Harris gives an overview of the political setting before the "Wall of Respect" was painted and reveals some of the social unrest that led to the painting of the "first outside mural." He continues with the early to mid-1970’s style of painting that began to be more "decorative, stylized, symbolic, and colorful." He also describes the work of some of the artists, such as Don McIlvaine’s "Black Man’s Dilemma" and Don Chandler’s " Knowledge is Power."

Harris continues with examples of artists and their work and describes some of the social/political issues prevalent at that moment in history. Harris concludes with spraycan art and reminds us that the Sahara Desert has rock paintings that date back 10,000 years.

The pictures of the murals are all in color and a statement by the muralist is included along with a statement by the authors. The book contains a section on mural timelines, followed by 189 pages of beautifully colored photographs of murals from all regions of the United States. There is a title list of the major murals by state, artists’ biographies, a bibliography which contains not only a list of books, but also exhibition catalogs, articles, archival papers, dissertations and websites, as well as a complete index. This book is highly recommended as an excellent source for the study of African American mural painting.


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November 2001