Art and Identity Among the Black Upper-Middle Class

By Patricia A. Banks

© 2010 – Routledge

122 pages | 36 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415654050
pub: 2012-07-11
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415800600
pub: 2009-12-10
US Dollars$140.00

About the Book

Patricia A. Banks traverses the New York and Atlanta art worlds to uncover how black identities are cultivated through black art patronage. Drawing on over 100 in-depth interviews, observations at arts events, and photographs of art displayed in homes, Banks elaborates a racial identity theory of consumption that highlights how upper-middle class blacks forge black identities for themselves and their children through the consumption of black visual art. She not only challenges common assumptions about elite cultural participation, but also contributes to the heated debate about the significance of race for elite blacks, and illuminates recent art world developments. In doing so, Banks documents how the salience of race extends into the cultural life of even the most socioeconomically successful blacks.

Table of Contents

1. Constructing Black Identities 2. Seeing Ourselves: A Portrait of Cultural Participation and Image 3. Collective Memories: A Portrait of Cultural Participation and the Past 4. Measures of Worth: A Portrait of Cultural Participation and Dignity 5. Advancing the Race: A Portrait of Cultural Participation and Community 6. Race, Cultural Participation, and the Black Middle-Class. Appendix: Research Sites and Research Procedures

About the Author

Patricia A. Banks is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Mount Holyoke College.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Race and Ethnicity

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / Business Aspects
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Social Classes