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Black Americana Items

Collectors appreciate black Americana items for the window that they provide into a historical epoch in the United States as well as for their innate artistic merits. Many black Americana items are considered controversial today, as they were made during a time of widespread intolerance and bigotry in the decades following the enslavement of African Americans.

Black Americana items nonetheless offer a fascinating perspective on the history of race relations in America. Items that depict cartoonish caricatures of black people with dramatically exaggerated features such as Aunt Jemima reveal the prevailing attitudes of the American public during a vastly different era. They also show how far the general population has come in terms of tolerance.

Black Americana items that were created by African Americans during or shortly subsequent to slavery are treasured for their idiosyncratic beauty and modern aesthetic. These include the quilts of Gee's Bend.


Quick Facts

  • The quilts from Gee's Bend on the Alabama River traveled to various fine art museums in 2014 including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Gee's Bend quilts look like abstract and geometric modern art paintings and routinely sell for tens of thousands of dollars when presented at auction
  • The esteemed contemporary artist Kara Walker reprises the aesthetic of black Americana caricature in her artworks, which often tender scathing political commentary on race relations

Recommended Items at Auction

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Early Black Mammy pot holder wall display
Dec 06, 11:30 PM EST
Early Black Mammy pot holder wall display
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $175- $200
$1250 Bids
Rare Always did spise a mule Black Americana bank
Dec 07, 11:30 PM EST
Rare Always did spise a mule Black Americana bank
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $8,000- $9,000
$6,5000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Black Americana Items