The roots of the US black art renaissance: ‘It wouldn’t have been OK in any other city’

The neighbourhoods surrounding Martin Luther King Jr’s birthplace are the heart of a thriving cultural movement

When rapper and activist Michael Render, aka Killer Mike, joined the board of the High Museum of Art – the leading art museum of the US south – it became clear that a new cultural movement was making its presence felt in Atlanta. In the past, critics sizing up the talent of Atlanta’s contemporary black artists could probably have named the painter and sculptor Radcliffe Bailey and the visual artist Fahamu Pecou, but might have struggled to describe the wider creative scene. Today, however, the city is being hailed as undergoing what has been dubbed a “New Atlanta Renaissance” .

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