Ethnic Roots and Urban Arts
All University Curriculum/Arts 150 || University of Hartford || Fall/Spring

Dr. A. Cheryl Curtis
Dr. Anthony T. Rauche
Dr. S. Edward Weinswig

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Course Overview

This integrated course seeks to broaden students' knowledge of the diversity and richness of the artistic contributions of ethnic groups which have shaped the dynamics of the urban community. Students acquire a reference base of selected ethnic arts, including visual arts, music, drama, language and literature, dance and folkways. They also explore the arts within their critical, historical and sociological contexts. Students are exposed to the ethnic arts resources in the Greater Hartford Area. (Oral and Written Communication and Values Identification.)

Course Objectives

The course focuses on the arts of African American and Puerto Rican peoples. We cultivate a pluralistic and inclusive view of the arts and foster an overall appreciation of artistic values of other cultures.

Some of the pages we link to are graphics intensive. Please be patient.


"Ethnic Me" || Who Am I? Identifying the Arts and the Ethnic Arts Quilt (EAQ)

African American Quilting Traditions: an online student project by Jaime Leigh, University of Virginia

History and Significance of Ghana's Kente Cloth: a homepage created by Kwadwo Boahene

Hype: a webzine that monitors the Black image in the media

Black English: an online student project by Brian C. Lewis, Princeton University

Carolyn Mazloomi: Quilter, Author, Lecturer, Curator

Faith Ringgold: Teacher, writer and artist known for her painted story quilts -- art that combines painting, quilted fabric and storytelling examines quiltmaking and identity within the African-American art tradition

White Identity:

Time to Dismantle "Whiteness": Major W. Cox, the Montgomery Advertiser

White Like Me: Ellen Barry, The Boston Phoenix

Ethnic Notions, Images of African Americans in Popular Culture || Film and Discussion

Recognizing Stereotypical Images of African Americans in Television and Movies: Steven F. Gray, Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute

Weaving the Ethnic Arts Quilt || Connecting Personal and Cultural Ethnicity


African American Arts || Storytelling and the Griot

selected Uncle Remus folk tales by Joel Chandler Harris. Webpage is part of an on-line student project by Melissa Murray and Dominic Perella, University of Virginia.

African American Customs, Beliefs and Lifestyles


An African American Anthology || "The Whole Story" by Master Artist Walter "Rap" Bailey


African American Literature, Musical Traditions, and the Visual Arts

Poetry and Prose from the Harlem Renaissance: Compiled by Jill Diesman, Northern Kentucky University

Artnoir Showcase: An online Art Journal

Brief bio of Faith Ringgold: Faculty Pages, University of California at San Diego

African Americans in the Visual Arts: Professor Melvin R. Sylvester, Long Island University

Research Guides to African-American Music: William and Gayle Cook Music Library, Indiana University School of Music

Brief bio of Billie Holliday: Dr. Mike Day, Eastern New Mexico University

Gospel Music Historical Chart: part of Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Museum website

Blue Flame Café: an interactive biographical dictionary of great blues singers

Great Day in Harlem: interactive jazz site at

Ethnic Foodways


History and Culture of Puerto Rico

Latino Arts Quilt and the Puerto Rican Identity

Hopscotch:A Cultural Review: an online journal

Puerto Rican Literature, Musical Traditions and the Visual Arts

The Music of Puerto Rico: a website by Magaly Rivera

Essays on Salsa compiled by Tony Alicea

Santeria || Beliefs and Sprituality


The Ethnic Arts Quilt: Synthesis of African American and Puerto Rican Arts

  Link to Images



Jack Agueros, "Halfway to Dick and Jane, A Puerto Rican Pilgrimage," in The Immigrant Experience: The Anguish of Becoming American.ed. Thomas C. Wheeler, 1977.
Geneva Gay, "African American Culture and Contributions in American Life," in Educating for Diversity.ed. Carl Grant, 1995.
Linda Goss and Marian E. Barnes, eds., Talk that Talk, An Anthology of African-American Storytelling.1989.
Linda Goss and Clay Goss, eds., Jump Up and Say!, A Collection of Black Storytelling.1995.
Robert Santiago, ed., Boricuas, Influential Puerto Rican Writings: An Anthology.1995.

Selected Student Activities

Creation of EAQ Squares for "Ethnic me"
African American and Puerto Rican Readings group presentations
A synthesis of concepts and reflections
A report on museum/theatre/concert experiences
Exams and short papers

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