Description: This class examines the history of Black art in America since the early 1900s. What is Black Art? Who are the artists, curators, scholars, and theorists who have asked and answered this question over the decades? Is a Black aesthetic inherently revolutionary and interested in the political lives of black people and their liberation? Or is a Black aesthetic best exemplified by the manipulation of materials, visual composition, and saturation? Or both? We will engage theories of black art and aesthetics that emerged in the 1920s through today to take seriously the question: how does the visual life of blackness matter? In this class we will break through the traditional rhetoric of diversity and representation and discuss how artists over the decades have insisted instead on redistributions of power, radical and speculative material practices, and structural change. It is my priority to make this course on black aesthetics joyous, safe, and accessible to students of all genders, sexualities, and disabilities.