“The New-York Historical Society is the exclusive New York City venue for the traveling exhibition Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite, the first major show dedicated to this pivotal figure who helped launch and popularize the ‘Black Is Beautiful’ movement of the 1960s. Organized by Aperture Foundation in partnership with Kwame S. Brathwaite, the exhibition features 40 large-scale color and black-and-white photographs that document how Brathwaite helped change America’s political and cultural landscape during the so-called Second Harlem Renaissance, using his art to affirm Black physical beauty, celebrate African American community and identity, and reflect the vibrancy of Harlem’s jazz scene, local businesses, and events.” — New-York Historical Society
“We are thrilled to bring this exhibition to New York City, Kwame Brathwaite’s hometown and the location of many of his most powerful images,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of New-York Historical. “His work is a testament to the power of a visual medium to impact the movement towards racial equity. We hope Kwame Brathwaite’s photographs inspire a deeper understanding of the Black empowerment movement and how its legacy resonates today.”
“This stop on the touring exhibition is especially meaningful because this is a New York story,” said Kwame S. Brathwaite. “My father was born in Brooklyn, raised in the Bronx and resides in Manhattan. These images introduce us to the origin of the Black is Beautiful movement that started in Harlem and show us how art, politics, music, and fashion combined to inspire, empower and change the status quo.”
Organized by Aperture in partnership with Kwame S. Brathwaite, Brathwaite’s son and director of the Kwame Brathwaite Archive. Following its presentation at New-York Historical, the exhibition travels to the University of Alabama at Birmingham for the Abroms‐Engel Institute for the Visual Arts in February 2023.
Images courtesy New-York Historical Society.