Kids’ View

Kids visit Soul of a Nation

Watch kids exploring the Soul of a Nation exhibition and find out more about art in the age of Black Power

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Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power is an exhibition about the artwork that was made in the 1960s, 70s and 80s in the United States of America. This was the time of the Civil Rights Movement, where people fought for the rights of Black people and the equality and justice for everyone in the United States.

During this time there was segregation, which meant that Black people had to go to separate schools and use separate bathrooms. People carried out non-violent protests in the streets for their rights and freedom of speech.

At a March in Washington D.C. in the United States, Dr Martin Luther King, Jr dreamed that his children would live in:

a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.

Black artists wanted to express their thoughts, experiences and emotions at this time. For many, they were thinking where their art should be: in a gallery, in their houses or on the street.

Below is some of the artwork in the exhibition. Have a think about some of the questions below.

  • How do you think it was made?
  • What do you think the artist is trying to say?
  • How would you describe the artwork?
  • A lot of the artwork is about freedom, peace, and love. Can you see these themes in these artworks?
Wadsworth Jarrell Revolutionary 1972 Private Collection © Wadsworth Jarrell

Wadsworth Jarrell Revolutionary 1972 Private Collection © Wadsworth Jarrell

Benny Andrews Did the Bear Sit Under a Tree? 1969 Emanuel Collection © Estate of Benny Andrews/DACS, London/VAGA, NY

Benny Andrews Did the Bear Sit Under a Tree? 1969 Emanuel Collection © Estate of Benny Andrews/DACS, London/VAGA, NY

Romare Bearden Pittsburgh Memory 1964 Private Collection © Romare Bearden Foundation/DACS, London/VAGA, New York

Romare Bearden Pittsburgh Memory 1964 Private Collection © Romare Bearden Foundation/DACS, London/VAGA, New York

Lorraine O'Grady Art Is. . . (Girlfriends Times Two) 1983/2009 Private Collection © Lorraine O’Grady/Artist’s Rights Society (ARS), New York many pieces grid

Lorraine O'Grady Art Is. . . (Girlfriends Times Two) 1983/2009 Private Collection © Lorraine O’Grady/Artist’s Rights Society (ARS), New York many pieces grid

William T. Williams Trane 1969 Studio Museum in Harlem (New York, USA) © William T. Williams; Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

William T. Williams Trane 1969 Studio Museum in Harlem (New York, USA) © William T. Williams; Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

Emma Amos Eva the Babysitter 1973 Courtesy of Emma Amos, the Amos family, and RYAN LEE Gallery

Emma Amos Eva the Babysitter 1973 Courtesy of Emma Amos, the Amos family, and RYAN LEE Gallery

Carolyn Mims Lawrence Black Children Keep Your Spirits Free 1972 Collection & © Carolyn Mims Lawrence

Carolyn Mims Lawrence Black Children Keep Your Spirits Free 1972 Collection & © Carolyn Mims Lawrence

A lot of the artworks above are about identity, what you look like and where you are from.

What kind of artwork would you make that shows who you are?

Has there been a time that you wished you could change something at home, school, or in your neighbourhood? What artwork would you make to create change?

More to explore