The history of Art has been entrenched with discriminatory assumptionsfrom the hegemonic Westerners critics regarding to what come to be called theuncivilised societies such as African ones. The understanding one may have of aesthetics from Western writers and philosophers such as Gobineau, Kant,Hume, and Hegel seems to be valued as appropriate and applicable only toWestern culture. But, according to African intellectuals such the Senegalese poetLeopold Sedar Senghor, these “Eurocentric scholars have drawn their theoryfrom the European aesthetics which is rooted from the remote Greek civilisationcharacterized by a Hellenic rational philosophy named Logos”
. Besides, Black people, who were stereotyped as ‘primitive beings’, are thought unable to produce meaningful aesthetic artefacts. This is highlighted through these wordsof the Senegalese Secretary General of the Biennale AFRIC’ART OusseynouWade: “
In the domain of visual art like in others, the quantifier African has anegative connotation.
Nevertheless, in the purpose of deconstructing racist assessment about theunknown Negro art, African American intellectuals from the Diaspora launchedthe movement Black aesthetics renaissance. The origin of this latter trend can betraced back in America where African slaves who were deported to work in theSouthern American plantations between the 15
and the late 18
century. After the Civil War and the Reconstruction in 1880s, Black slaves who werestereotyped as an uncultured and unrefined human being, succeed in gainingmore or less their social freedom. Despite the African American liberation fromworks in the plantations, there is a yearn for cultural self- definition. In thiscontext, Black artists and intellectuals agreed on Black aesthetics rehabilitationthrough the “African-American
movement created in 1925. This
Léopold Sedar Senghor.
Liberté I, Négritude et Humanisme
(Paris : Edition du Seuil, 1974), p.2.
Mamadou Alpha Ndiaye & Alpha Amadou Sy.
African Negro Aesthetics and the Quest for Universality
(Dakar: Nouvelles du Sud, 2007), p.57.
The New Negro, Voices of the Harlem Renaissance
(New York: Macmillan Publishing Company,1992), p.150.