For many decades, I have embarked on a long personal journey to bring African American visual artists out of the shadows of marginality into a level of recognition and visibility, at least at the local and regional levels in Southern California. This emerges from my personal activism in the civil rights movement in SNCC and CORE more than 50 years ago and my desire to infuse my teaching and scholarly work with this spirit of civil rights and political activism.

I have written regularly on African American art, including various books, catalogue essays, reviews, and articles, including some in Tikkun. Recently, I have focused on the vibrant community of Los Angeles’ Black artists. Throughout my research, these women and men have transcended the status of artistic subjects; they have become my friends. I have been privileged to share their lives and to become...

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