San Francisco, October 2013 – The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) is pleased to announce its winter exhibition, Crosscurrents: Africa and Black Diasporas in Dialogue, 1960-1980. Culled from the aesthetic and political movements associated with the Black freedom struggles that flourished in the middle of the 20th century, the exhibition’s collection of fine art, documentary and artistic photographs, and material ephemera explores the influence of Black liberation movements on music, art, poetry, and drama. Crosscurrents opens on December 11, 2013 and runs through April 13, 2014, and will be accompanied by a catalogue featuring thirteen scholarly essays.
From the American Revolutionary War to the civil rights movement through today, forward-thinking U.S. Blacks have consistently aligned their struggle for freedom with the battles of other oppressed peoples, especially those of African descent. This alignment has come to light through various movements such as anti-colonialism, Pan-Africanism, Négritude, Negrismo, Indigenism, Blackness, anti-imperialism, and Black internationalism. Each one of these iterations emphasized culture as a means for holistic empowerment and invited African people to define culture on their own terms.
Crosscurrents illuminates many such examples of the global reach of Black internationalism, and finds an ideal venue in MoAD, an institution committed to showcasing the history, art, and cultural richness that resulted from the dispersal of Africans throughout the world. The exhibition also shines a light on the San Francisco Bay Area as a hotbed of revolutionary thought and actions, known for the Black Panther Party, student activism at UC Berkeley, the student strike at San Francisco State University that led to the founding of the first Black Studies department, the prolific output of graphic social justice posters, and seminal publications like Soul Book, Black Dialogue and the The Black Scholar.
The exhibition conveys and explores the influence of Black liberation movements on various artistic genres—including music, art, poetry, and film. In the accompanying catalogue, thirteen scholars draw on original interdisciplinary research to delve further into the themes of the exhibition. Contributors include co-editor Lizzetta LeFalle-Collins (also the exhibition’s curator), Willie Collins, Halifu Osumare, Rickey Vincent, Pat Thomas, Eddie Chambers, Lincoln Cushing, Meta DuEwa Jones, Amiri Baraka, Michael O. West, Scot Brown, Jane Rhodes and Komozi Woodard. In addition to illustrating the global cultural dimensions of the Black Arts Movement, the exhibition and catalogue for Cultivating Crosscurrents offer audiences a rare in-depth exploration of the creative output of the thinkers, artists/makers, and activists associated with the many artistic and political movements of Black internationalism.