Black Art and the Neo-Ancestral Impulse

By H. Ike Okafor-Newsum (Horace Newsum)
Foreword by Demetrius L. Eudell

Introduction by John W. Roberts

224 pages (approx.), 7 x 10 inches, 137 color illustrations, foreword, introduction, appendix, index

978-1-62846-225-8 Printed casebinding $65.00S

Printed casebinding, $65.00

A study of the creative infusion of "African-ness" and social justice into African American art traditions

In SoulStirrers, H. Ike Okafor-Newsum describes the birth and development of an artistic movement in Cincinnati, Ohio, identified with the Neo-Ancestral impulse. The Neo-Ancestral impulse emerges as an extension of the Harlem Renaissance, the Negritude Movement, and the Black Arts Movement, all of which sought to re-represent the "primitive" and "savage" black and African in new terms. Central to the dominant racial framework has always been the conception that the black subject was not only inferior, but indeed incapable of producing art. The Neo-Ancestral impulse posed a challenge to both existing form and content. Like its intellectual antecedents, the movement did not separate art from life and raised a central question, one that the "soul stirrers" of Cincinnati are engaging in their artistic productions. Okafor-Newsum defines collapsing of the sacred and the profane as a central tendency of African aesthetics, transformed and rearticulated here in the Americas.

In this volume, the artistic productions ask readers to consider the role of those creating and viewing this art by attempting to shift the way in which we view the ordinary. The works of these artists, therefore, are not only about the survival of African-derived cultural forms, though such remains a central effect of them. These extraordinary pieces, installations, and movements consistently refer to the cultural reality of the Americas and the need for political and intellectual transformation. They constitute important intellectual interventions that serve as indispensable elements in the redefinition and reinterpretation of our society.

Featuring numerous color illustrations and profiles of artists, this volume reveals exciting trends in African American art and in the African diaspora more broadly.

H. Ike Okafor-Newsum (Horace Newsum), Columbus, Ohio, is an established visual artist, primarily a sculptor and painter, and an associate professor and chairperson in the Department of African-American and African Studies at Ohio State University. He is the author of Class, Language, and Education: Class Struggle and Sociolinguistics in an African Situation and coauthor of two books: The Use of English (with Adebisi Afolayan) and United States Foreign Policy Towards Southern Africa: Andrew Young and Beyond (with Olayiwola Abegunrin).

224 pages (approx.), 7 x 10 inches, 137 color illustrations, foreword, introduction, appendix, index