The Detroit Institute of Arts, in collaboration with Aperture traveling exhibitions, presents Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite.
The exhibit highlights the life and career of Brathwaite in the 1950s and 1960s, and his influence on the “Black is Beautiful” movement. The retrospective includes large scale, color works by Brathwaite, an influential activist, photographer and co-founder of the African Jazz-Arts Society and Studios.
Inspired by activist and black nationalist Marcus Garvey's writings, Brathwaite, along with his older brother, Elombe Brath, founded the African Jazz Arts Society and Studios (AJASS) and the Grandassa Models.
This segment includes portraits of Brathwaite + members of AJASS, and features work showcasing Harlem jazz clubs and festivals in New York City.
This section celebrates people and places through photography. These images depict Black economic independence, political consciousness and self-representation. Brathwaite was an integral force behind the “Black is Beautiful” movement. Through his photos, he promoted shops and storefronts where Black-owned businesses were located.
The third segment features music and fashion as represented by the Grandassa Models. This portion includes fashion shoots, promotional poster designs, and album cover art. Included alongside the images are original pieces of handcrafted African-inspired jewelry and clothing.
Please note: All museum visitors are required to make advance reservations in order to control capacity. Reservations can be made at dia.org or by calling 313-833-4005. Please review covid protocols which can be found here.
Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite is organized by Aperture, New York and Kwame S. Brathwaite, with major support provided by Cadillac.
The New Black Vanguard | December 14, 2021
An exhibition curated by Antwaun Sargent, curator + critic. This exhibit features a new generation of black photograpers.
Kwame S. Brathwaite | Date TBD
A lecture by Kwame S. Brathwaite, son of Brathwaite. Kwame S. Brathwaite currently serves as the director of the Kwame Brathwaite Archive in Pasadena, California.
More details to follow as they become available.