Obelisk Art History
Themes in Art

Artists of the African Diaspora

Artists of the African Diaspora, Themes in ArtFiery Sunset

Through history, art has been a powerful tool for challenging entrenched racial biases, exposing injustice, and opening windows into the lives of oppressed and silenced people and communities. But the arts, like every other social system in America, is institutionally biased against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Below is a list of organizations and non-profits who work tirelessly to create opportunities for BIPOC and Queer artists in the U.S. Please consider supporting them through donations or sharing.

Finally, take some time to get to know a few of the Black artists that have told their stories through paint, print and sculpture. I recommend the 60-painting Migration Series by Jacob Lawrence, that tells the story of the more than a million Black Americans who fled the rural south after the start of WWI, and horrific violence they faced in leaving, on the journey, and on their arrival in the north.

Black Artists + Designers GuildDonate

A global platform representing independent Black artists, makers and designers, dedicated to creating dialogue and rewriting the misrepresented legacy of Black artists and designers.

Arts Leaders of Color Emergency FundDonate

Support BIPOC artists and administrators, including consultants, facilitators, box office staff, seasonal and temporary employees, etc. who have been financially impacted due to COVID-19.

African American Arts & Culture ComplexDonate

Empowering the San Francisco Bay Area through Afro-centric artistic and cultural expression, mediums, education, and programming.

Black Artist Fund, by 10011Donate

A fund to raise money for distribution to Black artists and Black art collectives in the U.S.

Black Trans Femmes in the ArtsDonate

BTFA Collective is connecting the community of black trans women and non-binary femmes in the arts.

Harlem Arts AllianceDonate

A network of established and emerging visual and performing artists, businesses, and institutions that partners with major arts institutions in New York to increase its members’ visibility.

Black Art FuturesDonate

Philanthropists promoting the elevation and preservation of Black arts & culture, through grant making, board-matching, and organization-to-donor cultivation, to amplify and strengthen the future of Black art.


Got questions, comments or corrections about Artists of the African Diaspora? Join the conversation in the Obelisk chat room, and if you enjoy content like this, consider becoming a member to unlock exclusive essays, downloadables, and discounts at the Obelisk Store.

Reed Enger, "Artists of the African Diaspora," in Obelisk Art History, Published February 10, 2020; last modified January 08, 2021, http://arthistoryproject.com/subjects/artists-of-the-african-diaspora/.

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