african-american-flag

David Hammons (b. 1943) is an African-American artist from New York City. Among his works, which are often inspired by the civil rights and Black Power movements, one of the best known is the “African American Flag”, which he designed in 1990 by recoloring the U.S. national flag in the Garvey colors (red, black, and green of the Pan-African flag). The flag is a part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and a copy is hoisted at the entrance to the Studio Museum in Harlem, a New York museum devoted to the art of African-Americans.

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Freedom is selective and only befriends those who know a lesser emotional weight. It only kisses the foreheads of those who needn’t imagine the distant screams of many who have come before them as they read the morning news. We’re still searching for the shards of glass that once made up a window we’ve only heard fables about looking out of. Generations later we’re still hoping to gather all the pieces, bloodied fingers with each discovery. We still aspire to sit in the sill, take a deep breath, and truly understand what liberty is. We have been hated, hunted, and denied the right to grieve. Right hand over heart, ingrained memories of shackles and violence, we are Americans in queue waiting to be kissed by each star and stripe. The weights of capitalism and white supremacy on our backs, we’re still picking up the pieces, creating the view our lost ones deserved. Photography: lex-the-creative Creative & Art Direction: dopenmind Makeup: Rochelle Jones Models: Cameron Townsend, Senettra Harvey *please do not remove original text*

African American Day Parade

So this has been running through my mind for a minute, but what encouraged me to finally write on my blog about it was an African American Day Parade post and the comments that followed out with it. I’ve lived in Harlem all my life up until 2006 when I moved. One thing I can say about the African American Day parade in Harlem is that gentrification to me is not the ONLY reason as to why its not as popular as it should be. This has been going on for a hot minute way before the completed form of Harlem being gentrified and fucked over. It has also to do with those who know of the parade but then are quick to go on social sites such as FB and say they ain’t going cause it’s gonna be whack or from other comments I’ve seen they’ve said something like how its just gonna be another shoot out so what’s the point of going. Then you have people who live in nyc and didn’t even know that there was such a thing as an african american day parade. Then of course you have the wonderful media who only post shit up (usually in the newspaper) about the parade when and if there is a shoot out and if they do mention it in a positive light (in only the newspaper!) they put it in a small corner where anyone could obviously miss the shit. I’ve never seen it broadcasted onto TV like they do with for example the National Puerto Rican Day Parade that’s hosted on 5th Ave with every news station tuned in.

The last time I went to the African American Day Parade I remember getting off the train on my way there and expecting to see fellow parade goers holding various sizes of the African American Flag just as the proud parade goers for the Caribbean parade in brooklyn, but sadly that was not the case. Overall when I think about this parade I get so frustrated because i feel like this shit should be a big ass fucking deal, I want lights camera action on this motherfucker to show that we the best and sadly we don’t receive that kind of recognition. I want large ass crowds of people on the ave, on the train, every where just turning the fuck up for our parade and I haven’t seen it yet. Yeah there are crowds but it ain’t as much as it should be. Also I understand that there is an importance for why it’s hosted on 7th Avenue but I feel like since we ain’t getting no where with that location, we might as well follow up and take over fifth avenue,I think it’s only right.

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Demonstrators burn a US flag in Denver as protests against ‘state-sponsored racism’ spread

The murder of nine parishioners at a historical black church in Charleston, South Carolina, last week renewed debate about the place of the Confederate flag in US culture.

Pictures emerged of Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old accused of slaughtering nine African-Americans, holding the flag in the disturbing pictures he posted on his hate-filled website. The Confederate battle flag became a potent symbol for the southern states fighting the Civil War as they sought to break away from the union.

Protesters held placards, one comparing the flag to a swastika, and listened as community leaders blasted the state government for not acting to remove the emblem of slavery - which many believe has become a rallying symbol for racism and xenophobia in the United States.

This July 4, burn both flags of slavery: the confederacy and U.S. imperialism!

David Hammons grew up in Illinois, but he moved to New York City when he was in his thirties.  That is where his “African American Flag” hangs - above The Studio Museum of Harlem.  Even though Hammons isn’t originally from New York, I think the fact that he places his art there shows that the city has become a part of his culture.

-Emily

Hammons´ African American Flag 1990

This flag was designed by David Hammons, an African-American artist from New York City. His works were inspired by the civil rights and Black Power movements. He designed the “African-American Flag” in 1990 by recoloring the US national flag in the Garvey colors. The flag is now a part of the permanent collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art and a copy is flown daily at the entrance of the Harlem Studio Museum, a New York museum devoted to the art of African-Americans, so his design is no longer just a work of art, but has become a very real and used flag.

The dimensions of the original flag was 56" x 88" (142.2 x 223.5 cm), but a variety of sizes can now be seen on the Web and the flag flown at the Studio Museum seems closer to the default proportions of the US national flag than to the Hammons’ original model.

The Confederate flag should not come down because it is offensive to African Americans. The Confederate flag should come down because it is embarrassing to all Americans. The embarrassment is not limited to the flag, itself. The fact that it still flies, that one must debate its meaning in 2015, reflects an incredible ignorance. A century and a half after Lincoln was killed, after 750,000 of our ancestors died, Americans still aren’t quite sure why.