African American Los Angeles in the middle decades of the last century was alive with militancy, movement, and creativity. Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960 – 1980, curated by Kellie Jones, captures this vitality while offering a nuanced survey of how visual artists in that community used the materials and ideas of the then-emergent post – abstract expressionist sensibility to shape a vital part of the Black Arts movement. In this review Geoffrey Jacques suggests how Now Dig This! can serve not only as a window into the particularities of the African American arts community of Los Angeles in the last century’s middle decades, but as a way of adding nuance to our ways of seeing art history, art making, and the art world generally during that period.

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