Art has traditionally served
many purposes within the African-Canadian community. Artwork, in
all its’ forms,
has been both an expression of freedom and a call to social activism.
The artist functions as both a liberator and an inspiration, both
documenting the struggle and encouraging it. As stated in ‘Canada
is in Us Now’, “… Black creative expression
is designed to inspire and serve the people.” It is
a means of expressing the special circumstances of the community
above all creating hope.
Within the African tradition literature, poetry and song all spring
from the same oral culture. The subject of people in the arts has
here been divided into the realms of music, visual arts and writing/publishing.
However, the different art forms continue to be linked and many
multi-talented artists express themselves in more than one discipline.
There is also a special relationship between artist and audience.