Investigating Race and Racism through African American Art and Artists
Inspired by Victor Lowenfeld’s teaching at The Hampton Institute (1939-1945) in Virginia, this study will explore why and how I address issues of race and racism in my classrooms at Francis Marion University in South Carolina, in which I regularly have more than 50% African American students. Methodologically, this study is grounded in critical race theory (CRT) that grew out of the critical legal studies movement in the 1970s and made its way into the field of education in the mid 1990s (Kraehe & Acuff, 2013). I believe that racially and culturally responsive teaching plays a critical role in helping students come to understand their ethnic self-esteem, cultural diversity, and social inclusion. Therefore, we as educators broadly need to re-evaluate our content and teaching goals in terms of the cultural, ethnic, racial, and social diversity of our students. Then, we will be able to renew and expand the role of art education in a democratic society.