Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite is on view now at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The exhibition features over forty photographs of black women and men reclaiming their African roots with natural hair and clothes. This is the first-ever major exhibition dedicated to this key figure of the second Harlem Renaissance. In collaboration with the African Jazz-Art Society and Studios (AJASS) and Grandassa Models, Brathwaite organized fashion shows featuring clothing designed by the models themselves, took stunning portraits of jazz musicians, and captured the black arts community in a series of behind-the-scenes photographs. Brathwaite’s work challenged mainstream beauty standards while celebrating black beauty, instilling a sense of pride throughout the community. On view through September 1 at the Skirball Cultural Center 2701 N Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles. photos courtesy of the Skirball Cultural Center
Who is Dope Saint Jude? For one thing, she is subversive: a self-produced black queer woman from South Africa who is breaking into the cis-male dominated hip hop scene. She is cool: tattoos, leather, glitter on her lips; she has guys on gold chains in her music videos, and next week she is flying to France for the second leg of her tour. She is revolutionary: using hip hop and mad aesthetics as a means to talk about queer visibility, the politics of the brown body, the radical act of self-empowerment. Dope Saint Jude drinks coffee with you, talks about going back to school to legitimize and expand her political consciousness. Days later, you are sharing a joint and dancing at a party for which the theme is “70s DISCO, BLACK EXCELLENCE, and INEVITABLE SHINE.” In essence, Dope Saint Jude resists clean definitions. She is multi-faceted and she expands to include narratives we don’t normally read together. Click here to read more.