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The Crisis of the African-American Architect:Conflicting Cultures of Architecture and (Black) Power
     

The Crisis of the African-American Architect:Conflicting Cultures of Architecture and (Black) Power

by Melvin L. Mitchell
 
In his call for a "New (Black) Urbanism"—this semi-autobiographic manifesto of black architect-professor examines 20th century cultural schisms inhibiting a relevant "Black Architecture."

Black culture was becoming an engine of American culture at the turn of the twentieth century while Black America was being brutally suppressed in the drive to acquire power

Overview

In his call for a "New (Black) Urbanism"—this semi-autobiographic manifesto of black architect-professor examines 20th century cultural schisms inhibiting a relevant "Black Architecture."

Black culture was becoming an engine of American culture at the turn of the twentieth century while Black America was being brutally suppressed in the drive to acquire power and capital. After the 1890s patronage of black architects by Booker T. Washington to design and build Tuskegee, the baton passed to Howard University affiliated architects during the 1920s Harlem Renaissance era. Author Melvin Mitchell argues that the "professionalism" ideology of these Du Boisian "gentleman architects" unwittingly inhibited adaptation of the new Modern Architecture to fit black economic and cultural realities.

Ironically, modern architecture's aesthetic derived from African sculpture through 1900s Picasso-Cubism foundations. That aesthetic was also profoundly influenced by Black Africa rhythmic forces producing Black Blues and Jazz musical genius now celebrated universally.

The 1970s-era Black mayors, as the new patrons of Black architects, were unable to spawn a self-sustaining architect group who could pass their baton to a next generation. Today, Black America's growing economic capacity and need for housing and community development offers new opportunities for Black architects to develop a "New (Black) Urbanism" culture-based architecture. Today's Black film, communications, and architect-builder entrepreneurs must become their model.

The eight HBCU architecture schools must lead in this new direction.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780595177110
Publisher:
iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date:
01/01/2001
Pages:
396
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.14(h) x 1.00(d)

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