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Black Art

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Art inspires minds and connects individuals to an alternate reality where beauty and perfection exist. Black art is one of the most attractive and reputable forms of art, which has been applauded by individuals and corporate art professionals all over the world (Brown 34). This discourse looks at what characterizes black art centered on the work “On Black Art" by Ron Karenga. The focus of this work will be the central theme portrayed in the line: “The truth is that which needs to be told, and true creation is that which needs to be created and what we need to create is Black images which speak to and inspire Black people (Brown 28).” This begs for an answer to the question: should black art be for blacks only or does art cross racial boundaries?

In order to fully understand his work, it is paramount that we first understand the artist himself, or as artists refer to each other, “the vessel of art”. Ron Karenga was born on July 14, 1941 as the fourteenth child of a Baptist minister and poultry farmer. He then earned his bachelors and masters in both political science and African Studies from the University of California at Los Angeles. His work has been focused on inspiring racial equality by condemning black oppression.

The line is used to portray that the truth is important, whether good or bad. The line compares truth to creation of images. This implies that the truth can be depicted and expressed effectively through creation of images. This truth should be expressed through black images that inspire black people. It is through images that portray blacks in positive light that individuals, society and other blacks can be inspired (Black Art 23). The central theme of this work revolves around the idea that black artists should remain authentic and true to their roots by focusing their work on black history and art.

The video “Black or White” by Michael Jackson is a depiction of how black artists have used art, focused on black imagery and racial discrimination, to address social issues in society (Jackson). Both Ron’s work and Michael’s video pass the same message aimed at inspiring black people to rise up and take a stand towards equality.

Both the video and the work by Ron play a key role in pushing forth the line. Ron, for example, decided to be silent but instead tell a certain truth about blacks. This is seen in the great positive applause and reviews that blacks expressed towards him as detailed by a post ion the Los Angeles Times. His work also inspired the Kwanzaa project which was a source of inspiration to black people through great imagery in art (Karenga 31). His work therefore greatly symbolizes the line.

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Michael’s video also greatly symbolizes the line. From the video, we see scenes of white and black integration to depict a perfect society. The lyrics also inspire both blacks and whites and inform them of the importance of co-existence. Both works hence show that art should cross racial boundaries.

Black art should not only be for black, but also should be embraced by white people. They both play an important role in shedding light on the topic and symbolizing it appropriately. Black art should therefore be embraced by people of all races as art is for all people.

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