Rising Self: My Personal Experience with PROCESSION, The Art of Norman Lewis

norman lewis
Image Credit:Norman Lewis (1909–1979), Girl with Yellow Hat, 1936, Oil on burlap© Estate of Norman W. Lewis; Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NYCourtesy of Leslie Lewis and Christina Lewis Halpern from the Reginald F. Lewis Family Collection


From The Dallas Weekly

During the summers, I flock to art exhibitions all over the country. It’s rather interesting that there is one museum from my hometown that I never visited before and felt like it was the opportune time to check out, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas. Some of the best treasures avail themselves when one is in need of creative inspiration: PROCESSION, The Art of Norman Lewis exposed me to a new way of appreciating blackness, by placing myself in the experience depicted in his work, now on view at the #amoncarter through August 21, 2016. From the museum’s website, “This is the first comprehensive museum exhibition on the work of Norman Lewis.”

Norman Lewis was born (July 23, 1909) in Harlem, New York. He was an African American painter, teacher, and scholar and was an influential figure in the Harlem art community. The artist’ work is rooted in the abstract expressionist movement, and as a socially conscious black activist, he depicted important moments about the civil rights movement in his work. The museum is exhibiting 65 artworks by the artist that details the struggles, triumphs, and life of African-American’s (1930’s – 1970’s). Mentally, I was in artistic heaven while viewing the humbling and engaging exhibition that curtails the experiences of black people in America by one man’s visual conception regarding social issues and migrating to a new awareness in his professional career as an artist. Norman Lewis’ paintings speak to you instantaneously.

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Toni Morrison Papers Now Available for Research


The papers of Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, included in the collection is this early manuscript draft of “Beloved.” (Photo by Don Skemer, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections)


From News at Princeton:

The Princeton University Library has announced that the major portion of the Toni Morrison Papers — part of the permanent library collections since 2014 — is open for research to University students, faculty and scholars worldwide as of this week.

The papers — which are held in the Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections — were gathered from multiple locations over more than two decades, beginning with the files recovered by the Library’s Preservation Office after the tragic fire that destroyed Morrison’s home in 1993. In the past 18 months, the most significant of the papers have been carefully organized, described, cataloged and selectively digitized. Research access to these digital files will be provided in the Rare Books and Special Collections Reading Room.

Most important for researchers are the author’s manuscripts, drafts and proofs for the novels “The Bluest Eye” (1970), “Sula” (1973), “Song of Solomon” (1977), “Tar Baby” (1981), “Beloved” (1987), “Jazz” (1992), “Paradise” (1997), “Love” (2003), “A Mercy” (2008), “Home” (2012) and “God Help the Child” (2015). Study of Morrison’s manuscripts illustrates her working methods of writing and revision, and they help trace the genesis of particular works, from early ideas and preliminary research; to handwritten drafts, most often written with No. 2 pencils on legal-size yellow notepads, which contain notes, early draft material, and inserts for later typed and printed versions.

Read More Here

Miles Davis & Robert Glasper – Everything’s Beautiful (Mini Documentary)

About the album:

The album blends a diverse group of master takes and outtakes from across Miles’ incredible tenure with Columbia Records (1955-1985) with original reinterpretations of songs by Davis. From the obvious (riffs and passages within the catalog) to the obscure (samples of Miles’ in-studio instructions spoken after false starts), Glasper has built something unique but still unquestionably Miles. View the stunning mini-documentary below.

Upclose & Personal with Octavia Butler’s Journal

From The Blog of the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens:

Working draft of Octavia E. Butler’s novel Kindred (formerly titled To Keep thee in All Thy Ways) with handwritten notes by Butler, ca. 1977. Octavia E. Butler papers. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Butler created a body of work that helped launch a new genre called Afro-Futurism, which has become the focus of a remarkable amount of scholarly activity of late.

After her death, The Huntington became the recipient of her papers, which arrived in 2008 in two four-drawer file cabinets and about 35 large cartons. Butler’s papers required intense processing over the next three years. “She kept nearly everything, from her very first short stories, written at the age of 12, to book contracts and programs from speaking engagements,” says Natalie Russell, assistant curator of literary manuscripts at The Huntington.

The phenomenal body of materials includes 8,000 individually cataloged items and more than 80 boxes of additional items: extensive drafts, notes, and research materials for more than a dozen novels, numerous short stories, and essays, as well as correspondence, ephemera, and commonplace books. By the time Russell had finished the monumental task of processing the collection, an unprecedented 40 scholars were lined up to take a look. Today, it’s one of the most actively used archives at the Library. “Since May 2014, the archive has been used nearly 1,300 times—or roughly 15 times per week, on average,” says Russell.

View Online Archive: Octavia Butler


The Crisis {Magazine} Collection Archived Online

From the Modernist Journals Project:

The_crisis_nov1910When W. E. B. Du Bois founded The Crisis in 1910, as the house magazine of the fledgling NAACP, he created what is arguably the most widely read and influential periodical about race and social injustice in U.S. history. Written for educated African-American readers, the magazine reached a truly national audience within nine years, when its circulation peaked at about 100,000. The Crisis’s stated mission, like that of the NAACP itself, was to pursue “the world-old dream of human brotherhood” by bearing witness to “the danger of race prejudice” and reporting on “the great problem of inter-racial relations,” both at home and abroad. The magazine thus provided a much-needed corrective to the racial stereotypes and silences of the mainstream press—publishing, each month, uplifting accounts of achievements by African Americans, alongside stark accounts of racial discrimination and gruesome reports of lynchings. In the twelve years that will be covered by the MJP edition (from 1910 to 1922), The Crisis also addressed most every facet of life for blacks in America, devoting special issues to such topics as women’s suffrage, education, children, labor, homes, vacations, and the war. From the start, the magazine actively promoted the arts as well, and is deservedly recognized as an important crucible for the Harlem Renaissance. Among the notable authors who published in The Crisis during the MJP years is Jessie Fauset—who began contributing in 1912 and became the magazine’s literary editor in 1919—as well as William Stanley Braithwaite, Charles Chesnutt, Countee Cullen, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Angelina W. Grimke, Langston Hughes, Georgia Douglas Johnson, James Weldon Johnson, Alain Locke, Arthur Schomburg, Jean Toomer, and Walter White.

View and read vol. 1-23 courtesy of Modernist Journals Project:


View and read issues from 1910 through 2010 courtesy of Google Books


“LEMONADE” by Beyonce

From Wikipedia:

Beyonce | LEMONADE | Image Credit: hiphopdx.com

Lemonade is the sixth studio album by African-American singer Beyoncé, released on April 23, 2016, by Parkwood Entertainment and distributed through Columbia Records. The record is Beyoncé’s second “visual album”, following her eponymous 2013 record, and a concept album.[8] While its predecessor featured individual music videos for each track, Lemonade was accompanied upon its release by a one-hour film aired on HBO. The album encompasses genres including R&B, pop, hip hop, blues, rock, soul, funk, country, gospel, and trap. Streaming service Tidal described the Lemonade concept as “every woman’s journey of self-knowledge and healing.”[9] It features guest vocals from James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd and Jack White.

Watch Full-Length Documentary Here:


Download Lemonade Syllabus: