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Black Is Beautiful: Then and Now

Thursday, April 11

8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Skirball Cultural Center 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles , CA 90049


Join Aperture Foundation at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles for a panel discussion celebrating the work of Kwame Brathwaite.

Hear from the artist’s son and director of the Kwame Brathwaite Archive, Kwame S. Brathwaite, along with fashion designer Mimi Plange and photographer Tyler Mitchell, as they examine the social impact of Brathwaite’s photography. This informative panel will also consider contemporary issues of representation and activism through media.

Purchase tickets here. 

Arrive early to view the exhibition and more! Black Is Beautiful will be open to ticket holders from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Cocktails and light fare will also be available for purchase.

About the Exhibition 

In the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, Kwame Brathwaite used photography to popularize the political slogan “Black Is Beautiful.” This exhibition—the first ever dedicated to Brathwaite’s remarkable career—tells the story of a key figure of the second Harlem Renaissance.

Inspired by the writings of activist and black nationalist Marcus Garvey, Brathwaite, along with his older brother, Elombe Brath, founded the African Jazz Arts Society and Studios (AJASS) and the Grandassa Models. AJASS was a collective of artists, playwrights, designers, and dancers. Grandassa Models—the subject of much of this show’s contents— was a modeling agency for black women, founded to challenge white beauty standards. From stunning studio portraits to behind-the-scenes images of Harlem’s artistic community, including Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln, this show offers a long-overdue exploration of Brathwaite’s life and work.

Kwame Brathwaite (b. 1938 in Brooklyn, New York) is represented by Philip Martin in Los Angeles, and is included in the exhibition Mod New York, on view at the Museum of the City of New York through April 1, 2018. He was honored at Aperture Foundation’s fall 2017 gala.

Image: Kwame Brathwaite, Untitled (Sikolo with Carolee Prince Designs), 1968
© the artist and courtesy Philip Martin Gallery

Black Is Beautiful: Then and Now