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Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite

October 8, 2021 – January 16, 2022

Updated Sep 16, 2021

Kwame Braithwaite photographed one of the most influential cultural movements of the 1960s, when Black women and men turned to natural hairstyles and African-inspired clothing as means of self-empowerment. Black Is Beautiful is the first major exhibition dedicated to Brathwaite, with more than 40 large-scale color and black and white photographs of stunning studio portraits, fashion work, and behind-the-scenes images of Harlem's Black-owned businesses, its artistic community, and jazz scene including Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln.

Kwame Brathwaite, Self-portrait, African Jazz-Art Society & Studios (AJASS), Harlem, ca. 1964; from Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019)

Kwame Braithwaite photographed one of the most influential cultural movements of the 1960s, when Black women and men turned to natural hairstyles and African-inspired clothing as means of self-empowerment. Black Is Beautiful is the first major exhibition dedicated to Brathwaite, with more than 40 large-scale color and black and white photographs of stunning studio portraits, fashion work, and behind-the-scenes images of Harlem's Black-owned businesses, its artistic community, and jazz scene including Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln.

Images

Kwame Brathwaite, Sikolo Brathwaite wearing a headpiece designed by Carolee Prince, African Jazz-Art Society & Studios (AJASS), Harlem, ca. 1968; from Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019)

Kwame Brathwaite, Sikolo Brathwaite wearing a headpiece designed by Carolee Prince, African Jazz-Art Society & Studios (AJASS), Harlem, ca. 1968; from Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019)

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Kwame Brathwaite, Carolee Prince wearing her own jewelry designs. African Jazz-Art Society & Studios (AJASS), Harlem, ca. 1964; from Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019)

Kwame Brathwaite, Carolee Prince wearing her own jewelry designs. African Jazz-Art Society & Studios (AJASS), Harlem, ca. 1964; from Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019)

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Man smoking in a ballroom, Harlem, ca. 1962; from Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019)

Man smoking in a ballroom, Harlem, ca. 1962; from Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019)

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Kwame Brathwaite, Marcus Garvey Day Parade, Harlem, ca. 1967; from Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019)

Kwame Brathwaite, Marcus Garvey Day Parade, Harlem, ca. 1967; from Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019)

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Kwame Brathwaite, Grandassa Model onstage, Apollo Theater, Harlem, ca. 1968; from Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019)

Kwame Brathwaite, Grandassa Model onstage, Apollo Theater, Harlem, ca. 1968; from Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019)

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Kwame Brathwaite, Self-portrait, African Jazz-Art Society & Studios (AJASS), Harlem, ca. 1964; from Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019)

Kwame Brathwaite, Self-portrait, African Jazz-Art Society & Studios (AJASS), Harlem, ca. 1964; from Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019)

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Kwame Brathwaite, Sikolo Brathwaite, African Jazz-Art Society & Studios (AJASS), Harlem, ca. 1968; from Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019)

Kwame Brathwaite, Sikolo Brathwaite, African Jazz-Art Society & Studios (AJASS), Harlem, ca. 1968; from Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019)

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Kwame Brathwaite, Photo shoot at a public school for one of the AJASS-associated modeling groups that emulated the Grandassa Models and began to embrace natural hairstyles. Harlem, ca. 1966; from Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019)

Kwame Brathwaite, Photo shoot at a public school for one of the AJASS-associated modeling groups that emulated the Grandassa Models and began to embrace natural hairstyles. Harlem, ca. 1966; from Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019)

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