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Mexican muralism made a significant and lasting impact on the art produced by African Americans associated with the New Negro movement of the interwar period. Like their Mexican counterparts, African-descended artists in the United States were seeking to create a class-conscious artistic vision that foregrounded the fight for racial justice in the face of inequality and systematic repression. They often found it difficult to reconcile their ambitions with the desires of their patrons as they sought to use art to raise political, class, and racial consciousness within their own communities. These African American artists were acutely aware of the difficulties encountered by their Mexican counterparts, whose status as international celebrities did not always insulate them from censorious backlash against their more controversial work, especially when that work challenged the racial mores of the day.

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