|This series of readings and classroom discussions will begin our concentration on the individual early Black architects and educators, many who were associated with the eight historic black architecture programs. We will also study their practices, document their creative works and articulate their place and importance in the overall world of architecture, and at the very least, from the standpoint of American architecture in general.
A. Focus Questions: focus on the pioneering black architects after the advent of formal architecture education programs at historically black schools during the period -1900-1930 and on the prominent black Architects in the era of emerging professionalism- 1930-1950. The architects noted below have been categorized into three areas but each of the architects influence goes beyond these somewhat arbitrary categorical associations given many of them have associations with each of the three noted categories:
• Educated or Associated with Tuskegee Architecture Programs
Robert R Taylor
John A Lankford
• Educated or Associated with Howard Architecture Programs
Albert I Cassell
Howard H Mackey
• Educated or Associated with Predominately White Architecture Programs
Paul R Williams
Julian F Abele
The following questions on the life of these renowned African American architects is intended to focus your understanding of their outstanding careers.
1. Prepare a short biography of each of architect noted above, including where they studied architecture, how did their career as an architect begin? Who were their major benefactors, what was their practice focus or clientele focus, What were their many accomplishments including their many “firsts”.
2. What did you as an young aspiring architect learn from their sacrifices and accomplishments during their life and careers as persons of color in a predominantly white male profession?
3. Although not widely publicized in the mainstream architecture media until recently, Is the power and resilience that each of these architects exuded during their careers- that spanned the period 1920’s to 1980 – exceptional or are their careers as expected in comparison to the state of the architect of the period as well of compared to today, whether black or other?
4. Which of the nine architects noted would you say, in your opinion, is the most influential in bringing into prominence the black architect into the mainstream of architecture as a profession, in architecture education and in society in general.
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