Joe Overstreet

1933 - 2019
Joe Overstreet (Photo by Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan/Getty)
Joe Overstreet was a painter who was an important figure in the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. He brought attention to important social issues through his powerful paintings such as Strange Fruit. The abstract painting was about the 1964 murders in Mississippi of three civil rights workers, James Cheney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. He co-founded NYC’s Kenkeleba House, an art space dedicated to showcasing the work of historically marginalized artists and communities. His work was recently featured in 2017 in an exhibit titled, “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power,” which originated at the Tate Modern in London and then traveled to New York City.

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