Monday, February 6, 2012

Black History Month: Day (4,5) 6| Amos, Alston, Bearden.

As I mentioned in my previous post... I was out of web commission (non-mobile) for the past two days.  Therefore, just like that one, this post will feature the two days missed along with today's...

Day 4| William "Wally" Amos, Jr.

July 1, 1936-Present

Born in Tallahassee, Florida.    In 1948, his parents separated and Amos Jr. moved to NYC to live with his Aunt Della, who often baked homemade chocolate chip and pecan cookies.  His desire for cooking continued as he attended the Food Trades Vocational High School, where he studied culinary arts for two years.  After spending time in the Air Force for 4 years, Wally returned to NY in 1957.  He worked in the stock room in Saks Fifth Avenue and the mail room at the William Morris agency. 
After receiving many promotions, in 1962,  he became the first black talent agent of the William Morris Agency, where he worked with the likes of the Simon & Garfunkel, Supremes, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye etc..  In 1967, Amos left the agency and moved to LA.  Using a revised version of his Aunt Della’s recipe and financial support from singers like Marvin Gaye, the first Famous Amos store opened on Sunset Blvd in 1975.  Within months, two more West coast franchises opened.  Bloomingdale’s dept. store , also, began to sell the cookies. 

Day 5| Charles Alston


Born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1907, art was an early interest for Charles Alston.  Alston received an art award in grammar school and continued his involvement with art throughout high school.  He graduated from Columbia University, where he studied art and art history.  Upon receiving his undergrad degree.. he was awarded the Arthur Wesley Dow Fellowship, which enabled him to earn his Master’s Degree in Fine Arts at Columbia’s teachers college. 
 During the 1940s, Alston founded the “306 group”, a studio space reserved for prominent Black artists.. i.e. Langston Hughes, Augusta Savage etc.   In 1950, the Arts Students League selected Charles Alston as their first African American instructor. 

"As an artist . . . I am intensely interested in probing, exploring the problems of color, space and form, which challenge all contemporary painters. However, as a black American . . . I cannot but be sensitive and responsive in my painting to the injustice, the indignity, and the hypocrisy suffered by black citizens." – Charles Alston

Day 6| Romare Bearden

September 2, 1911- March 12, 1988

 Born in Charlotte NC.  Romare Bearden began college at Lincoln University.  From there, he transferred to Boston University and completed his collegiate career at New York University, receiving a degree in Education.  While attending NYU, Bearden took an extensive range of art courses and was a lead cartoonist for the monthly journal.. “The Medley”..  At Boston University, Bearden was the director of the student humor magazine titled  “Beanpot”. 
He attended the Art Students League in New York and later the Sobornne in Paris.  In 1935, Romare Bearden became a weekly editorial cartoonist for the “Baltimore Afro-American”, which he continued doing until 1937.      
Before becoming a distinguished  artist… Bearden was, also, a talented baseball player.  He was recruited by the Philadelphia Athletics on the under the circumstances that he would agree to pass as a “white”.  He turned down the offer and instead, chose to work on his art. 

s.o. to Bio.

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