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Du Bois, W.E.B.. Criteria of Negro Art
1926, The Crisis, 32: 290-297
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Added by: Quentin Pharr and Clotilde Torregrossa
Abstract: Published in The Crisis of October 1926, DuBois initially spoke these words at a celebration for the recipient of the Twelfth Spingarn Medal, Carter Godwin Woodson. The celebration was part of the NAACP's annual conference and was held in June 1926.

Comment (from this Blueprint): In this selection, Du Bois discusses the nature of aesthetic value, how black artists have been historically excluded from creating it for false and racist reasons, and what role black artists actually have to play in creating beauty. Firstly, he establishes an expansive conception of aesthetic value. Secondly, he sets out various examples of how black artists have been historically excluded from producing art in general and art which portrays "blackness" more specifically. And lastly, he sets out a vision for the arts which not only includes black artists, but also recognizes the aesthetic and political value of their work for creating fair and equal societies where beauty is ever present and sought. It will help readers to understand the costs and wrongs that come with exclusionary practices in the production of aesthetic objects.

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