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Aaron Douglas


During the Harlem Renaissance African American artists started to become well known. The characteristics of African American art were free, exuberant, emotional, sentimental and human. Aaron Douglas was the Harlem Renaissance artist whose work best represented the movement. He painted murals for public buildings and produced illustrations and cover designs for many black publications including The Crisis and Opportunity. Douglas's work directly depicts images of the domination that African-Americans experienced in the western world. Into Bondage directly educates viewers of the reality of the slave trade from an African-American's viewpoint. This obviously contrasts the Roman society, where the existence of slaves or a slave history was almost completely ignored in artwork. Although forced into the position of slaves, the men in his picture still appear strong and dignified.

The painting on the right is one of Aaron Douglas' work off the cover of James Weldon Johnson's book God's Trombones.

Opportunity Magazine

Magazine cover

Magazine Cover illustrations done by Aaron Douglas

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page last updated March 18, 2005