Black Arts Movement

The Black Arts Movement (BAM) was a movement led by African American artists and intellectuals that was involved in the visual arts, music, literature and theater. The movement began in 1965 when the Black Arts Repertory Theater in Harlem, New York was opened by poet Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), and was active until the 1970s. Baraka is now recognized as the movement's founder. BAM was an activist artistic and cultural movement that founded many new cultural institutions across the U.S., applying the political ideas of the Black Power movement to the arts. Prominent members of the movement include James Baldwin, Gil Scott-Heron, Nikki Giovanni and Audre Lorde. 

BAM rejected traditional Western artistic and literary influences, instead finding new ways to represent the Black experience. Many similarities exist between BAM and the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 30s, a cultural revival of African American arts that was centered in Harlem, New York, although BAM was more radical in its political stances. This artistic and cultural movement had a lasting impact on the arts in the US and globally. With Artsper, find artists that were a part of or are influenced by BAM, including Faith Ringgold and Delphine Diallo!

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