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This guide will help you find books and other materials at the San Francisco Public Library related to the topic of Africa, its art and culture both historic and contemporary. If you need further help finding materials, be sure to ask the librarian staff for guidance. You can pick up a copy of this bibliography at the Museum of the African Diaspora.

Materials can be found throughout the SFPL’s 27 branches as well as at the Main Library. You will especially want to check out the African American Center on the third floor of the Main Library as well as the Bayview Branch Library.

Africa, arts and cultures
edited by Mack, John

By presenting art from across the continent, past and present, coupled with astute commentary by a worldwide cross-section of artists and scholars, Africa: Arts & Cultures offers an innovative approach that allows the reader to better appreciate African art in its totality.

Ref 745.096 Af831
Africa o-ye! : a celebration of African music
Ewens, Graeme

From the African continent to Europe, America and Great Britain, Africa O-Ye! surveys these contemporary and vibrant styles in the context of traditional culture, and traces the two-way traffic between Africa and western music from the early days of highlife in the 1920s through to today's dance fusions.

781.76 Ew35a 1992
Africa remix : contemporary art of a continent
edited by Njami, Simon

This catalog was published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name at the Hayward Gallery in London in 2005, which was the largest exhibition of contemporary African art ever seen in Europe.

709.6074 Af832
African art
Rea, William R.

African Art traces the history and prehistory of the art of sub-Saharan Africa, avoiding the standard 'one style, one tribe' summary. Throughout the book, the author relates the discussion of art to the development in Africa of complex economics, social hierarchies, a state system and the interaction with non-African cultures

709.6 R22a
African art now : masterpieces from the Jean Pigozzi Collection
Magnin, André

African Art Now offers a wide-ranging view of new currents in contemporary African art, profiling thirty-three painters, photographers, sculptors, and installation artists. No single tradition or method defines these artists, who come from numerous different countries; however, they share an awareness of both local and global cultures, reflecting the complex heritage faced by African artists today.

709.6709 Af833
Afropop!: an illustrated guide to contemporary African music.
Barlow, Sean

A heady blend of African traditional instruments and beat blends with pop culture's sound of rock, jazz, soul and R&B to produce a sound that has exploded onto the international scene.

781.76 B249a
African Rock: the pop music of a continent
Stapleton, Chris

African Rock tells the story of the urban electric music in Africa- its roots, influences and styles. From highlife to chimurenga, souskous to benga, juju to township pop, each sound is identified and appraised critically.

781.76 St27a 1990
The art of African textiles
Clarke, Duncan

The Art of African Textiles traces some paths through the complex and still largely unresearched history of African textile artistry. It explores the ways cloth is used in African societies and the role of cloth traditions in contemporary dress and fashion design. Major forms and styles of the twentieth century are introduced, those which are both cherished in their local context and increasingly sought after by collectors and museums worldwide.

746.0967 C5517a
The Continuum encyclopedia of native art : worldview, symbolism, and culture in Africa, Oceania, and native North America
Werness, Hope B.

Unlike earlier works devoted to the identification and taxonomy of "primitive" art styles, this comprehensive reference with entries spanning the deity archetype "A'a" to "Zuni fetishes" focuses on the symbols, meaning, and significance of art in indigenous cultures.

REF 704.03 W4959c
Ethiopian passages : contemporary art from the Diaspora
Harney, Elizabeth

Ethiopian Passages sketches, in broad strokes, the complexities, diversity and vibrancy of artistic practices among artists of Ethiopian descent at work today.

709.63 H2296e
Going into darkness : fantastic coffins from Africa
Secretan, Thierry

Funerary art has many expressions, but seldom is it as eye-catching and surprising as among the Ga, the dominant people of Accra and the surrounding region. Here a remarkable folk art of coffin-building has developed, combining remembrance, respect, humor and celebration. The coffin may take almost any form or shape, from eagle to Mercedes Benz, reflecting the occupation, status or character of the deceased.

REF 393.1096 Se25g
Hair in African art and culture
edited by Sieber, Roy

This lavishly illustrated volume explores the many styles and social meanings of African hair styles.

REF 391.5096 H127
J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere: photographs
Ojeikere, J.D. Okhai

In Ojeikere's photographs hair reveals its sculptural qualities. His deceptively simple, classically composed photographs display hairstyles as a sheer play of forms-minimal, abstract, transient artworks. But Ojeikere's photographs do not merely purvey aesthetic pleasures. They provide and unexpected insight into Nigerian culture.

779.092 Oj2m
Looking both ways : art of the contemporary African diaspora
edited by Farrell, Laurie Ann

Looking Both Ways: Art of the Contemporary African Diaspora considers the work of artists from North, South, East, and West Africa who live and work in Western countries, including Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

709.6074 L872
Mon Afrique : photographs of sub-saharan Africa
Maitre, Pascal

In a convergence of brilliant color and compelling visual narrative, this new collection of photographs by Pascal Maitre reveals an Africa unfamiliar to most Westerners. Rich in detail and elegant composition, Maitre's photographs immerse us in an Africa beyond the familiar media depictions. He shows an Africa living with the contradictions of tradition and modernization, of ritual headdresses and plastic flip-flops, of tribal wars and machine guns, of ancestral deities and nonbelievers.

REF 967.32 M2878m
Pete Turner : African journey
Turner, Pete ; introduction by Gordon Parks

Turner allows the camera to do all the talking through 140 images capturing the outrageous natural beauty, simple humanity, and intriguing past of Africa. Turner lives not just by the power of his lenses; he composes with the intuition of a painter and the empathy of an anthropologist.

REF 779.996 T856p
Queens : portraits of black women and their fabulous hair
Cunningham, Michael

From the afro to the ponytail to dreadlocks to braids to relaxed hair to fantasy hair; from "good hair" to bad hair days, in this stunningly designed book black women from the United States, Africa, and London explore the fascination with hair and beauty that has long been a cherished part of African American culture.

391.5 C9176q
Tracing Memory: A glossary of Graphic Signs and Symbols in African Art and Culture
Faïk-Nzuji Madiya, C. (Clémentine)

Tracing Memory is intended as a contribution to the general understanding of signs and symbols. It is a systematic inventory of African graphic signs and symbols.

REF 704.946 F1476t
Understanding Contemporary Africa - 4th edition
Edited by Gordon, April A.

The textbook for general African studies courses and discipline-based courses is updated again to keep up with changing events and conditions in Africa. Geography, history, politics, economics, international relations, technology, urbanization, AIDS, the environment, family and kinship, women, religion, and literature are among the dimensions discussed.

960.32 Un2 2007


This bibliography was put together by the San Francisco Public Library, African American Center for the opening of Drums to Digital exhibition on view February 6, 2008 – June 1, 2008 at the Museum of the African Diaspora, 685 Mission Street, SF, CA 94105, This bibliography is part of a collaboration between SFPL and MoAD that encourages further education and reading on topics pertaining to the African Diaspora.