Black women have loomed large through history and are at last getting the recognition that they so rightfully deserve across all facets of life, be they art, cinema, culture, politics, and even the United States' history.
Laura Wheeler Waring is one of those figures. Born in 1887, no one would have thought that she would go on to loom large in the sphere of art history. She was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance, a pivotal moment in United States history. Beginning in the early 1920s and lasting through till the 40s, it was a time when African Americans across the US but especially in the Harlem neighborhood, participated in an explosion of arts and creative culture. Warring loomed large during this time. Her paintings depicted Black men and women as they were – working individuals who, even while being ignored by the society around them, lived full, complete, and complex lives. Her deep colors and the impressionist vibrancy of her work belies the impressive training she received, having studied in Paris under Cezanne, Corot, and the greatest of all of the impressionist artists – Monet. She taught art for more than 30 years at Cheyney University in Pennsylvania.