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Black History Month: Spotlighting Black Artists (Part 2)

Dear San Fernando Valley,


This week, we'll be continuing our series on Black artist in honor of Black history month! We've collected a list of three artists were all raised in Los Angeles! Hope you all enjoy.

 

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar is a renowned rapper that was born in Compton in Los Angeles, California in 1987 and is regarded as one of the most influential artists and lyricists of all time. He started his career when he was 16 in 2004, as he released a mixtape that caught the attention of Top Dawg Records, then a small record label. He gained critical acclaim with his major label debut album Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City in 2012. His third studio album, How to Pimp a Butterfly also did exceptionally well and topped the Billboard 200 chart in 2015. In 2017, he released the album Damn which was also a commercial hit and has spent 200 weeks straight on the Billboard 200 Chart. Lamar also produced and rapped in the soundtrack for the Black Panther movie, which also became critically acclaimed and achieved commercial success. Lamar’s style consists of a fusion of different genres of music such as hip-hop, spoken word, jazz, and funk.


Kendrick Lamar has had an incredibly successful and critically acclaimed career with an impressive count of 13 Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize for Music for Damn, 2 AMAs, and many more. His albums are listed within Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and have been recognized as a General Icon by the California Senate. His song “How Much A Dollar Cost” in How to Pimp A Butterfly is also noted to be former President Obama’s favorite song in 2015.


Kendrick Lamar’s official website: http://www.kendricklamar.com/

Learn more about Lamar’s lyrics: https://genius.com/artists/Kendrick-lamar

 

Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin


Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin is a Los Angeles-based urban photographer who photographs the many different urban areas in Los Angeles county. According to his bio, “His work blends elements of landscape, documentary, and street photography to present a side of the city life that’s foreign to the unfamiliar. The experience of growing up in Los Angeles is the foundation for his photo essays, sharing a perspective that is often missing from the mainstream narrative.” His works also touch on the problems of gentrification and homelessness in Los Angeles.


Kwasi is recognized by publications like Time Magazine, The Public Work, KCET Artbound, Curbed Los Angeles, Slate France, and The New York Times. He has also worked on “City of Ghosts,” a Netflix animation series which will be released in March 2021.


Visit Kwasi’s website to see his photo galleries: https://www.kwasiboydbouldin.com/



 

Betye Saar


Betye Saar was born in 1926 in Los Angeles and is currently 94 years old. She is a renowned contemporary artist, especially acclaimed for her assemblage works and prints. She is well known for being a part of the Black Arts Movement in the 1970s by creating art that counters the stereotypes of African-Americans, especially African-American women.


Betye Saar began her art career during her time at Pasadena City College as she enrolled in art classes there. She then transferred to UCLA and would go on to get her master’s degree studying at multiple colleges in the Los Angeles area. She originally planned to be a social worker or art teacher, but she rose to acclaim as an artist with her assemblages with racist imagery as social and political protest. She is also known for rejecting white feminism and including the Black female narrative in feminism as she made art celebrating the Black female body. One of her most famous works is “The Liberation of Aunt Jemima”. Its purpose is to empower Black women to define their own narrative and identity against a White-dominated society, much like her other works.


Click here to learn more about "The Liberation of Aunt Jemima": https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-betye-saar-transformed-aunt-jemima-symbol-black-power#:~:text=Since%20the%20The%20Liberation%20of,that%20they%20will%20liberate%20themselves.

Visit MoMA’s website to learn more about Saar and to see more of her artworks: https://www.moma.org/artists/5102

 

Thanks for reading San Fernando Valley! Make sure to contribute to our project by submitting a letter through the "Submit Here" page if you haven't done so already. See you back next week for our final post of this series! And always, if you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please email us at dearsfv@gmail,com.


Sincerely,

DSFV Team

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