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Walls of Heritage, Walls of Pride: African American Murals

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2000

    A Great Book for Art Lovers and Historians

    It was when I was doing research in the Bronx, near Poe Park, that I first became excited by the wall paintings in the vibrant, nearby Kingsbridge and Fordham shopping areas. I was particularly taken with Tracy 168, and it was an earlier book, 'Spraycan Art,' coauthored by James Prigoff to which I turned for a quick education, to help me understand and enjoy this largely public art form. Hence I was pleased to learn of this new book, 'Walls of Heritage / Walls of Pride,' and was overwhelmed on actually receiving this book from B&N. For this is a work of substantial beauty, size, content, and interest. I spent several days mostly browsing through the photographs of the art. Then I went back and read two introductory essays that put the pictures into an historical context. Then it was back to the pictures, but this time reading the accompanying notes, largely taken from material written by or quoted from the artist, explaining what he was trying to convey to the viewer. Again, time consuming, but very stimulating mental exercise. My next step is, as my travels take me to various cities, to visit in loco the paintings included in this book, with text in hand, to see, enjoy, understand, agree or disagree with what the artist has created and explained. First on my list for my next trip to New York is to visit the Public Library in Harlem to view Aaron Douglas' 1934 murals, 'Aspects of Negro Life.' This book is large, but it will be a part of my traveling library, and I believe it belongs in yours.

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