Focusing on the Carolinas, this seminar explores the many ways African Americans have used art to define themselves and their communities. We will ask how art has been used to maintain cultural traditions, shape American culture and build political solidarity from the era of colonialism and slavery to the present. We will study the cultivation of artistic practices from Africa; African American painters, sculptors and craftsmen who earned national reputations for the quality of their work; artists who re-imagined and redefined African American identity through art; and artists throughout the 20th century who represented the daily lives and hardships of rural and working-class blacks. Students will visit campus museums and archives and conduct original research using regional sources. Persistent questions throughout the semester will include, How does the art of African Americans in the Carolinas provoke us to question our own identities and roles within the region, and what is the contemporary role of art in shaping public discourse?