Imagine popular music without Black women. Since Motown in the 1960s, turning on a radio anywhere in American meant the likelihood of hearing a Black woman’s voice. And they were the biggest stars, too. The Supremes, Aretha, Tina, Whitney, Janet, Mariah. For 60 years through today, Black women have been inseparable from mainstream music.
Not so with the visual arts.
Black women dating back to sculptor Edmonia Lewis in the late 19th century have been making a name for themselves, but they were few and far between. Those who found success existed more on the margins than the mainstream. Harlem Renaissance sculptor Augusta Savage. Her student,
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