler, Mary “Madea” Jones, Patrick Stewart, Noreen Winningham, Reg Pugh, Kevin Smokler, Deborah R. Moore, Dr. Skyller Walkes, Jae M, Jocelyne Lamour, Marion Zweig, Shannon DeVaney, Ashlee Jacob, DaNia Childress, Rev. Anita Marshall, Mary Ali-Masai, Devera Redmond, Roslyn Valentine, Robin King, Brenda Larnell, Michael, Jeffery Washington, Tricia Konan, Debra L Lacy CHARLES BIBBS, Fredric Isler, Silvia Peters, Harold Moore, Shurvon Haynes K.Coleman Shannon Dale Davis Terese L Hawkins M. Rasheed Jamal Love Annette, Mason Archie, Manuelita Brown, Carolyn L. Mazloomi Gale Ross KL Martin michael jacobs Virginia Joy Simmons Christ Van Loan Sr. Cecilia Winters-Morris, Rosie Gordon-Wallace, Pearlie Taylor, Danny Jenkins, Sara, Lloyd Goode, Marina Kovic, Sarah Rooney, Mitchell Shohet, Nicole Farley, Cheryl B Blankman, Jocelyn Greene, Laura Di Piazza Petrina Burkard Hannah Diener Sarah Drury Claire Sig Mina Silva Whitney, Sara Friesen, Megan LaCroix, Kellyn Maguire, Sophia Bellin,o Cory Huff, Wilhelmina Barker, Linda Eaddy, Shelley Danzy, Rosalyn D. Elder, Sonia Spencer Karen Pinzolo Desiree Dansan, Deborah Paige-Jackson, ALKEBU LAN IMAGES Bookstore DeLores M Dyer, Shelia, Harry F Banks, Susan Ross, Dr. Diane R. Miles, Carlton Cotton, Andre Mitchell, Joan L. Ward, JOCELYN BENITA SMITH, Paul Robinson, Janice Orr, Patricia D Dungy, Ethnie Weekes, Shawn Rhea, Duke Windsor, Runez M Bender, Karen Y House, M Belinda Tucker, Dr. Yonette Thomas, Diana Shannon Young, Judith Hamilton, Julia Turner Lowe, Francene Greene, Caryliss R. Weaver, Sharmon Jane Hilfinger, Bill and Deborah Nix, joyce a, Wanda Baker-Smith, Timothy Gandley, Anneke Schwob, Emily M, Rachael horner, Morris Howard, Marie L Johnson, Ayoka Chenzira, Jean Gumpper, Caitlin Charles, Becca H,. Dr. Darlene White, Dr. Sandra Boyce Broomes, Michele C. Mayes, Rita Crittenden, Reginald Laurent, Jea Delsarte, Brenda Brooks, Suzette Renwick, BEVERLY GRANT, Linda B. Smith, Judith Bergeron, Emily Hegeman Cavanagh, Teri L Lewis, Cooky Goldblatt, Danni Cerezo, Hollis Turner, cdixon06, Freda Davis, Sarah Caputo, jacki rust, Curtis Morrow, Christina Levine, Jessica Beckstrom, Kim Walker, Pamela Hart, Ted Ellis, Louise berner-holmberg, Carla Sonheim, Nicole Bruce, Alison Deas, Monikapi, Ashley Littlefield, Reginald Browne Bill Cook, SylviaWong Lewis, DONNA PAXTON, Kanika Marshall, Cheyenne, Nancy Maignan, Kimberly Smith, Tracy Russ, Gwen Meharg, K Joy Peters, johnnie mae maberry, Lester Marks, Zishan Evans, Anne king, Dianna A. Harris, Arbrie Griffin Bradley, Sandra Sautner, Barbara Brown, Bronwen Hodgkinson, Sonia Deane, January Hoskin, Quinton Foreman, Key Mosley, Jim Alexander, Terri Pease, Annette Groschke, Richard MacMillan, D T Ray, Camille, Elayne Gross, Ann Tankersley, Samori Augusto, Karen M Hirsch, Jeanne H Chaney, Jacqueline Konan, Jerome Moore, Patricia Andrews-Keenan, India Still, Luna Cascade, Amy Peck, Marnese Barksdale, Elder Bridgette, René McCullough, Kevin and Tracy Burton, Raven Burnes, Kim Dubois, Edwina King Diva E, Charlotte Bender, Phyllis Stephens, Alisa R Elliot, Ebony English, Otto Neals, Michael Nix, Terri Bowles, Nelly Maynard, Leslie Smith, Bernard W. Kinsey, Toby Sisson, Raynard Hall, Milton Loupe, Wren Mckinley, Arturo Lindsay, Lindiwe Stovall Lester, Phil, Ricki Carroll, Sherman E Jackson Jr, Janine P Rouson, Raynard Hall, Vickie Townsend-Carter, Peter Prinz, PB Fine Art Appraisal, Alison Woods, Suzette Davis, Carlton Cotton, Art Now After Hours, Diane E Leifheit, Tamara clements, lisa tomlinson, vince leal, Deborah BarnwellGarr, Sonia Pollard, Barbara Hayes, Loretta Y Blakely, Gregg Y, Paige Jernigan, Randy McAnulty, raven walthor, Will Johnson, jack, Shameika Ingram, Trina Virginia Brooks, Black Wall Street Gallery, Suzanne Roberts, Faye Edwards, Tara, Crystal Green, Sedonia Phillips Kniskern, R Simpson, Kate Gadd, Judy Nyquist, Velma McLaurin-Bell, Frazier and Myra O’Leary, Rosemarie Rogers, Elaine Buchsbaum, Hope Elliott, Renee Williams Jefferson, Atiya Slaughter, Stephanie Stephens, Takisia Whites, Robert Taylor, Christina, Taylor Jackson, Brenda Joyner, Dr. Karen Patricia Williams, Paul Daniel Curtis, Zawadi, DJIBRIL N’DOYE, Monique Johnson, Christine J Vincent, Paige Jernigan, Willa Bandler, Valerie A. Cooper, Cordell Boyd, DARRIS L SHAW, Shurvon Haynes, S J, Cynthia Hargrove, THERESA PATTERSON, Kree8tive DJ, LaShanda Chirunga, Anita Askew Wharton, Paula deJoie, Cyderia Gates, Patricia S. Kearse, Eunice Sykes, Sharyn Welch, Chris McNew, Rita Alston, Rebecca Smith, Patricia Goodwin, Mikal Aziz, Rayhart, Patric McCoy, Kimberly Esmond Adams, Shakira Pollard, Arelia Jones, Vernestine Laughinghouse, Bridget Griffin, Tanya Desdunes, Gregory M Glore, Sharon Butts, Alnita Ann Holder, Victor W. Brown, Cheryl Polk, Tsedey Betru, Dwayne E. Parker, Eric T McKissack, Kassi De Luna, Jalisa Whitley, Shavaughn Buckley, Diana Mbr, Derek Nichols, Jewell T. Williams, Susie Johnson, Jessica Bickett, Diana L Chambers, Jenae Gayle, Dindga McCannon, Dr. Dorothy B. Conteh, Gwen Meharg, Nanno Smith, Jacqueline Boggan, Robert & Susan King, Kathie House, Jimmy S. Clark, Jr, Edward Johnson, Sylvie Meyers, Devon Simpson, E L Greene
We Appreciate Your Support