What Does Black History Month Have to Do With Art?

Art|Art History

Black History Month is an important time of year to celebrate the achievements, contributions, and influence of African Americans throughout history. This month-long celebration is celebrated in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It is a time to recognize and reflect on the struggles faced by African Americans throughout history, and to honor their courage in overcoming those struggles.

The history of African Americans has been intertwined with art since the earliest days of American history. Art has played a powerful role in expressing the experiences of African Americans and giving them a platform to tell their stories. From quilts made by enslaved women to jazz music that broke down barriers to modern art created in response to civil rights issues, art has been used as a tool for expression and activism throughout African American history.

Black History Month provides an opportunity for artists of color to display their work. Art exhibitions are held across the country highlighting works from African American artists and honoring their contributions to art and culture.

These exhibitions provide an opportunity for artists of color to have their work seen, appreciated, and celebrated. Additionally, museums often hold special events during Black History Month featuring works from prominent African American artists or themes related to black history.

Black History Month also provides us with an opportunity to learn about important figures in African American history who were also involved in art. Jacob Lawrence was a 20th century painter whose works depicted scenes from black life in America during that time period.

Katherine Dunham was an iconic dancer who developed her own unique style of dance which blended elements from Caribbean cultures with traditional ballet technique. Through learning about these figures we can gain insight into how they used art as a form of self-expression and activism.


Black History Month provides us with an opportunity to celebrate not only the achievements of African Americans throughout history but also their contributions to art and culture. Art has been used by African Americans as a way of expressing themselves, telling stories, and advocating for social change since early America’s inception as a nation. Celebrating Black History Month is therefore an opportunity for us all to appreciate the contributions made by African Americans through art over centuries.