230 x 275 mm
In the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, Kwame Brathwaite used his photography to popularize the political slogan “Black Is Beautiful.” This monograph—the first ever dedicated to Brathwaite’s remarkable career—tells the story of a key, but under-recognized, figure of the second Harlem Renaissance.
Inspired by the writings of activist and black nationalist Marcus Garvey, Brathwaite, along with his older brother, Elombe Brath, founded the African Jazz Arts Society and Studios (AJASS) and the Grandassa Models (1962). AJASS was a collective of artists, playwrights, designers, and dancers; Grandassa Models was a modeling troupe for black women, founded to challenge white beauty standards. From stunning studio portraits of the Grandassa Models to behind-the-scenes images of Harlem’s artistic community, including Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln, and Miles Davis, this book offers a long-overdue exploration of Brathwaite’s life and work.
About the Artist
Kwame Brathwaite was an American photojournalist and activist known for popularizing the phrase “Black is Beautiful” and documenting life and culture in Harlem and across Africa.
About the Magazine
Aperture, a not-for-profit foundation, is a magazine and photography organisation. Created in 1952 by photographers and writers as ‘common ground for the advancement of photography,’ Aperture today is a multi-platform publisher and center for the photo community. From their base in New York, we produce, publish, and present a program of photography projects, locally and internationally.