Black is Beautiful
By Kwame Brathwaite (Photographer)
Text by Tanisha C. Ford and Deborah Willis
In the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, Kwame Brathwaite used his photography to popularize the political slogan “Black Is Beautiful.” This monograph―the first ever dedicated to Brathwaite’s remarkable career―tells the story of a key, but under-recognized, figure of the second Harlem Renaissance.
Inspired by the writings of activist and black nationalist Marcus Garvey, Brathwaite, along with his older brother, Elombe Brath, founded the African Jazz Arts Society and Studios (AJASS) and the Grandassa Models (1962). AJASS was a collective of artists, playwrights, designers, and dancers; Grandassa Models was a modeling agency for black women, founded to challenge white beauty standards. From stunning studio portraits of the Grandassa Models to behind-the-scenes images of Harlem’s artistic community, including Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln, and Miles Davis, this book offers a long-overdue exploration of Brathwaite’s life and work.
Hardcover, 144 pages
Dimensions: 8.5" x 10.625" x 0.75"
This monograph accompanies the Detroit Institute of of Arts exhibition "Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite" which runs from Friday, October 8, 2021 - Sunday, January 16, 2022.