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In contemporary art history, 30-something year old black artist, Kara Walker is best known for her life-size black silhouettes that bring an artistic vision to civil rights history and racism.

Her work has been seen at places like the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Walker is the second youngest recipient of the prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s “genius” grant, earned at age 27.

Walker is a native of Stockton, CA. She received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994, following in her father’s footsteps, who is also an artist and professor.

Many blacks have found Walker’s work controversial, arguing about the way she presents her graphic artwork. For example, in her piece called “The Battle of Atlanta,” a white southern soldier is raping a black girl while her brother watches in shock. In another work, a young black slave girl skips past a tree with a lynched black man swinging above. Her first piece, “Gone, An Historical Romance of a Civil War as It Occurred Between the Dusky Thighs of One Young Negress and Her Heart” was most controversial.

Little Known Black History Fact: Kara Walker  was originally published on

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