African American Folk Art

The Delta, Pine Belt and Southeast Corridor.

The bulk of African American folk arts area stretches from eastern Texas to southern Maryland.  It's as close to Africa as you can get and was initiated by the horrific slave trade, plantation era, and sharecropper farming.

The exception to this locus are artists like Sultan Rogers from Syracuse, NY or William Dawson from Chicago, IL.  But the reason for those artists and others residing in the north is due to the great exodus of African Americans after the Civil War and during the Depression.

African American Folk Art Gallery

African American Folk Art

Poor African American farmers and rural people settled in the Midwest and along the East coast to escape  spreading the African diaspora even beyond the Deep South.  Therefore strong African American traditions and traits can be discovered in urban areas as well.

Just as blues notes surfaced from the fields near Memphis to the Chicago stockyards, African American Folk Art also traveled as the cultural baggage of these misplaced peoples, for how else would you explain nkisi power objects being strewn in an alleyway in Philadelphia?